Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer blasted Google Android products at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco just as the new OS was being rolled out in Hong Kong.
You don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone, and you do to use an Android phone, Ballmer said. It is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones. Microsoft recently introduced its own Windows 8 OS for the tablet sector to battle Apple's iOS 5.
When moderator John Battelle asked Ballmer if he was glad he didn't buy Yahoo, Ballmer laughed at the question and responded, You know, times change. When you ask any CEO [that type of question] after the market has fallen apart, it's 'hallelujah.'
Sometimes, you're lucky, Ballmer added.
Battelle was referring to Microsoft's $47.5 billion offer to purchase Yahoo in 2008, which Yahoo famously snubbed. The refusal led to Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang to step down from his CEO post.
Ballmer was quick to add that Yahoo still has a lot going for them. After all, Yahoo still has its search deal with Bing, Microsoft's search engine, and Microsoft still provides a sizable chunk of the technology for Yahoo's search site.
The moderator continued to prod Ballmer and asked why he should buy a Windows phone instead of an iPhone.
Both [an iPhone and a Windows phone] are going to feel very good in your hand and both going to look very beautiful physically. When you grab a Windows phone and use it, your information is front and center. You don't have to scroll through seas of icons and blah blah blah, Ballmer said. A Windows phone gets things done.
Ballmer added that there's certainly some nice things Apple's done with Siri, but we've been doing the same kinds of things for years.
While he criticized Google and Apple of their smartphone offerings, Ballmer refused to confirm that Microsoft had any plans to develop its own line of smartphone hardware.
We are working very well and very hard with manufacturers to make sure there is a wide range of Windows 8 products, Ballmer said.
When Battelle asked Ballmer directly if Microsoft would build its own phone, the CEO replied, We've been focused on building hardware innovation, and we will continue to do so. But thank you for your suggestion.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., will announce its first quarter earnings Thursday. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of 68 cents per share, up from 62 cents per share last year, a 9.7 percent jump.
Forbes also projects revenue to be $17.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of 6.5 percent over last year's total revenue of $16.2 billion.