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Ballmer changes tune on iPhone, says no to Zune phone

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 
Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, who once laughed off the iPhone, has now conceded to Apple's edge in the market while hinting at a very different future for his company's Zune players.

Ballmer told the Financial Times (registration required) that the iPhone and BlackBerry have "clear market momentum" in the smartphone business.

Shortly after the iPhone was announced at Macworld 2007, Ballmer lambasted the Apple handset as the "most expensive phone in the world" while noting that Microsoft sells "millions and millions and millions of phones a year" while "Apple sells zero."

"I'd prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of [mobile phones], than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get," he said. And just this past September, the Microsoft headman predicted that the iPhone's tight integration with all things Apple would cause it to "lose out" in the long run.

As for the Zune, Ballmer said this week that consumers "should not anticipate" a Zune phone. Instead of persisting as a Microsoft-built hardware product, the device's core could eventually be integrated into other Windows-powered mobile devices, he explained.

Ballmer reacts the to unveiling of iPhone in 2007.

Ballmer also said he believes the market for portable media players is in decline and will be replaced with general purpose devices like the iPhone and iPod touch.
post #2 of 108
I just read the entire FT article and Steve Ballmer sounds down/discouraged/defeated.
I read it as him saying that he thrown in the towel vis Ã* vis phones and music players.
post #3 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post

I just read the entire FT article and Steve Ballmer sounds down/discouraged/defeated.
I read it as him saying that he thrown in the towel vis Ã* vis phones and music players.

His focus seems to be on Google for the moment. I'm sure he's torn between all the fronts his company is battling against.

At least the Xbox is beating the pants off of the Playstation 3 so far.
post #4 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post

I just read the entire FT article and Steve Ballmer sounds down/discouraged/defeated.
I read it as him saying that he thrown in the towel vis Ã* vis phones and music players.

They weren't likely losing money on windows media players before; but now that everyone is going DRM free, they have less incentive because nothing ties you to a platform or codec. I think the death of DRM has killed Microsoft's interest in the market.
post #5 of 108
I despise Ballmer and Microsoft. But I wish they would make a Zune phone, I need something more to laugh at.
post #6 of 108
Instead of introducing an awkward piece of hardware built by another company using a slightly copycatted version of software/GUI after competitors beat you to the market by years (Ipod/Zune), Microsoft will instead continue writing code as usual. If anything this will save them money on R&D and hopefully let them focus on having a good competitor to OS 10.6 with Win7, and to OSX iPhone with Win7 Mobile.

I only want MS to create something amazing so that Apple will create something even more amazing. I want healthy competition!
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post #7 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

... As for the Zune, Ballmer said this week that consumers "should not anticipate" a Zune phone. Instead of persisting as a Microsoft-built hardware product, the device's core could eventually be integrated into other Windows-powered mobile devices, he explained. ...

This is more than just no Zune phone, this sounds very much like the Zune itself is now officially dead.

Zune software to be integrated into WinMobile and XBox and licensed to all and sundry with the actual hardware being discontinued.
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post #8 of 108
Well Microsoft did well in the early years but they are not coming up with any thing really new. It appears that they are getting stagnate and only trying to keep up with everyone else to maintain their market share. I think Microsoft is going to die a slow death...

Thank goodness we all have Apple...
post #9 of 108
<sry, made a mistake, this should be deleted>
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post #10 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

At least the Xbox is beating the pants off of the Playstation 3 so far.

No it's not
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post #11 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

Instead of introducing an awkward piece of hardware built by another company using a slightly copycatted version of software/GUI after competitors beat you to the market by years (Ipod/Zune), Microsoft will instead continue writing code as usual. If anything this will save them money on R&D and hopefully let them focus on having a good competitor to OS 10.6 with Win7, and to OSX iPhone with Win7 Mobile.

I only want MS to create something amazing so that Apple will create something even more amazing. I want healthy competition!

I think you mean 10.7. No one knows for sure, but in the past release is about 1.5-2 years from first beta, which would probably mean it competes with ArcticBlizzard Leopard.
post #12 of 108
Microsoft just never learns...

