Microsoft, Google, and the Bear

Following up on his aforelinked story in the NYT today, Saul Hansell makes the case that Google’s rival for Android is not the iPhone, but specifically Windows Mobile:

“If you asked me to go to a venture capitalist and pitch the Android business model, I don’t think I could,” said Robert J. Bach, the president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, at a meeting with reporters earlier this month. […]

“If you get Android, you get an operating system that is a version of Linux and a few tools,” Mr. Bach said. “That’s fine. But what are you going to do as your music experience? What will you do for your photos experience?”

So when everyone thinks about great mobile music and photo experiences, they think of Windows Mobile? This is another one of those quotes from a Microsoft executive where it’s scary to consider that maybe Bach actually believes what he’s saying.

Microsoft’s angle is that because Android is freely available to handset makers, that Google has no business model for Android. But they do: search advertising. (Another case where I wonder whether Microsoft says this because they think people are stupid and will believe whatever Microsoft says, or, worse, if their executives actually believe this.) What Google wants are lots of mobile search queries. The one angle Hansell misses, which further makes the point that Android is not targeted against the iPhone, is that the iPhone generates a ton of mobile search queries for Google. Apple may see Android as a competitor, but Google loves the iPhone.

Monday, 26 October 2009