∞ What Microsoft really said to analysts: Apple you're kicking our butt

Microsoft held its annual financial analysts meeting on Thursday and while it must have been difficult to admit, Apple is getting the better of them. Microsoft has been helping its partners with Tablet PCs for almost a decade and they still haven’t caught on. On the other hand, Apple’s iPad caused an incredible amount of buzz in the industry months before it was even released.

In its fiscal third quarter, the first that it was available, Apple sold 3.27 million iPads, a fact that didn’t go unnoticed at Microsoft.

“Apple has done an interesting job,” said Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. “They’ve sold more than I’d like them to sell. We think about that. So it’s our job to say: we have got to make things happen. Just like we made things happen with netbooks, we have to do that with slates.”

Apple took an interesting approach to the iPad, choosing to use its mobile operating system instead of a full version of Mac OS X. Microsoft, it appears, will be taking the exact opposite approach.

During the question period, Ballmer said Microsoft’s tablet will be made with Intel processors and Windows 7, instead of its mobile Windows platform.

“We’re coming,” he said. “We’re coming full guns. The operating system is called Windows.”

While Ballmer said a tablet product to compete with Apple was “job one urgency,” he wouldn’t specify when they would be available. “They’ll be shipping as soon as they are ready,” Ballmer said.

And with that, Microsoft has assured it will not overtake Apple any time soon. Considering Apple is already working on the next iPad and planning the one after that, it’s amazing that Microsoft isn’t further along than what it is. Perhaps even more amazing that they would admit it publicly.



  • His Shadow

    Good stuff. Let me tell you how this will play out. Remember the iPod? Remember how the combined might and ingenuity of Microsoft and it’s various hardware partners buried the iPod with their wider variety of choice for consumers?

    Oh wait. That didn’t happen. This isn’t 1995. Microsoft has not leveraged it’s monopoly anywhere else but where it’s monopoly lies: in desktops, servers and Office. That’s it. The people pinning their hopes on Microsoft are simply deluded. Ballmer seemingly the most deluded.

  • http://www.definitivemind.com James Katt

    Losers.

  • Dougie

    Microsoft and its hardware partners will likely never catch up to the iPad as long as Ballmer at the helm. In the 10 years he as run the show, the stock has lost 25 percent of its value.

    Who can tell me that this guy inspires innovation or creativity in his company?. A friend who works there tells me it’s starting to become a dysfunctional madhouse, full of petty back stabbing and ass covering.

    Not exactly the kind of environment you need to create great things, or even copies of great things.

    • Pete

      I think the basic problem with Ballmer might be that he cannot tell the difference between a good product and a mediocre product. So if someone shows him a mediocre solution and gives him some talking points, he will just run with it.

      • uthne

        Well, problem or forté? This has been Microsnots fortune, that 99,9999 percent of business leaders and corporate software buyers are just as dumb and computer illiterate a as Mr. B. –You can sell them anything… if you just have the right pitch. That’s why MS and a lot of business-software developers have been, and still are getting away with their crap!

  • George

    The main reason Apple chose the iPhone OS over the Mac OS for iPad is because iPhone OS has much more developer support and apps available than the Mac ever did. With Microsoft, it’s the opposite. There is orders of madnitude more support behind Windows than there ever was for Windows CE/Mobile. Of course they are going to offer Windows. Both companies are bringing their A game to the fight. That’s not hard to understand.

    • chris

      That is incorrect.

      The main reason they chose the iOS is because a desktop OS DOESN’T WORK on a touch-based tablet. Adding a touch skin on a cursor-based OS is adding complexity, as you never know when you’re gonna need that stylus after all for the precision of, say, clicking a little “X” in a close box.

      Apple put the iPad on hold until the iPhone platform gained traction. But the concept was clear from the start.

      Microsoft isn’t taking a “new approach” that’s the complete opposite of what Apple’s done. They’re throwing more money and effort at the SAME APPROACH that has completely failed for the past ten years, and will continue to fail for total lack of insight.

      The future of consumer computing will play out between Apple, HP, and Android.

      • http://modoku.com Nicholas

        You are both sort of wrong. The OS is OS X. The presentation layer has been optimized for a device interaction model. As these devices become more powerful, more OS features can be added to the visual layer.

        We are witnessing the end of the desktop metaphor as a primary computational model. The underlying computation remains the same. How we, or the cloud, or other devices interact with the sub layers is less important to the discussion than the things we are supposed to accomplish.

