Microsoft’s iPhone reaction: A retrospect
Remember the introduction of iPhone not so long ago in 2007, and a question was posed to Microsoft’s CEO and the famous response he gave? Below is a clip to help you jog your memory back.
Here are some key things he said back in 2007 and what happen today as of 2010.
In 2007, Steve Ballmer laughed off at the iPhone by saying :-
In 2010, almost all smartphone manufacturers from Nokia’s Symbian, Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile are trying to mimic iPhone’s success by having their devices without a keyboard and using Touch Screen technology (only not as smooth as the ones in iPhones) and even up to the point of mimicking the iPhone’s UI .
In 2007, Steve Ballmer put it as if Windows Mobile is the platform of choice for customers by saying :-
Source: Gartner, August 2009 and chart courtesy of Admob
And the iPhone market share keeps growing and growing at a very fast rate, while Windows mobile slowly dwindle into oblivion. And as the saying goes, the rest is history.
Another sour grape moment, and they just don’t learn from history
This time the shot came not from Steve Ballmer (perhap not at the moment of this writing) but from Brandon Watson, Director of Product Management for Microsoft’s developer platform. He was quoted as saying,
What he is trying to imply here is that somehow Apple with its App Store is a closed system and that developer are being “locked up” into its platform for iPhone, iPod Touch and the new iPad and somehow in the Window’s platform is a more open platform where developers are free to develop anything and can runs in all kinds of devices. How can there be any difference, you tell me? Or perhaps he is referring to Apple’s draconian control over what applications are allow into its platform. While Apple seems to have tight control over this issue and while I may not agree to some of them (ie Google Voice being rejected), I still strongly believe it has more pros than cons by having a centralize repository where we can search for applications.
Windows developers can use the same skill set and develops across all the different Window’s platform (computers and mobile devices) and as if it is not the same when applies to developers who built for the Apple’s platform? Bare in mind, that both applications running for the Mac OS X and iPhone OS (which applied to iPhones, iPod Touch and iPad) are based on Cocoa and Objective-C. So are there any differences? Of course there will be minor differences in API calls due to different sets of Interface and underlying operating system functionality but basically they are still applying the same skill sets. Existing Mac OS X developer will have no difficult time in porting or developing applications for iPhone OS.
Watson said further,
My Dear Mr. Watson, maybe you have been living in a cage for the past many years but development tools on an Apple platform is FREE and it comes bundle in with every Mac OS X, while development tools for Windows platform, the developers got to pay for it and comes with all sorts of fine print in its EULA. Unless by the word “expensive” you meant something else. And here is an interesting piece of snippets I pulled out from RoughlyDrafted that compares between .NET and Cocoa coming from the mouth of a .NET developer.
Two conflicting views of what a Tablet should be, and who will win long term?
When it comes to a Tablet’s form factor, Microsoft and Apple has two different views of the world. Microsoft’s views is that a Tablet must be and must act likes a PC with all the full features of an Operating System cramped in to a Tablet PC which due to its form factor definitely going to have a slower processors, memory and storage capacities. This is where they fail after so many years because a Tablet simply do not have the power to run as good as a full fledged PC and not to mention with all the CPU crunching it will certainly makes the battery life shorter which defeat the purpose of mobility.
As for Apple, they have an entirely different philosophy of being less is more. By making the iPad tablet having reduced functionalities and just focusing on just doing what it can do best that is internet experience, and media experience. David Worthington of Technologizer sums it best in his article by describing the two camp :-
Time will tell if iPad will be as successful as the iPhone or iPod, but I strongly believe Apple is moving in the right direction with the iPad as a Tablet. For one thing, in my humble opinion is that Apple makes the right choice of not treating the Tablet as a computer but rather a consumer device that delivery rich contents and user experiences to its customers. And with the starting price point of $499, I am beginning to think that it might eventually give netbook a run for its money and many would be buyers of a netbook will opt for an iPad instead. Why? For the simple reasons that a netbook user or would be users is most likely to have a more powerful Desktop or a Laptop system with them to do their daily works and netbook is just a secondary device for them to do simple task like web browsing , email and some minor document editing, which iPad can also do plus much more. Think about it!