Bill Gates calls losing mobile race to Android his 'greatest mistake ever'

Lumia 950 XL
Lumia 950 XL (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Bill Gates says that his biggest mistake at Microsoft was losing the mobile space to Android.
  • Gates saw the non-Apple standard for the mobile market as a "natural thing for Microsoft to win."
  • While Gates sees Microsoft as a leading company right now, he believes it could be the leading company had it got mobile right.

In a candid new interview, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said that ceding the mobile market to Android was his "greatest mistake ever." Speaking at an event with venture capital firm Village Global (via The Verge), Gates touched on the subject as part of a larger discussion on some of the most important choices he made at Microsoft.

From Gates:

You know, in the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. It really is winner take all. If you're there with half as many apps or 90% as many apps, you're on your way to complete doom. There's room for exactly one non-Apple operating system, and what's that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G to company M.

Gates undoubtedly shares some of the blame with Steve Ballmer, who was Microsoft's CEO when the iPhone and Android entered into the mobile race. In fact, when asked about the iPhone launch, Ballmer laughed, stating that its lack of a keyboard would make it a no-go for business users.

Microsoft was arguably in a position to make more of a splash given its Windows Mobile efforts, but the company never made a commercially successful transition to the touch era. By the time Android started to take off, Microsoft was playing catch-up with its Windows Phone efforts and never managed to close the gap.

However, despite its mobile stumbles, Microsoft has managed to maintain momentum under the watch of CEO Satya Nadella, largely thanks to its more open approach to software and the backing of its cloud business. After its latest earnings report, the company surged past a $1 trillion market cap. Gates sees Microsoft's other assets, like Windows and Office, as "still very strong." But the former CEO admits that a mobile win would have made Microsoft "the leading company" instead of "a leading company."

You can check out Gates' full comments in the video below.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • You can't compete with free. Period. Windows Mobile having licensing fees was probably the biggest hindrance to adoption. Microsoft seems to have realized this when they started making Office Mobile free for devices under 10" where Google Docs were the biggest threat. If Windows 10 Lite licenses are free, I think it'll take off a lot faster.
  • I totally agree Hanley. As a society, we need to have an open discussion about free software violating anti-trust laws regarding predatory pricing. Android isn't really free. We pay even more for Android by the billions it adds to monetizable products we buy that are advertised on Android.
  • Absolutely. A windows phone was always more pricey than an Android phone with the same specs. But that is an inherent problem of Microsoft, they are unwilling to spend money to make money. Just look at Win 10 store. If they had started at 100 % share for developers they would have received tons of exclusive content. But they went for the same 30 % that Steam takes. Same for the Surface line. If they would price them at cost, they'd sell ten times what they sell. But they priced them against Apple, because if Apple can sell at a premium price to existing customers, Microsoft thinks they can ask a premium from new customers. And they are doing the same mistakes with HoloLens, while Google and Apple allow for free development and an existing market to actually make money with AR - Microsoft has no monetization at all for devs on HoloLens but asks 3.000 dollar just to develop for it. That's not how you develop a library for the inevitable consumer device - which will be crushed by the competition. Microsoft needs to spend money to make money.
  • @Hanley Gibbons Actually, there were multiple failure points not just android being free. 1) There was no cohesive store for applications each variant of Windows Mobile for OEMs in the past had their own store. 2) There was no app certification process to combine the APIs on offer. 3) They burned bridges with customers and OEMs alike by insisting that Wp7 had three standardised buttons and removing the upgrade path from WM6.5 devices to WP7 devices. Remember the Nokia advert that the smartphone beta test was over when they launched the Lumia N900? 4) No support for basic features such as copy + paste, file explorer despite being available on WM6.5 and below for aeons. This pig headedness cost them support in the enterprise space as Wp7 hardly any enterprise features out of the gate... all this despite being based on the CE kernal. 5) No msd card support, any msd card you plugged literally was swallowed by the OS and refused to run if you remove it. 6) No basic GUI standardisation and landscape support. 7) Region locked features we did not have access to all the fancy Bing features outside of the US. 8) Tap and pay only launching with Orange in France, one carrier and one country.... plus requiring secure element on sim which meant the US carriers decimated any movement on that front. 9) Unable to attach documents into an email as it would be locked to the camera roll, this lasted effecticaly three generations of the windows phone o.s 10) No notification centre at launch of Wp7 to until Wp8.1... These are only SOME of the issues and steps in mismanagement but the biggest mistake of all when Satya Nadella took over he axed the mobile division PRIOR to the launch of the L950 series thus they launched products at flagship prices despite not even worthy of being certified as alpha test devices. Sure, they've become better over updates and time but Satya Nadella also shares some of the blame as well in giving the mobile market to Android..