        Apple focused on what we would do. Microsoft is focusing on how to do it. This is why the iOS model is so powerful. Just do it. And, do it as simply as possible.

    • Pete

      Some might disagree and suggest that Mac OS has way too much baggage. In contrast iOS is already based on and includes a new way of interaction using touch.

      • TheKernel

        iOS and OSX are the same thing. iOS is just a paired down version. The UI is what is different.

      • http://twitter.com/lawrencejob Lawrence

        There’s a bit more to the thread down here:

        http://www.loopinsight.com/2010/07/29/what-microsoft-really-said-to-analysts-apple-youre-kicking-our-butt/#comment-49212

        In essence, there are plenty of reasons why OS X, optimised for desktop, is just not suitable.

        As for Chris, the main difference between the OS’s is not the code, it’s the distribution model. You need a Mac to develop for it; you need them to sign everything, and they, nomatter what, get a cut. A monopoly at its best. Sorry, straying from the point again.

        • james blake

          I make Html5 + JS apps on a nXP machine using Appcellerator – Apple gets no cut. try digging a little deeper next time before you rehash the boring old Monopoly talking points.

        • Anim8me2

          I think you need to learn the meaning of monopoly. While Apple controls the App store, they do not have a monopoly.

    • Joe

      Really George? You’ve got number’s to back up that claim, I suppose?!? Since we’re playing it fast and loose, I’ll go on record saying that your full of it, that the Mac OS had many, many times the number of developers and applications that iOS did at the time Apple made the decision to go with iOS instead of Mac OS X for the iPad, and that their reasons were probably more along the lines of low power conservation and slim form factor leading them to desire a slimmed-down OS to run on it. One thing I think I can be relatively sure of is that Joe Schmoes like you and me have very little real idea of what goes on in the boardrooms of companies like Apple and Microsoft (and I can be just as sure that blowhards will continue to pontificate on how they know exactly what goes on…) (present company not excepted, of course!)

    • Jerry

      “The main reason Apple chose the iPhone OS over the Mac OS for iPad is because” iOS is designed for touch interfaces, Mac OS is not. As iOS has demonstrated, developers are going to go where eyeballs and money live. It doesn’t matter what the platform is called. Microsoft pretending it’s going to shoehorn Windows Embedded Phone 7 Deluxe Tablet Slate 128-bit with MMX extensions edition into tablets and breathe life into its fossilizing monopoly 1990s style is so delusional it’s barely worth talking about.

      Windows is “designed” to be used with a mouse. iOS is designed to be used with a finger. By the time MS figures this out … oops, it’s already too late.

    • SteveS

      @George:

      While the developer support / momentum for the iPhone is a good thing, it has little to do with Apple’s choice. Tablets have failed in the past because you’re using software that was designed for a desktop with a keyboard and mouse on a tablet with a stylus. Apple clearly understood the fact that a new type of device needs software written for it specifically. Look at iWork on the iPad for example. That was a major rewrite and it was necessary to make the product usable on a tablet.

      The other issue is hardware. Tablets need to be efficient, light weight, instant on, etc… Does that sound like Windows 7 (or Snow Leopard for that matter)? In terms of lower power consumption, Intel has been doing a very good job, but they are still not in the same league as ARM based devices. So, but sticking with Intel, Microsoft based tablets will be at a hardware disadvantage. The devices will be heavier or have less battery power, etc. There is a trade off one way or the other.

      Ballmer is in a tough spot. Windows Phone 7 will probably be a competitive OS, but it’s clearly years behind the competition. In short, it’s not fully baked yet and not ready for a tablet. So, they have no choice but to push forward with Windows 7 which I believe is a big mistake. At the same time, they can’t just sit back and concede the market to Apple and possible Android to some extent. This sort of situation sort of gives you visions of Ballmer throwing chairs at meetings. Clearly, they bet on the netbook over the tablet and the tide is turning against them.

      • Richard

        Ballmer does not have the vision like Bill has. Take a look at what is happening to the company over the past 10 years. Windows Vista was a big failure, they had to revert back to XP for netbooks. Manufactures, like Dell, continued to supply XP on there computers as Vista just was not meeting customers expectations. During that time they also took all there effort to finally build an operating system to compete with Macs.

        All the while, Apple was creating new sectors of the industry with the iPod, iPhone, iPod. Their Mac line really took off due to the switch to Intel processors. With Boot Camp and Parallels, PC users had an avenue to switch without dropping Windows altogether. Most of these users quickly learn they do not need windows to do there computing.

