Steve Ballmer is making headlines after claiming last night that Windows Phone is ideally positioned between Apple’s locked-down iOS and Android’s untamed environment. In an interview at a Silicon Valley event, Microsoft’s CEO said the “wild” and “uncontrolled” Android is susceptible to malware while Apple’s ecosystem is “high-priced” and “highly controlled.”
Ballmer is obviously employing the hard sell to push Windows devices, but I think his claims are fairly accurate. The open source nature of Android can create headaches for consumers (which is why I said goodbye to the platform), while Apple’s devices are typically more expensive than competing gadgets and the user experience is almost totally controlled by Cupertino.
But consumers won’t be swayed by those claims alone. Android simply continues to pick up momentum despite its fragmentation problems and increasing malware risks, and many users are very comfortable spending a little more to join iOS, where those factors are far less troublesome. In fact, I think many uses don’t even want to put that much thought into which mobile platform they choose — they just want a great device that can be had for a reasonable price. So the challenge for Microsoft and its Windows Phone partners continues to be marketing their devices. Which is something that group has yet to do effectively.