It seems that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer almost always gets himself caught in controversy every time he speaks in public. Ballmer’s most recent public declaration of his opinion about Android has earned the ire of many Android fans, and the amused–albeit intelligent–chuckle of others.
Interviewed by John Batelle at the Web 2.0 Summit, Ballmer was asked why he should buy a phone with Windows Phone as operating system rather than one with Android. Ballmer replied:
“You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone, but I think you do to use an Android phone.”
Although Ballmer’s statement could just be normal considering that he is doing some sales talk for his product and Ballmer may just be exaggerating his statements, this one had elicited negative reactions from Android users. This is not the first time Ballmer talked insensitively in public and he already has a considerably bad reputation.
Ballmer also seemed to have belittled Android phones when he said, “ The cheapest phones on the market will probably be the Android phones, we have to do more work….Apple’s a good competitor, a different competitor.”
Microsoft’s CEO seems to think that Android is just a threat in terms of price, and views Apple as a main competitor. But, considering the growing market share of Android, Ballmer might have to do some market research.
Ballmer, of course, has the Constitution-guaranteed right to voice his opinions and perceptions, although it will not make him any less of a person, or of a Microsoft CEO, if he did not always put his foot where his mouth is every time he utters a word about Android.
On the other hand, some had actually taken the statement positively and even gave thanks to Ballmer for making them realize that they are scientists because they can use an Android phone. For many other Android fans, Ballmer’s statement was a veiled confirmation of intelligence, primarily because he inaccurately assumes Android users are computer scientists. It’s a huge jump from fact and reality–because not all Android users are computer scientists. But, for a non-computer scientist to be thought of as a computer scientist–now, isn’t that a little bit flattering?
Didn’t Matias Duarte’ take swipes at both Apple and Microsoft in the Google/Samsung Keynote? Just saying. They all do it. Ballmer’s no different. It’s like politicians. They all want you to vote for them and part of their sales pitch is mudslinging against their opponents.