Microsoft’s plan to bring Android apps to its Windows 10 Mobile platform, has been put on hold, but it seems one notable figure from the company’s recent history would disagree with that decision. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s former CEO and its biggest individual shareholder, wasn’t happy with current chief Satya Nadella’s answer to a question about the lack of Windows phone apps at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
The audience member was asking Nadella about what Microsoft plans to do about its lack of support for important mobile apps like Starbucks, according to Bloomberg. Nadella cited the company’s effort to get developers to create universal apps across PC, mobile, and Xbox, but Ballmer said “That won’t work.” Instead, Windows phones need to be able to “run Android apps,” he reportedly said. Under Microsoft’s current plans, there’ll still be a route for developers to port iOS apps to Windows.
This all may seem a little rich coming from the man who presided over Microsoft’s mobile foundering with an extreme reluctance to embrace other platforms — it’s certainly easier for him to take this position now. But with more and more high-profile apps actually leaving the Windows Store altogether, it’s clear that Microsoft needs a credible app strategy if its latest mobile initiative is to gain any ground at all.
Elsewhere, Ballmer blasted Microsoft’s reporting of cloud earnings as “bullshit,” arguing that “they should report the revenue, not the run rate. It’s sort of a key metric — if they talk about it as key to the company, they should report it.” Microsoft posts its cloud business figures as an extrapolated rate for the year, but Ballmer is said to believe that more disclosure is needed because the margins for cloud services are lower than Microsoft’s traditional software products.
“We enjoy a regular dialogue with Steve, and welcome his input and feedback, as we do from our other investors,” Chris Suh, Microsoft’s general manager for investor relations, said in a statement.