The XBOX was their best thing they did in a long time. But they messed up with the 360, no HD player, then they backed up HDDVD and that died quickly, (as I predicted). I feel bad for the people who shelled out I think they were $200 for the add on, and the 30 or so movies you can watch on it.
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post #13 of 108
Microsoft's bread and butter, Windows (for desktop and server), Exchange, and Office, became dominant under Bill Gates. In nearly 10 years leading once the largest company in the world, Steve Ballmer has yet to launch single successful product. He is a salesman (and not a very good one) pure and simple and as a long-time shareholder, I am flabbergasted as to how he is still leading the company.
post #14 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

At least the Xbox is beating the pants off of the Playstation 3 so far.

On Google Trends PS3 is by far the winner.

URL: http://google.com/trends
Query: Xbox 360, PS3
bb
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post #15 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post

Instead of introducing an awkward piece of hardware built by another company using a slightly copycatted version of software/GUI after competitors beat you to the market by years (Ipod/Zune), Microsoft will instead continue writing code as usual. If anything this will save them money on R&D and hopefully let them focus on having a good competitor to OS 10.6 with Win7, and to OSX iPhone with Win7 Mobile.

I only want MS to create something amazing so that Apple will create something even more amazing. I want healthy competition!

You have it with the Palm Pre but it's catch up not competition Apple needs to do.
post #16 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Microsoft's bread and butter, Windows (for desktop and server), Exchange, and Office, became dominant under Bill Gates. In nearly 10 years leading once the largest company in the world, Steve Ballmer has yet to launch single successful product. He is a salesman (and not a very good one) pure and simple and as a long-time shareholder, I am flabbergasted as to how he is still leading the company.

I couldn't agree more. Microsoft has great potential. They've just had poor leadership for too long.

That said, I think they should stop trying to compete with Apple's hardware and return to making software. I personally think an Office suite for iPhone would be a great hit. Who knows, maybe they're already working on it. With Balmer's stubborn hatred of Apple, however, I doubt it.

-Clive
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post #17 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

His focus seems to be on Google for the moment. I'm sure he's torn between all the fronts his company is battling against.

At least the Xbox is beating the pants off of the Playstation 3 so far.

Actually, (and I am not trying to argue) I think in september and october playstation 3 sold more than 360 which is why 360 had that huge price drop. But in any case the Wii is beating them both. Well atleast microsoft is still winning the battlefront vista vs os x.... and while still in the lead they are about to release a highly anticipated Windows 7.
post #18 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkAdrian View Post

No it's not

According to the information dump of the Internet a.k.a. Wikipedia that as of January 2009 the XBox has sold 28 million units. Compare that to the PlayStation 3 which has sold about 17 million units up until September 2008. Even if you into account that the PS3 was released a year after the XBox 360 I have doubts that Sony will be able to sell more than 10 million units in the next 12 months. Disregarding growth the XBox 360 market is currently far larger than the PS3 market so its naturally more attractive to game developers.

EDIT:

Quite frankly, although I'm looking forward to God of War 3 and the successor to Shadow of the colossus I'd currently buy an XBox 360 as well. If you don't use the PS3 as a media center or cheap Blu-Ray player the XBox 360 has a better price-performance ratio. For instance, compare the Premium XBox360 with the regular PS3. The former is cheaper (100 Euro here in Europe), comes with a wireless headset, one month trial for XBox Gold and a bigger hard drive.
post #19 of 108
Man, iHate that man. He's just wrong about everything. How did he became CEO of Micro$oft.
Apple had me at scrolling
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post #20 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Microsoft's bread and butter, Windows (for desktop and server), Exchange, and Office, became dominant under Bill Gates. In nearly 10 years leading once the largest company in the world, Steve Ballmer has yet to launch single successful product. He is a salesman (and not a very good one) pure and simple and as a long-time shareholder, I am flabbergasted as to how he is still leading the company.

I have to agree with Filburt on this one. Ballmer would be considered a chump by most corporations, and would have been fired long ago. For some unknown reason they keep him around.
post #21 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

On Google Trends PS3 is by far the winner.