        Business is also looking at the Mac line. Yes it is more expensive to purchase upfront. But there is no anti-virus and mal-ware problem at this time. This cuts down expenses tremendously. Also the Mac Mini is a great desktop that can handle most office users needs (place Parallels and two monitors you have two operating systems running at the same time keeping you in touch with those windows only business software.)

        What Microsoft needs is a new visionary to take the company into the 21 century. Windows 7 seams to be a step in the right direction. Apple pulled the Mac-PC ads after Win 7 launch. But Microsoft need a lot more inovation and Ballmer is not the guy.

    • http://scarydevil.com/~peter/io/ Peter da Silva

      The iPhone OS and Mac OS are the same OS.

      They’re just a different shell over almost identical GUI libraries and frameworks on the same kernel and utilities. The differences are mostly at the application level and above, and there’s a huge amount of common code and shared intelligence between the two. Microsoft can’t do that because Microsoft thoroughly obfuscated where the edges of the core NT OS and the rest of Windows were in their ****ing match with the Department of Justice over Internet Explorer back in the ’90s.

  • http://www.bornegames.com Brad

    Well, it’s nice to know that MS is going to start making tablets because Apple is being successful in an area that has nothing to do with them, and not because they have an idea on how to make a better tablet. Because, you know, that would just make too much sense.

    Of course they’re not going to use Windows 7 Mobile, they have a million different teams that don’t talk to each other at all. Wouldn’t make sense to try to hit Apple head on at its own game, either, iOS is tops, not going to be outdone easily.

    And what the hell did MS have to do with netbooks? As I remember, people were paying more to downgrade to XP since Vista was so awful on netbook hardware.

    • http://twitter.com/lawrencejob Lawrence

      Microsoft (in part) curated the Netbook. Microsoft and Intel have been looking into mobile computing for a while now. Netbooks were invented long before Windows Vista, so I don’t understand how it’s relevant to either of your points (you n’ Ballmer thatis).

  • http://anphase.com Anphase

    The iPad is too far ahead of the competition. It pretty much started the tablet revolution. Like chasing the iPhone, Microsoft is going to have a tough time catching up. Maybe when they release Windows Tablet 9 in 2012. Then again the world is gonna end anyway..

  • http://www.mauricekessler.com Moeskido

    I love the Sales culture that forces him to keep repeating slogans and cheerleader phrases as though determination is all he’ll need to convince consumers that his products are useful and interesting. He can’t allow himself to even consider development alternatives to Windows.

    • Pete

      You are absolutely right. Ballmer thinks if he insists and persists it will happen. This is not Hollywood!

  • mike

    I guess he couldn’t use the word TABLETS, since, you know, MS did that like 15 years ago and it was a complete and utter failure. Change the word, rewrite history. Genius! Not.

    “The OS is Windows”

    Great! So Apple has absolutely no doubt now that MS’s lame response will be just a boring as every other Windows tablet in history.

    Way to sniff Apple butt, MS. Any new ideas? Just Windows and Office, same as you’ve always done for 30 years? Cool.

  • http://www.thepaepae.com Peter A

    “Not exactly the kind of environment … or even copies of great things.”

    Zing!

    This reflects my thinking too. R Buckminster Fuller said you can’t change people, you can only change the environment. True then, true now.

  • Hari Seldon

    @George,

    I respectfully disagree, Apple had no intention of putting Mac OS X on their portable devices, that’s what Macs are for. The number of apps on the app store is a nice side benefit, remember that the iPad was being worked for many years, even before the iPhone.

    Conceptually, the desktop metaphor just doesn’t work on a touch screen interface.

    • Hari Seldon

      As I can’t edit, I apologise for replying to myself.

      I should have said – the Mac OS is designed for the WIMP interface (Windows, Icons, Mouse Pointer) together with a desktop metaphor, this is a bad fit for a touch screen interface.

      • http://twitter.com/lawrencejob Lawrence

        In some ways you’re right. However, what Microsoft did with Windows 7 (from Vista) to make it just as good for touchscreen users and mouse/keyboard users proves that Apple could have redesigned elements of it to suit the iPad.

        Now, it’s important to note that Apple doesn’t get any profit from apps sold on OS X, where it does from apps sold on iOS. Thus a no-brainer. That, combined with the developer support is enough to justify (to Apple at least) that a locked-down OS that supports only software they allow is a vastly more financially viable option.

