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McNamee: Using Android is like ‘having a motor scooter at the Indianapolis 500’

Zach Epstein
December 13th, 2012 at 10:40 AM

It looks like Microsoft’s (MSFT) new Windows 8 platform isn’t the only OS under fire. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Elevation Partners co-founder Roger McNamee fired shots all over the tech industry. As many recall, McNamee led the webOS charge following his firm’s investment in Palm, so he might not exactly have his finger on the pulse of the wants and needs of the modern consumer. Then again, Elevation was an early investor in Facebook (FB), Yelp and others, so it has certainly made some smart moves in the past. Some choice quotes from the interview follow below.

On Android:

“Android has been managed essentially to make it a profitless prosperity. Right now, if Google is (GOOG) not careful, Android will be Samsung or Samsung will be Android.”

“There is nothing wrong with Android as a product except that it does not do much. It is the equivalent of having a motor scooter at the Indianapolis 500.”

On Microsoft, Yahoo (YHOO) and Google:

“I am really frustrated when I look at Microsoft or Yahoo or even Google, remarkably enough, because it feels to me they are not trying to innovate. You hear not just Marissa Mayer, but the last couple generations of management at Yahoo have said that we’re going to buy our growth. At Microsoft, the same thing. They’re still so dedicated to Windows, that even though they own Skype and Xbox, two great platforms for the mobile market which could easily get them growing again, for whatever reason they seemed afraid to abandon the past.”

On Apple (AAPL):

“Apple showed that a large company can not only innovate, it can transform and really rebuild markets.”

On the whether it’s too early to write off Microsoft:

“Always. And way to early to write off Google. But I watch what they have done with Android and I’m flabbergasted because their market share in units is so high but look at the profit share. Apple’s profit share is 75 or 80% because Android has been managed essentially to make it a profitless prosperity. Right now, if Google is not careful, Android will be Samsung (005930) or Samsung will be Android.”

The full interview can be seen on Bloomberg’s site.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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