Overconfident Microsoft downplays Android threat

Does Google’s wildly popular Android mobile OS pose a clear and present danger to Microsoft Windows? 

Well, not according to corporate VP Steve Guggenheimer, who manages Microsoft’s relationships with PC manufacturers and hardware companies.

Indeed, an overly-optimistic Guggenheimer told the Wall Street Journal that there was “always lots of noise at the beginning” of a new category.

“When netbooks…were introduced three years ago…It was 95% not on Windows, and three years later it is 95% on Windows.”

Guggenheimer also claimed that manufacturers were simply “experimenting” with Android and that Microsoft’s support for Windows will be seen as “more valuable” over time. 

“There are two things you have to look at: Is free really free, and what does that mean over time?

“Windows has proven to be a phenomenal platform for our partners to make money…They know we are going to continue to build support to the operating system.”

However, Gizmodo’s Brian Barrett opined that Guggenheimer’s claim was as “faulty as an overheated Archos 9.”

“Because netbooks eventually became almost exclusively Windows machines, tablets will too? First, there was no viable, mainstream Linux competitor when netbooks first launched, to say nothing of one with Google’s market-moving influence. In fact, if anything Microsoft should be worried about losing their netbook dominance once Chrome OS gets its broad release,” wrote Barrett.

“Second, there have already been plenty of Windows tablets on the market that have failed to get any traction in the marketplace. And the platform’s most prominent supporter—the HP Slate—was killed in favor of webOS. In fact HP spent $1.2 billion, effectively, not to have to release a Windows 7 tablet.”