Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft (s MSFT), should just stay away from predicting the success of consumer-focused products. He was wrong about iPod and was even more wrong about Apple’s (s APPL) iPhone. And now he is dismissing Google’s (s GOOG) Android Operating System and the devices (including phones) that are likely to use that OS. “I don’t really understand their strategy. Maybe somebody else does,” he quipped at a meeting down in Australia.
What’s there to understand, Steve? It is simple. It is free, and it is meant to eat Windows Mobile for lunch. And, somewhere down the line, Google is praying hard that enough people use the devices to use Google search and rake in even more ad dollars — hurting Microsoft in the process. Priceless!
Microsoft has a hard time responding to free and/or iconic products, so you hear head-in-the-sand statements like what Ballmer told people Down Under. It is why they are frozen by Apple iPhone and Google Android. Like I said, Windows Mobile is starting to resemble a proverbial white elephant.