  • Sure they must blame themselves, they didn't listen.
  • "Actually, there were multiple failure points not just android being free." He said, "probably the biggest hindrance [...]."
  • Honestly no point in Gates saying anything now. Developers, customers and enthusiasts all said what MS should've /could've done but they did not listen. Now they lost probably an untold amount of revenue because of their lack of vision and execution. I still love WM10, still the best mobile OS I've ever used. I've since moved to an S9 back in February of 18'. Ok-ish phone but still not quite right for me.
  • Well said and exactly how I feel (I held out a little longer and finally grabbed an S10 when the 2019 end of support was announced).
  • My sentiments, exactly.
    They shouldn't have completely thrown in the towel. Nothing is too big to fail, not even Android.
    They should have listened to the comments on this website & others begging them to stay in the game.
    Just think how cool the Motorola Razr V4 folding flip phone would be running a version of Windows.
  • Well said again, we contributed a lot but sure they didn't listen!
  • I think a "no **** sherlock" is on point here
  • Not beating Android to the punch was definitely a huge mistake, but throwing in the towel was dumb too. The future of technology is going to revolve around mobile--AR, VR, IoT, digital assistants / AI, the convergence of operating systems across devices, etc. Those are all important areas of computing that will be completely dominated by Apple and Google now. At the time they abandoned Windows Phone, they were making gains, surpassing iOS as the #2 mobile OS in dozens of markets and Windows desktop. Abandoning Windows Phone instead of doubling down on it at that point has had a smorgasbord of ripple effects, as a plethora of their services have lost market share and turned into sunk costs as a result: Cortana, Skype, OneDrive (they should've fought harder to keep SkyDrive too), Office, Edge, UWP, etc.
  • Agreed, coip. In fact, Microsoft's history of success is frequently perseverance and small improvements until they won, often against bigger, more established competitors (Excel vs. Lotus, Word vs WordPerfect, Windows Mobile vs. Palm, etc.). I can't imagine Gates or Ballmer would have quit when Nadella did. I'm not certain it was the wrong strategy -- I think Nadella's is still playing out with the shift to Centaurus as a new category, rather than competing on "phones," but it sure seems they could have done better by staying in the space, rather than getting out and hoping to re-enter from another angle.
  • How are Office, Skype and even OneDrive now 'sunk costs'?
  • does anyone even use skype?
  • Outside business use? No.
  • Wrong. Stop generalizing people's use cases.
  • Anybody with family outside the country uses Skype.
  • @Coip. Throwing in the towel falls under SLT under Satya Nadella and I need to point out Phil Spencer was not part of the Senior Leadership Team then. If he was I doubt Microsoft would have thrown in the towel in the mobile space as it directly affects direct hardware integration and showcase of XCloud.
  • Windows CE rules!
  • Dreamcast... grumbly agrees haha. That console was waaaay ahead of it's time... and the xbox control pad imo is the direct descendant of the dreamcast control pad lol.
  • It's Balmer's fault and not Gates. There was a point when Balmer made the choice to spend money fixing the Xbox 360 red ring issue instead of going all in on mobile.
  • Windows Vista and then Windows 8 did not help either. Both were dumpster fires to what were their main cash cows at the time, diverting attention and resources from mobile.
  • I don't understand this comment. If they understood Mobile to be important they would've simply gotten more resources. It seems to me they just didn't think it was worth investing in.
  • Vista was great with new hardware. The problem was that too many vendors hadn't updated their drivers for it even though they had sufficient notice.
  • Well on the flip side, that decision still kept Xbox in the game so it was not all bad
  • Wait, Microsoft has only one billion dollar so when it spends it, it can't do anything else. Must be that.
  • And Nadella's, Windows Phone was steadily rising on the cusp of becoming a thing in Europe until Nadella came along. Note the difference in the way Gates and Nadella see mobile, contrast what Gates said to Nadell'a "I never could see why Microsoft needed a mobile OS anyway"--that is the attitude he came on board with.
  • Did Nadella really say that? Cause that would explain a lot.
  • @shryx86... Microsoft is not hardly strapped for cash and doesn't have just one single team working on products...
  • I still believe they have a shot in "mobile", but they need to focus on a FULL VERSION of WoA running on the device. Should come with a typecover/pen, mobile "xBoxCover", and a docking station. The mobile/gaming/in-the-office triple play! They should also make a lapdock like HP did for the Elite for taking to meetings & conferences. While all other mobile devices are just that "mobile" OSes, Microsoft's best to focus the forces on pulling off a full mobile PC. Windows Mobile always felt "Apple"... "Alphabet"... knockoff. A full version of WoA on a pocketable device feels... "Microsoft".