URL: http://google.com/trends
Query: Xbox 360, PS3

Looking at sales it looks like xbox>ps3
http://www.vgchartz.com/?dg=1
*sigh* Doesn't really matter to me because with 4 young kids in the house I am stuck with the Wiitarded.
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post #22 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Looking at sales it looks like xbox>ps3
http://www.vgchartz.com/?dg=1
*sigh* Doesn't really matter to me because with 4 young kids in the house I am stuck with the Wiitarded.

If you look at this chart, which shows sales from launch date, PS3 is selling slightly more than the Xbox360 was at a similar point in its lifespan. That said, I doubt the PS3 will ever sell more than the Xbox 360, personally, and I speak as a PS3 owner.

http://vgchartz.com/hwlaunch.php
post #23 of 108
Just goes to prove that Microsoft execs have no vision. They can only make money by changing and integrating things that already exist and using their marketing muscle to make it happen.

Windows 7 looks more like OS X than ever.
post #24 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Ballmer also said he believes the market for portable media players is in decline and will be replaced with general purpose devices like the iPhone and iPod touch.

Somehow I doubt he used those two specific examples....
post #25 of 108
I enjoy watching Ballmer eating his words, it is kind of usual when he talks about Apple in general or an specific product like the iPhone.

"Square minds lead to open failures"

post #26 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

If you look at this chart, which shows sales from launch date, PS3 is selling slightly more than the Xbox360 was at a similar point in its lifespan. That said, I doubt the PS3 will ever sell more than the Xbox 360, personally, and I speak as a PS3 owner.

http://vgchartz.com/hwlaunch.php

All this talk for claiming the #2 spot (and a distant one at that) is rather silly. If you like PS3 over Xbox 360 (or vice versa), that's fine. In terms of profitability (over all the investment and cost), Xbox 360 is still in the red. And the same argument applies to PS3 as well.
post #27 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

All this talk for claiming the #2 spot (and a distant one at that) is rather silly. If you like PS3 over Xbox 360 (or vice versa), that's fine. In terms of profitability (over all the investment and cost), Xbox 360 is still in the red. And the same argument applies to PS3 as well.

The difference here is that Sony cannot afford to stumble with this product. Unlike Microsoft, their automatic revenue generating products allows them to screw up big time and keep producing crap until they get it right and win the market. Most companies that loses money on products usually kills it.
post #28 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

... The XBOX was their best thing they did in a long time. ...

Technically, Microsoft stole the hardware from Sony, and the popularity of the platform is usually ascribed to the Halo franchise which they stole away from Apple by buying Bungie out from underneath them.
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post #29 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

This is more than just no Zune phone, this sounds very much like the Zune itself is now officially dead.

Zune software to be integrated into WinMobile and XBox and licensed to all and sundry with the actual hardware being discontinued.

In other words, let us bloat Windows and WinMobile, AND XBox even more! Yay!
post #30 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Technically, Microsoft stole the hardware from Sony, and the popularity of the platform is usually ascribed to the Halo franchise which they stole away from Apple by buying Bungie out from underneath them.

I remember I was the one who broke out this rumor and no one believed me! Everyone cried out "no way would Bungie abandon the Apple platform!" and a few days later, AI had an official report on the subject!

(for all those who do not believe me, look it up in the archives! I think that's when I went under a different name on here)
post #31 of 108
The PS3 is a nice bit of hardware, and the BluRay player is a nice plus (my mate got a 360, got the HD-DVD drive, the 360 RRODed, the HD-DVD drive became worthless, he bought a standalone BluRay player) that HDTV owners will take into consideration.

I couldn't really care less about PS Home and other gimmicks. The firmware is otherwise a quite nice professional system, but the 360's updated system is quite slick as well.

All in all, I feel that the PS3 is developing a software base and features base for the PS4, which should be based upon a next generation Cell and so forth. I also think that Sony might make the first games on the PS4 backwards compatible, i.e., they will run on the PS3 at 720p/30fps/medium detail, and the PS4 at 1080p/60fps/high detail, up to a point.

