Steve Ballmer at D8: Apple, Google, and Smartphones

Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, can always be counted on to make a conference, no matter the setting, an interesting one. This time around, while sitting on All Thing D's stage at the D8 conference, Ballmer managed to cover just about everything he could that relates to Microsoft. From Apple, the iPhone and iPad, to Google's multiple Operating Systems, he painted a very colorful picture of what he thinks about all of it.

When Steve Jobs spoke about the iPad and PCs, he mentioned that PCs are trucks, and that they'll essentially be needed less and less as time passes. Ballmer, obviously, doesn't agree with that. He believes that tablets are PCs in of themselves, just endowed with a different form factor. That tells us that he considers the two not to be mutually exclusive, and that the two need to learn to co-exist. We'd agree with that, even if we want all the great features of a PC in our tablet devices, too.

As for Google, Ballmer became a bit more animated on that subject. He's confused as to why the Mountain View company would want to create two mobile Operating Systems, and release them at the same time. Ballmer said that have two mobile Operating Systems is actually incoherent, and it doesn't aide at all in gaining any coherence in the ecosystem in which you're trying to survive. Furthermore, while discussing Android-based tablets (which is an issue that's come up, recently), Ballmer mentioned that several of Microsoft's partners in the past had tried Linux in netbooks, and obviously that didn't turn out too well. He also said that Microsoft would do what it takes in the market.

Probably the most interesting aspect of the conference, though, was Ballmer's take on smartphones. He says that Microsoft "missed a whole cycle." As for Apple, he admits that the Cupertino-based company did a good job of coming out of nowhere. They've also done the best job in the Browser department. Without a doubt, Ballmer's got his sights set on Google, and Apple obviously, and we'll have to wait and see if Microsoft does something about it. You can find more of the interview over at All Things D's site, which we wholeheartedly recommend.

[via All Things D]