  • Windows Phone 8.1 was absolutely great. I can't imagine how much better it would be if MS kept hammering away at the OS, and Nokia still made the devices. If only WP7 came out in 2007 or 8... Coming out in 2010 is what gave WP it's worst chance at success. If it were first it would be the norm right now. Sometimes being first is best.
  • Even if WP beat Android to market, Microsoft's poor strategy would have been stream rolled by Android regardless. Android wasn't that far ahead in 2010, they still had a large app gap compared to iPhone. Even WP had Netflix before Android. WP sucked and Microsoft's strategy sucked. Timing was least of their issues. Android being free, open, and powerful was tough competition for expensive, closed, and limited WP.
  • Microsoft should have embedded a spy into Apple’s board of directors like Google did with Eric Schmidt in 2006.
  • I bought one on Ebay. Loved Windows Phone but the lack of apps where I live killed it for me.
  • I could deal with the lack of apps, but when support started falling off in the end, I couldn't deal. Looking forward to the Note 10. Hopefully I can trade in this Note9 for it. My Lumia 1520 was the best experience I've ever had with a smartphone. The Note 9 is very very nice, but Android is a cluster. The perfect phone would be Windows Phone with the features, and apps, of Android. That would be great.
  • they would have needed to give out wp8.1 free to other vendors to use and put on their devices
  • I miss my Nokia 1520☹️
  • I don't miss mine.. I still have it. I just miss new versions of WP coming out, and new Hardware. Imagine a WP version of all the 2019 Android hardware we have now. Would be a wonderful world.
  • If you want locked down, featureless, and uniform platforms that make all your decisions for you, then Apple is your best bet. Microsoft's version is quite poor actually, hence it going away with minimal success.
  • this is true
  • The only way Windows Mobile could come back now is with full app compatibility with Android. The losses to regain there are just too great without it. Having said that, the rumours that Centaurus (or whatever it's called) has Android compatibility actually fills me with a little bit of hope that this might be how they're planning to do it.
  • Actually I put greater hope in platform agnostic apps than I do Android apps. See PWA.
  • Nah, the mistake was not being fully committed. Microsoft abandoned its partners and its customers. After the initial push, virtually no effort was put into the platform until its ignoble death. I finally succumbed and bought a Samsung Android phone last month because my apps were finally being murdered. The Android operating system is still as awful as it was ten years ago, and I wish it could do the things Windows Phone could do ten years ago. There is still room for new operating systems and technology in the mobile sphere, but it requires full commitment, and broader long term thinking than the binary view of Bill Gates. BTW, the Microsoft apps and launcher blow chunks. Even Microsoft's apps ran better on Windows Phone.
  • There is nothing Windows Phone could do that Android can't. Windows phone was so limited and locked down, innovation was nearly impossible with the platform.
  • W10M had a more fluid OS, did not bog down over time, superior integration with MS products, Continuum to run Win apps (not an Android Dex) and burgeoning ecosystem.
    W10M's LiveTiles weren't a resource hog like Android widgets. W10M also had a great balance of flexibility to customize, yet not fragmented GUI's like Android.
    I still love my 950XL. It is also much more fluid now than my Galaxy S8+.
    If W10M had near the same apps as Android, I would have never switched.
  • W10M was unusable for the first year until the anniversary update. Windows Central didn't even review the 950XL it was so bad. Even if Live Tiles are less resource intensive, they are useless. No interactivity, no special functions at all. Pointless compared to a good widget. W10M had nearly no customization. Choosing what order you wanted your square icons, that was it. You still haven't figured out that fragmentation is what makes Android great. Everything being the same was a very bad strategy. If you want everything uniform, Apple does it best.
  • W10M was more customizable than Android, and no matter how much you hate Windows mobile there are millions of people who loved it, so your opinion is not always right.
  • i agree with you
  • You can't look at just one issue. There was a series over missteps and oversights that killed Windows Phone. -Charging devs a fee to make apps for the platform.
    - Not really doing anything to fix the app gap.
    -Nearly ZERO advertising. There are multiple things that killed WP but the main one is simply Microsoft's failure to see the future. They didn't see where the market was going and they thought they could ride the PC gravy train forever. And I don't think it's fair to blame Nadella. The platform was on life support long before he took over the company. Could he have turned things around? Perhaps. But I don't think it was very likely, and you don't want to be the newly promoted head of any company and try to justify pumping millions of dollars into a failed venture.
