Microsoft CEO Ballmer slams Google's 'wild,' 'uncontrolled' Android

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer had choice words for rivals Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) during a Wednesday media event, bashing their respective Android and iOS mobile operating systems while trumpeting his company's own Windows Phone platform.

Speaking to LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman at a Microsoft event in Santa Clara, Calif., Ballmer called the Android ecosystem "wild" and "uncontrolled," citing issues like app compatibility and vulnerabilities to malware. He next targeted iOS, calling it "highly controlled" and "quite high-priced," noting that iPhones cost $1,000 in overseas markets like Russia.

"We need to stake out a position through two or three differences," Ballmer said, stating Windows Phone can compete with Android and iOS on quality, affordability and diversity. "That's kind of the best of both worlds, and that's available to us… We have a customer set that wants an alternative. We have a differentiated point of view."

Microsoft unveiled its overhauled Windows Phone 8 late last month. The company is relying on the revamp to boost its sagging fortunes in the battle for global smartphone supremacy: Windows Phone device shipments totaled just 3.6 million worldwide during the third quarter of 2012, corresponding to market share of 2 percent, according to data issued earlier this month by market intelligence firm IDC.

Android device shipments reached a record-high 136 million units during the third quarter, representing 75 percent of all 181.1 million smartphones shipped in the period. iOS is next with third-quarter shipments of 26.9 million, translating to a global market share of 14.9 percent. Even Research In Motion's fading (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry continues to outpace Windows Phone, maintaining a market share of 4.3 percent--RIM shipped 7.7 million BlackBerry smartphones during the quarter, off from 11.8 million year-over-year.

"We think there is a place to be the best of organization and the best of diversity, which we don't think the competition does," Ballmer told Hoffman. "Our challenge right now is not getting 60 percent of the smartphone market. Our challenge is to get 10 [percent], then 15 and then 20."

For more:
- read this TechCrunch article
- read this All Things D article

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