Bill Gates admits mistakes were made at Microsoft in the smartphone business

Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, was interviewed recently by CBS. The well-known figure in the tech industry is running a campaign to build awareness of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The couple have jumped into the deep end when it comes to charity work, but as well as being interviewed and questioned on the foundation, Gates was also answering Microsoft-related questions.

Gates also recently took part in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. Interviewer Charlie Rose threw out some hits, including a question on the smartphone industry. Gates responded with an honest answer, admitting that Microsoft failed to get out in the lead very early.

"We didn't miss cell phones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership. So it's clearly a mistake."

A mistake indeed. Windows Mobile wasn't terrible, but it wasn't enough to take down iOS and early Android. Windows Phone is a more radical and unique approach to smartphone computing, but there's still a long way to go.

Gates was also asked if he's satisfied with the leadership of current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. He responded by revealing both are highly critical of themselves and noted the following products that have been launched under Ballmer:

"Windows 8 is key to the future. The Surface Computer, Bing -- Xbox. But is -- is it enough? No, he and I are not satisfied that in terms of, you know, breakthrough things, that we're doing everything possible."

It's interesting to hear the former CEO of Microsoft admit that the company has indeed made mistakes, especially when it comes to smartphones.

While Windows Phone is beginning to gain traction, Microsoft has been criticised since Windows Phone 7 launched in 2010 that the company is simply too late to the game. Consumers would agree to a degree with how the platform is missing certain apps and features.

Source: CBS; via: Neowin (image source)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.