        • Michael Ward

          “However, what Microsoft did with Windows 7 (from Vista) to make it just as good for touchscreen users and mouse/keyboard users proves that Apple could have redesigned elements of it to suit the iPad.”

          Windows 7 is clearly, demonstably, NOT as good a touch screen OS as a WIMP OS.

        • Anim8me2

          Lawrence, if you look at Apple’s financials you will see that Apple in fact makes little to no profit from App store sales.

        • BlendMe

          In theory yes, but I really doubt it would work in practice. Simply redesigning some UI element will not make it a good Touch OS. Just think of all the interface components in a desktop UI. How would you use the main menu on a touch device? Managing windows on the iPad would be a pain. The processor architecture is completely different so you have to rewrite the OS and somehow convince developers to do the same with their applications.

          All this would be a lot of effort, so why not just start from scratch as they did with the iPhone. Now that the iPhone was really taken of and the OS proved itself great on touch devices, it’s obvious they chose it for the iPad. And yes, they do have the one and only App Store and they do make money with it (although their percentage cut is actually lower then what PC/console game publishers get). All in all it comes down to a smooth, simple and clutter free experience for the users.

  • Marc

    Idiotic. iPad succeeds because the OS was designed for touch. Using Windows, Balmer is going to give his share of the tablet market to Android. It will be Apple with the largest share, a hundred variations of Android scrounging up the scraps, and Windows at the very bottom, just like the Zune in the MP3 market.

    • http://isaacschmidt.com isaac

      Agreed.

  • Janne

    @George “The main reason Apple chose the iPhone OS over the Mac OS for iPad is because iPhone OS has much more developer support and apps available than the Mac ever did.”

    Wrong. They chose the iOS because it offered a superior UI for this type of device, along with better battery-life, instant-on and not having to use massive multi-core CPU with gigabytes of RAM. Had they used MacOS they would have gotten a tablet-pc, and look how well those have been selling.

  • David Emery

    The truly amazing thing is that Ballmer is still running Microsoft. Their performance since he’s been in charge, particularly in the consumer space, has been one of trying to catch up to Apple, and failing. (Can you say ‘Zune’? How about ‘Vista’?) Windows 7 is a success, as much because it’s not Vista than anything. Microsoft has sold a lot of copies, but how many of those copies are to individual users, as opposed to either corporate upgrades or being sold with a new computer?

    But one of my favorite images from the last couple of years was seeing one of those large, coffee-table size “Microsoft Surface” touchscreen systems, and tossing my iPhone on it.

  • http://twitter.com/evula EVula

    Apple, for better or for worse, is one of the few tech companies out there that doesn’t compromise easily. They’re more likely to force the user to bend to their will, rather than running after what everyone says (and thinks) that they want. As a result, they have a far better product, though the end product isn’t perfect for everyone, that’s fine with Apple; they don’t care about being the every-product. They do their niche thing, and the market comes to them.

    Until Microsoft can do this, they’ll never have a chance. I simply cannot imagine them ever releasing a product that wasn’t engineered to appeal to the broadest possible spectrum of users. Even it’s what the market says they want, it isn’t what they actually want, and so they don’t end up buying it.

  • http://theuniversalsteve.com SSteve

    Microsoft is a slow-motion train wreck. Their determination to use Windows everywhere is going to be their demise. Ballmer is nothing but a doughy mid-level sales guy who somehow found himself at the helm of one of the largest companies in the US and now has no idea what to do with it. I’m not a Johnny Jingo, but I find it sad to see a major American company floundering so badly. It’s like Detroit all over again.

    • chris

      Well, Apple, Google (Android) and HP (webOS) are American companies as well, so the cleanup crew will still be State-side.

    • http://twitter.com/lawrencejob Lawrence

      Haha, you raise a good point with eloquence. However, please remember that Microsoft is not doing anywhere near as badly as the media will lead you to believe. Remember that it’s their job to catch attention, and controversial statements do just that. Independent/specialist blogs like this are just about the most honest a journalist that you can get. That said, I don’t really approve of this website’s obvious bias.

      I wonder if this’ll get through comment approval?

  • http://spaze.info rado

    hint: the OS is Xbox 360.

