In an interview earlier today with Richard Hoffman, Steve Ballmer pitched Windows mobile as better than Android and Apple’s iOS saying that the former is ‘wild’ and ‘uncontrolled’ while the latter is highly priced and highly controlled. Now this is the same Ballmer that laughed off the iPhone before it was released alluding that it’s impractical. iPhone went on to become a very successful product and set new standards for the smartphone world. I’m not going to vouch for Apple here though, I dislike their products as much as the next freedom freak. I actually do agree with Ballmer about the iPhone. However, Android is my friend and the reason I love it is mainly because it is wild and uncontrolled.
According to the latest Gartner findings, Android now has 72% of the smartphone market share. That is up about 20% from the same time last year. It’s not sheer luck that android is doing so well. It’s also not a coincidence that Samsung became the top phone selling manufacture after unveiling their Galaxy series that are powered by android. Android makes sense to users and developers alike. I developed my first android application before I knew any Java simply because of the huge number of people in the Open source community. Apparently their isn’t any problem I could come across that no one had already come across, posted on a forum and got dozens of answers. And now that I speak Java, things are much easier. Developing for iPhone requires that you first buy an overpriced Mac computer – there are hacks but you’ll still need a Mac. Despite their sleek UI, awesome UX and stability, Macs just don’t cut it for me. I’d give anything for a little more control in my life, including boycotting Apple products. Developing a Windows mobile app requires you purchase softwares, starting with a Windows OS. Where is the incentive?
If Microsoft can’t recognise the Open Source Community they should focus their energy on surface computing and gaming technology. Android is probably the best thing that ever happened to mobile telephony. Wild and uncontrolled is good for development. Earlier in the week there was news about a $21 dollar tablet(20% price of an iPad) made in the UK targeting students in India. And of course it’s running on Android. Now this is something that wouldn’t happen in a very long time if the tablet industry was owned by the profit centric, anti Open-Source Microsoft and Apple.