Fighting words over Windows Phone 7, Android

At mobile conference, Google and Microsoft executives trade verbal jabs

They should get these guys on stage together next time. Then they could exchange nasty text messages in front of the audience.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the head of Google's Android efforts and Microsoft's Windows Phone vice president took turns dismissing each other's product in separate appearances at the All Things Digital: Dive Into Mobile conference in San Francisco.

(Also see: Despite Microsoft claim, Pandora's planning no WP7 app)

First, Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of engineering in charge of Android mobile OS development, on Monday called Apple's iOS -- which powers the iPhone -- and Android the two obvious leaders in the mobile operating system market. OK so far, though BlackBerry fans may not agree.

Then he dismissively refers to Windows Phone 7 as a "good 1.0 product" (I'm surprised he didn't throw in "little") that's being held back by some legacy issues. From the WSJ:

“There’s some stuff that’s 20 years old in Windows Phone 7,” Mr. Rubin said. “You have this package of stuff that was invented before the Internet. It gives us a speed advantage. We can adapt and be more agile.”

Maybe, but did Rubin ever stop to think that some Windows Phone 7 users might like the device's rotary dialer? (I'm kidding, I'm kidding.)

Well, the very next day, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore says he suspects Android has cobwebby code from the early Linux days. Which is sort of a weird put-down, because he then goes on to acknowledge:

“It is true that we have a kernel that has been around for a long time,” he said. “I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”

So is old code bad, or does it age like a fine wine? I'm confused.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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