  • I agree that MS made mistakes charging developers and refusing to work with the carriers to push their products. Spoiled by their ability to dictate terms to OEMs with Windows, MS just did not learn how to play in this new market. Part of that was probably related to their toxic corporate culture which Ballmer did not begin to change until late in his tenure. I disagree about the advertising though. Windows Phone ads and product placement were all over TV. Perhaps they weren't on the "urban interfaces" that Apple used to appear to be cool, but I don't believe Windows Phone failed because people didn't know they were out there. It failed because the carriers had no incentive to push them and "app gap" issues. Still, I believe Satya overcorrected. I agree with him in the need to write down the Nokia acquisitions. Ballmer panicked. Microsoft wound up owning factories and warehouses and distribution chains that it had never owned before. This was a bad fit. Yet I think a better course of action for Nadella would have been to scale Windows Mobile back, not end it. Hang on to the designers and optics people from Nokia, contract out manufacturing of phones to others, and release a range of products in those markets where Windows Mobile was a clear number two while also pushing out an annual flagship device for fans in the US and elsewhere, filling a niche space like the one One Plus seems to have filled. This would have kept MS in the mobile space while the convergence we are seeing now plays out and new devices emerge.
  • As far as I remember there were few hollywood productions and tv series such as:
    1.Hawaii 5-0
    2.Terminator Genysis
    3.MI Rogue Nation
    4.Like Share Follow
    being a direct advirtesing of WP
  • They also show up in several British shows and BBC America's Orphan Black (though they switched to iPhones in one season but back to Windows Phones later).
  • Seen them quite regularly in Coronation Street (soap opera) but I think they're gradually being phased out for Androids.
  • Hawaii Five-O is still using Windows phones.
  • Hmmm, well my 2 cents is: This was all caused by two things:
    1) Steve Ballmer's myopic focus on quarterly Windows profits to the exclusion of all other things (and thus his "Windows First, Windows Everywhere" obsessions.)
    2) (See above) refusal to let Google become the default Search Engine on Windows Phone. Google demanded MS let Google be the default search engine on WP but MS said no, it would be Bing! In response, Google refused to let ANY of their software have native apps on WP (because they were all tied into Google Search API.) This killed any buzz WP got with reviewers who, for purely selfish reasons, demanded all their Google Apps work perfectly (Like they did on iPhone and Android) on WP, and when they didn't, they trashed it. Mercilessly. (Ignoring the fact that Google PAID APPLE $2 Billion/year to LET Google be the default apps on it, and they did NOT offer that deal to MS, in fact MS offered to PAY GOOGLE, but they refused, knowing that a WP with navtive Google Apps would kill off Android in the crib.)
    Eventually Ballmer got the memo and made WP OS FREE to License (for MOST manufacturers) but by that time it was too little, too late. The lack of NATIVE killer apps like YouTube, Google Maps, GMail, Google+, GDrive, etc. doomed WP to niche status, and it never climbed above 10% market share, and lost money year after year.
    I miss WP dearly, but that is the market. No do-overs, no mercy. Execute or die. Should-a, would-a, could-a.
    Now even Apple and Samsung are beginning to feel the pinch as Phone sales have plateaued, and both have a tsunami of cheap, high-quality, Chinese phones looming over their profit margins.
    Nadela did us all a favor by killing WP before it bled the company to death.
  • WP never climbed above 3.5% worldwide. If it hit 10%, Windows phone would still be around today.
  • It peaked at 12% in the UK and parts of the EU. It never climbed above 5% in the US, and never cracked 1% in Asia (the biggest phone market by far.)
  • So, qualify your statement. 12% in the UK is nothing when you are trying to make it sound like they had 10% worldwide. 3.5% worldwide was the peak. slightly better numbers in some small 3rd world markets or Nokia strongholds wasn't impressive and didn't drive large sales numbers.
  • WP had a higher market share in some regions than Apple but then Microsoft screwed over Nokia.
  • Higher percentage in some 3rd world countries selling $59 handsets using Nokia's name. That isn't an accomplishment, especially since the return rate was huge.
  • i never saw a $59 windows phone here,
    In the so called '3rd world', we don't buy phones as cheap as you do. Here an IPhone XS 512gb cost US1400.00
  • It comes down to those things:
    - Android was free
    - Android was customizable
    - Android phones just killed in the distribution, though it was partly due to 1 and 2
    - Nadella's plan to deal with the hard situation was so much out of touch that it is hard to explain. While the battle was nearly lost he made the plan that is hard to comment, to the level that even the first year student would propose something better than that. (not to say that everything he did was wrong and that he is not overall at least a good CEO, just this particular decision was like that).
