Microsoft Wireless Network Setup Wizard Apparently Incompatible With FCC Spectrum Auction
The Federal Communications Commission’s pending auction of the 700 MHz spectrum might be joined by Google and perhaps even Apple as well, but there’s at least one tech powerhouse that’s intent on staying away: Microsoft.
In remarks following his keynote address at the CTIA Wireless IT and Entertainment 2007 show yesterday in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said the company won’t buy into the telecommunications market. “No, we don’t have plans to participate in the spectrum auction,” said Ballmer. “We may be broader in what we do than any company, but we have a core competency. And we think the telecom industry has a core competency. It takes a real expertise to set up networks, to invest in capital expenditures, to provide customer service 24/7–that is a core competency. What would it buy us to own a piece of the spectrum? It would probably alienate us.”
That said, Microsoft is still intent on powering the mobile revolution. It just plans to do it with software–specifically a mobile platform that spans both the enterprise and consumer markets. “Consumers will want phones that span all life personas: work life, personal life, life with family and friends,” Ballmer said. “People do not want to pull out multiple devices–that is not how we drive critical mass. People want phones to be general-purpose devices to support them in work and life. That’s incredibly, incredibly important. … We have to think about the phone as a universal remote control for your life–your business life as well as your personal life.”