  • http://osxdaily.com macpaul

    When was the last time you heard news about Microsoft that actually created buzz and that people talked about? I think the only time in history that someone waited outside a store for the release of a Microsoft product was with the launhc of Xbox 360, which at this point remains their most compelling product… a TV gaming system.

    It’s disappointing they killed the Courier, it had promise and actually looked to be interesting. iPad has already won the tablet wars, now it’s left to Google to come up with something to compete.

  • Joseph

    Once more Microsoft demonstrates utter ineptness in responding to a new market surge. May Steve Ballmer remain at MS’s head as long as it takes to dismantle this dinosaur of the 90′s.

  • Andre Richards

    Shortly after Steve Jobs returned to Apple after the NeXT acquisition, he was interviewed by MacAddict Magazine and he made a comment that never left my head. He was asked how he felt about the persistent criticism of Apple that their weakness is that they “make the whole widget” instead of including multiple partners. He answered by saying that that was actually Apple’s greatest strength.

    I think things like Apple having custom processors for the iPad and having total control over how the OS works with that has indeed become Apple’s greatest strength. The fact that Microsoft is starting off this project by bringing in multiple partners shows that they still buy into that myth that it takes a lot of different companies to produce this stuff. We have one example of that working out well–PCs. I’m betting the end result of MS’s tablet is going to be clunky and lack any real vision. It will be a jalopy.

    It’s amazing that we’re here 20+ years later after the Mac and PC thing played out and the big names in the industry are still clinging to that old myth, even after Apple has disproved it with the Mac, iPhone and the iPad.

    • http://www.freiherrfoto.com Freiherr Foto

      well said…..! Just coz Microsoft lacks hardware knowledge doesn’t mean they can’t put together a gadget. They have done so with the Xbox. Why isn’t it competing? I suppose Balmer lacks foresight and vision. You need a strong personality to make things happen.

  • sam wight

    “I think the only time in history that someone waited outside a store for the release of a Microsoft product was with the launhc of Xbox 360,”

    Nope. Windows 95

  • Vamsmack

    Heres how Microsoft could actually get some traction. They’re reportedly teaming up with 10 hardware partners to bring out windows slate devices. START WITH ONE DAMN HARDWARE MANUFACTURER!

    Instead of trying to have ten different manufacturers create ten different devices they should work with one, give them all their time and resources getting one slate device running windows properly then move out to all manufacturers. They always seem to come out with these half assed ideas which never come to fruition. This is why Apple kicks ass in this area they focus on a single product and implementing their OS into that device then when it works well they release a product, they didn’t shoehorn their OS into the iPad.

  • http://perlucida.com adrinux

    Remember when Apple was doing really badly in the early 90′s? I remember an interview with Steve Jobs a few years ago where he pointed out it was the sales guy (or a succession of them) that was in charge during that bad period. He also pointed out that Ballmer was a sales guy, that Microsoft was unlikely to do well with Ballmer in charge.

    Ballmer’s marketing first strategy has failed, is failing and will continue to fail. Microsoft employ a lot of smart people and buy up a lot of smart people and technology. It’s the culture that’s killing them.

    I don’t think they’ll recover till Ballmer goes and is replaced by someone with more of a technical bent.

  • Dave

    Come on, Jim. They’re way ahead of their phone effort. Apple is working on iPhone 5 and planning iPhone 6 while Microsoft has yet to release its first true response to the iPhone.

  • James

    iPhone OS ( Now just named iOS ) is really a stripped down Mac OS X. Which under the hood is a flavor of BSD UNIX with a custom Mach kernel and a custom GUI based on Display PDF. The iOS replaced the display and modified the API to be touch based and the widgets modified for touch and the smaller screen.

    Microsoft released Vista and it was a disaster. Then they also bought Systernals / Winternals. Russinovich is now a Microsoft Fellow (Phd) in charge of the kernel. He led a team to optimize the boot process for what became Win7. But before he did that he created MinWin an internal project to build a minimal booting OS and optimize it. It is this base that makes Win7 boot so dang fast. They stripped out a lot of garbage and cruft.

    Windows 7 phone OS is supposed to use MinWin and a custom GUI. But we will see when it ships.

    Apple is successful for the same reason that Microsoft fails. Apple provides the hardware and software. Apple has a tight focus on quality and ease of use and artistic beauty. Microsoft is simply too big and too beaurocratic. There is no central focus or leadership. Teams compete they don’t collaborate.

    It is likely much harder to work at Apple then Microsoft. You can’t hide and be incompetant at Apple.

