Not often, but every now and again Microsoft has been caught flat-footed as the next big technological thing comes out of left field (Netscape, anyone?).
MS CEO Steve Ballmer vows that won't happen on the smart phone front. "We're very focused on both Apple as a competitor and Linux as a competitor," Ballmer said, mindful of Apple's recent 1 percent share gain that put it as Number 4 in the OS Wars (right behind Linux). "I assume we'll see Android-based, Linux-based laptops, in addition to
phones, and we'll see Google more and more as a competitor in the
desktop operating system business than we ever have before."
Commenting on whether the Android system has been ported to a Netbook yet, Ballmer added "The seams between what is a phone operating system and a PC operating
system will change, so we have ramped our investment in the client
Currently, MS actually leads Apple in the mobile OS front (Numbers 3 and 4, respectively, with Android a distant also-ran), but Ballmer admits that the "consumer market mojo" of the other Steve's company isn't so easy to dismiss. He also sees the future of cell phone competition occuring on two fronts: selling apps (iTunes sez hello!), and offering bundled hardware/software/services packages a la the iPhone or Blackberry.