Microsoft, Symbian Unimpressed By Android
The appeal of Google’s mobile operating system, Android, and an alliance of handset makers, has not registered with two major phone OS builders.
No one would expect Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer or Symbian’s John Forsyth to come out dressed as cheerleaders and lead the fight song for Google’s proposed entrant into the mobile operating system arena. Both of those executives have expressed their feelings with semi-polite yawns recently.
Ballmer’s company expects Windows Mobile to ship on 20 million mobiles in 2008. When discussing Microsoft’s plans at a Tokyo conference, the International Herald Tribune noted his remarks about Android, where Ballmer said it was difficult to comment on “just words on paper.”
Symbian’s Forsyth, VP of strategy for the mobile OS firm, likened the Google announcement to the common cold. He told the BBC that Linux initiatives keep “coming round and then we go back to business.”
Over 165 million phones in the hands of people run Symbian’s operating system. Forsyth also cited another task associated with putting an OS on millions of phones that Google won’t enjoy – customer support.
“It’s costly, arduous and at times a deeply unsexy job of supporting customers day by day in launching phones. That’s something there’s very little experience of in Google’s environment,” Forsyth said in the report.