    • Michael Ward

      If the MS Tablet uses the Kernel of Windows 7 and builds the rest from the ground up, as Apple did with Mac OS X & iPhone OS then they might have a decent tablet OS.

      Of course, the hardware will likely still be awful…

  • http://Www.ImJustCreative.com Graham Smith

    Microsoft should Just hire those brilliant Indian dudes who recently developed the sub $35 tablet.

    Job done.

  • Eric

    I find it hilarious that after all this time, and all their screwups, they still have no clue. It must be bliss living in the Redmond echo chamber. Because they show no signs of awareness that there’s a world outside.

  • Pedro

    Microsoft business is mostly the software. It’s wrong to think that MSFT should release a iPhone competitor. Nobody talks about the Android Phone. It’s the OS, AAPL is still AAPL GOOG is MSFT, MSFT got a nice OS in windows Phone 7, but is lagging behind to get any traction. As for the tablets Win7 is not gonna cut it… Watch out for HP Web OS.

  • Dot

    Microsoft got to where it is by focusing on software that could run on practically anything and then playing hardball. It succeeded because there were lots of different hardware makers popping up. That worked then. After Apple made a success by making the software and hardware (and keeping all the money) that’s where the game is now, IMO. Hardware companies don’t want to depend on a software maker to do a good job because if most of the phones are running the same software, that means there will be a hundred phones competing with their phone and prices will have to be cut to the bone. The only standouts will be phones that have a different operating system.

    Microsoft has to offer something to smart phone market because of business and if I were them, that is what I would focus Microsoft’s attention. They need a smart phone offering that meshes well with the other software they market to business.

  • james blake

    Really I dont see why they cant just outsource a phone to be made to their spec…you dont see Acer Xbox360′s and HP xbox 360′s popping up…thye designed hardware, software, made them work (RROD not withstanding) had them made and sold them.

    No reason it cant work for a phone. I think apple tried something like that and it’s doing okay ;)

  • Doug

    @James

    Agreed, everyone seems to be under the impression that Apple wrote a new OS for iDevices when in fact they took the existing OSX and stripped back unnecessary components, such as printer support, to make it leaner.

    “At first, Apple marketing literature did not specify its name, simply stating that the “iPhone uses OS X”” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_(Apple)

    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q1.07/69DDEC68-9E93-4A21-9C5F-F15F0D67F740.html

    http://daringfireball.net/2007/01/os_x

  • David W.

    This is a case of if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    Look at Microsoft as an entire corporation. They really are a two product company: Windows and Microsoft Office. Everything that doesn’t have to do directly with Windows and Office has lost money and been a failure. (The XBox may be the only exception, but if it is profitable, it has only been so in the last few years).

    The Kin, the watch, Bob have all been almost immediate failures. The mouse and keyboard division has never been profitable. Neither has the Zune, and Windows Mobile, even in its heyday (if you could have called it that) was never a money maker. The compilers are popular, but their main purpose is to push Windows.

    Heck, even the VisualStudio isn’t a big money maker because so many copies are given away and so much is done in terms of support to keep corporations glued to Windows.

    So, when Microsoft looks at Netbooks or tablets, they see Windows as a solution.

    We must remember that iOS has the same underlying architecture and code of Mac OS X. Apple merely took the Aqua user interface off of Mac OS X, and modified it into a touch interface. There is no reason why Microsoft couldn’t have done the same*. The problem is that they want the Interface to look as Windows like as possible because, after all, the solution for everything is Windows.

    ===

    *Well, there maybe some issues. Mac OS X is a microkernel OS with many various layers building up the OS. Windows, on the other hand is a big single hulking monolithic kernel. Microkernels have been criticized for being more cool than efficient. But, they do have a big advantage: Taking Mac OS X and moving it from the PowerPC to Intel to ARM was quite simple. And, it is much easier to remove layers and modify existing layers to modify a Microkernel to a completely new architecture or task.

    However, Linux is also a single monolithic kernel, and both Android and WebOS have shown that with a bit of elbow grease, you can get a monolithic Kernel to work with a different processor family and to make a sprite little touch screen OS.

  • PB

    I think it doesn’t make a rat’s ass why they chose one operating system over another. To the average consumer, 98% of the customer base, they aren’t doing anything with these products beyond web-surfing, music/video/photos/books, and some applications. The fact is, they don’t give a shit about this silly academic argument between a bunch of propeller heads who are in their mid-20s, living in their parent’s basement, and playing dungeons and dragons online. If you think about the point of sale for an iPad, it’s a very basic telling of a modest set of features and benefits, and then it’s off to the cash register. No one gives a shit about calculating their poop density on an application, much less which platform was better suited to run it on.

