JK Shin, the Samsung Mobile Communications president who just received a promotion to co-CEO of Samsung Electronics, had some harsh words for Microsoft tonight as his company launched the Galaxy S4. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Shin downplayed a question about Samsung's relationship with Microsoft, instead highlighting the poor performance of the company's Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Windows RT devices next to Android.
What about your relationship with Microsoft? Has it changed after Nokia began to work more closely with Microsoft on Windows devices?
Smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft's Windows operating system aren't selling very well. There is a preference in the market for Android. In Europe, we're also seeing lackluster demand for Windows-based products.
Earlier this year, Samsung decided not to launch its Windows RT-based tablets in the US and some parts of Europe, citing customer confusion and a lack of demand. While Windows 8 has gotten off to a "solid start" according to Microsoft, it seems the software maker has more work to do if it's to convince its hardware partners of the new operating system's benefits.
But with speculation that Samsung is planning to reduce its reliance on Android — the company will release a high-end Tizen smartphone later this year — Shin was quick to pledge allegiance to Google for the time being. "We like Android," he said, "and we plan to continue our good relations with Google. I don't think it's correct to say that there's friction." And for those hoping for a smartphone using the flexible OLED screen Samsung showed off at CES, Shin has bad news — it's still "far off" release.