As for Ballmer, he has taken Microsoft nowhere. All their competitors in the mobile arena have next generation operating systems now, even Palm! The smartphone OS market is crammed - iPhone, Blackberry, Symbian, Android, Palm, Windows Mobile. Note that several of these are using Webkit for browsing, and that's giving them a significant advantage, and also next generation dev kits and UIs that make programming easier and smoother. VS is Microsoft's only star here, but the APIs are crufty and the user interface outdated with stylus design, not touch design.
post #32 of 108
OH THE HUMANITY
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post #33 of 108
I am a devout follower of Ghandi and the Hindu mantra of treating others as you'd like to be treated. However, I must deviate for one second so I can properly call out Mr. Balllmer for the jackass that he is.

Namasté.
post #34 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

At least the Xbox is beating the pants off of the Playstation 3 so far.

In total sales, yeah. Sales numbers alone aren't a complete measure of success. The 360's sales have been flat for a while now while PS3 sales have been steadily growing. If 360 sales continue at their same pace while PS3 sales continue to grow, the PS3 could grab second place.

However, both are only fighting for scraps left by the Wii, just as Microsoft's original Xbox did with the GameCube when the PS2 took off (and is still selling quite well).
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post #35 of 108
It's been shown time and time again that Ballmer is simply out of touch with what's really going on and clearly should be replaced as CEO.

Although still a giant Microsoft is starting to lose ground and eventually it will catch up to them. They make some good products, but lack in style and well thought out user interfaces and of course marketing. This should be directly attributed to the previous CEO and now Ballmer. At least Bill Gates had passion and realized his limitations. Ballmer just seems like a crazy, ego maniac who will stick to his guns even while the ship is sinking.

Microsoft still has a chance to turn it around, but is badly in need of a change at the helm if they plan to compete in the future with the likes of Google, Apple and upstarts we've never even heard of yet.

While still a top giant in the tech industry, one can't help but notice the current direction they're heading.
post #36 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

In total sales, yeah. But the 360's sales have been flat for a while now while PS3 sales have been steadily growing. However, both are only fighting for scraps left by the Wii, just as Microsoft's original Xbox did with the GameCube when the PS2 took off (and is still selling quite well).

I totally agree. And isn't it amazing that PS2 is still selling consols.... They are still selling a lot of consols... games are still advertized for the ps2 on commericials. It is pretty crazy. Anyway yes this is true. 360 sales were in a steady decline until they dropped the price and now sales are just at a flatline where as the PS3 sales are on a steady increase and now that Sony has announced that PS3 already has the technology for 3D gaming and has showed it off at CES I think sales might continue to increase.
post #37 of 108
Microsoft is involved in too many business lines:

1) Destkop operating systems (profitable)
2) Server operating systems (profitable)
3) Server software (profitable)
4) Office productivity software (profitable)
5) Media/MSN/MSNBC (break-even?)
6) Xbox/gaming (loss)
7) Search (break-even or loss)
8) Mobile software/Windows Mobile (loss?)

It's obviously taking its toll on the company. Microsoft needs to scale down and concentrate on its core businesses, namely the desktop and enterprise apps.
post #38 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Ballmer told the Financial Times (registration required) that the iPhone and BlackBerry have "clear market momentum" in the smartphone business.

The link in the article seems to work. Unless there is more to it.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2dcdc93c-d...077b07658.html
post #39 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

In total sales, yeah. But the 360's sales have been flat for a while now while PS3 sales have been steadily growing.

However, both are only fighting for scraps left by the Wii, just as Microsoft's original Xbox did with the GameCube when the PS2 took off (and is still selling quite well).

Not true, look at the graph. They were neck and neck in weekly sales until thanksgiving, and then the 360 pulled ahead by 60% or so.

week of jan 3:
\t Japan\t America\t Others\tTotal
xbox\t19,157\t137,528\t185,309\t341,994
ps3\t68,935\t77,460\t114,467\t260,862
45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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45 2a3 300b 211 845 833
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post #40 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacOldTimer View Post

You have it with the Palm Pre but it's catch up not competition Apple needs to do.

Am I reading you right here? Are you saying that Apple needs to catch up to an announced product that is months from delivery and may be run on an even more inferior network?

I don't know the Pre, though by all accounts it is a nice piece of work for Palm*, but I think it a little premature to give them the lead at this point...


* I almost used "beleaguered" here. But I still can't see that adjective used for anyone but Apple...
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