    • Nick

      hmmm…so using your logic, why would people care about what kind of car they drive? Why choose one over another? They all have engines..seats…etc.

      And by the way, there’s nothing academic and “propeller head” about somebody being able to seamlessly connect with their pictures, people, music and information. People LOVE their pics, etc., and the experience MATTERS to people, despite your narrow view. Your generalization of the basement D&D players is also WAY off…your view of computer/device users seems to be trapped in the 80′s.

      You could be a rising star at Microsoft, underestimating the customer…missing the entire point. If I change all the “they’s” in your post to “I,” it makes a lot more sense.

      enjoy your HP pad!

    • isaac

      You may be right that the majority of people do not care. Some people however, do care, and these are people who refine and progress the goals of computer sciences specifically, but more broadly, further human progress through interaction with technology. The desire to work tirelessly at something, to perfect it – even if nobody at all cares but the creator – is a commendable trait. Your comment seems to suggest that mediocre will do just fine. You enjoy that.

  • http://shoemoneytonight.blogspot.com Obi-Wandreas

    I thought that Ballmer was there because, even though he knew roughly bupkis about computers, he was a good business man. The sheer level of ignorance of basic economics contained in the statement “They’ve sold more than I’d like them to sell.” is staggering. He stands on the shoulders of giants who created a market, yet he thinks business is a zero-sum game – that in order for you to make money, someone else has to lose. Every time he opens his trap, his company’s floundering becomes less mysterious.

  • Steven

    I, too, was struck by the simplistic nature of Ballmer’s zero-sum game attitude. Instead of continuing to promote the idiotic notion that in order for Microsoft to win, Apple has to loose, he should be concerning himself with the fact that, with respect to Mobile, not only is his company not in a position to compete, it’s not even in the game at this point.

    Bottom line: Microsoft’s irrational insistance upon “Windows Everywhere” is going to be their undoing. Simple as that.

  • Nick

    Microsoft looks like a Big Band looking for gigs trying to compete with the Beatles.

    Dinosaurs unfortunately, like GM and so many others. Hard to understand, seems like some people on this message board could run the company better, hard to imagine running it worse. Reminds me of Ford building SUV after SUV even as Toyota was having a hard time keeping the Prius in stock. sigh…. Maybe Ballmer’s next hit video will be him dancing and screaming “customers customers customers customers customers customers…”

  • LLIB SETAG

    You are forgetting the NeXTOS ( NeXTStep ) that Jobs developed at NeXT Computers while on “hiatus” from Apple. It is a MODULAR UNIX OS that can have different “programming modules” plugged in / out of OS to make it a SCALABLE, efficient, strong UNIX OS.

    Now back at Apple…NeXT OS + MacOS GUI = Mac OSX, thus Apple enters the UNIX age.

    Yes, iPhoneOS / iOS4 is MAC OSX ( scaled down / removed some desktop modules / installed A4 chip module / install Multi-Touch Module / Add some new energy efficiency module / add accelerometer, gyroscope & Retina Display modules & BOOM! Cool “mobile OSX” for iPhones / iPod Touches / iPads / i??? in the future.

    APPLE is a WHOLE WIDGET company :computing software & hardware designers.

    Microsoft is a bloated, bureaucratic software monopoly of Titanic proportions that takes YEARS to make a “quick change of course” & even longer when you have a Monkey BOY at the helm.

    They take a bloated ginormous OS that must work on THOUSANDS of different systems of partners in MULTIPLE versions of the OS so they must reduce everything to the lowest common denominator in order to even attempt to run on consumer computers ( NOT even counting numerous enterprise configurations ).

    So, let’s take a giant vise & squeeze Windows 7 so we can force fit it into a “mobile device” of numerous partners’ specifications, slap together a hacked version of “windows-touche” so it will be a “me-too-touchy-computy-gizmo” that will look 99% like an iPhone 1.0, but not as “fancy-schmacy-high techie” so we can be CHEAP! CHEAP! CHEAP!

    Windows 7 Phone will be the ZUNE of PHONES…D.O.A.

    Typical Microsoft : ALWAYS late to the party & then they are the biggest party poopers.

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