  • WP/WM wasn't customizable??? LOL can't believe I read that....
  • Merely being able to choose what order to put your square icons isn't much customization compared to Android. It is almost no customization at all compared to everything you can do with a Launcher on Android.
  • Exactly. OEMs couldn't change even the wallpaper (as it didn't exist). They couldn't make their phones any different on the pictures than the default layout of the tiles. No OEM in this world would surrender to that.
  • When it goes about free stuff, I am always referring to my favourite "There is no such thing as a free lunch" :)
  • It doesn't matter, we'll have nice memories and ( bricks) at the end of year ! I only have three!!
    Thanks 🙏 Microsoft
  • Ah...ya. The second was telling us all over and over again that 🙄🙄🙄our Windows phones weren't dead....o
  • 'Mistake' is an understatement.. incompetence sounds more like the fact.. and incompetence at hyperscale
  • Gates is partly right in that they lost out to Android but his bigger mistake was hiring Nadella who threw away any chance in mobile by firing all the Nokia folks and canning Lumia. Toss in the disasters that include Andromeda and a host of cancellation and Nadella is far and away Gates' biggest mistake. Nothing else comes close. Oh and don't forget the multitude of promises that Nadella made about products, including Nokia software upgrades that never happened. The man would not lie straight in bed and has gone a long, long way to spreading distrust of anything coming out of MS.
  • It was beyond over when Nadella took over. They had no way to compete at that point.
  • Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaa ha ha ha
  • I still use a windows phone but will buy an iphone because hackers know too much about
    the Android OS for me to feel safe using it.. Microsoft had a enough people using Windows
    phones to sell an upgraded 950 XL to them & keep Windows phone alive. Now Microsoft is
    only strong in mobile devices through 2 in one devices like the Surface Pro Tablets, Surface
    books & the Surface Laptop PC's but cannot offer folks s smartphone to complete their
    lineup because Nadella gave up. what a shame. the Coming Centaurus 2 separate touch
    screen folding PC had better have a model with a built in 4/5 G Feature phone to make it
    stand out from the Folding PC's that Microsoft's partners are going to bring out later this
    year and next year. we will probably see folding PC's at 2020 Computex and 2020 mobile
    world congress. The big question is will folks trust buying a Microsoft Surface Folding
    2 screen PC after they gave up selling Windows phones.
  • The upcoming Centaurus device is massive.... using it like a phone would pretty hilarious lol.
  • My limit is a Note 9 cuz it actually fits in my hand. I'm more than happy to spend on a should bag to take a Surface along rather than work on an inadequate compromise of a smaller form factor with slightly different, not especially better, 'poratability'.
  • yoo this model of the Centaurus device would be sold with a blue tooth headset to use to send & receive voice calls, not everybody would like to send and receive any voice calls this way but enough people would buy & use this type of foldable PC to make them worth selling
  • @Gregory Newman So... what happens if your bluetooth headset runs out of charge :P lol. I don't think wired handsfree kits are strong enough if a device like a Centaurus dangles from it haha.
  • yoo this model of the Centaurus would be sold with a blue tooth head set to use to send & receive voice calls not everyone would like this version
    of the Centaurus but enough people would buy this model to make them worth selling
  • If you afraid of hackers, I am sure you would never touch a Windows machine. No platform is hacked as much as Windows. Android is much harder to exploit since there are so many different software combinations in the wild. Security through fragmentation.
  • Except for, you know, when apps Ina store contain certain intentional holes conveniently built in.
  • Also having a lead in the mobile space would have enabled XCloud to be showcased on their own products as well as integrating with infotainment systems in cars, ar, vr and productivity (hot desking) too. Along with enabling sales of Skype credit and Onedrive thus increasing office 365 sales. But.... the mobile division got the axe instead to generate short term profits... (laziest way to generate quick profits) the accolade for that goes to the current CEO, Satya Nadella not Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer.
  • "But.... the mobile division got the axe instead to generate short term profits" Um, no. It got axed because it was losing billions and Windows phones were not selling. Apple sells more phones in 1 year than all the Windows phones ever sold. Android sells more in 2 months than all Windows phones ever. In that kind of market - against that kind of competition - exactly how many more years should MS continue to sell phones? Its over. Let it go.
  • " It got axed because it was losing billions and Windows phones were not selling." That enforces my point for short term profits, by reducing overheads you obviously make profit if the income stream stays the same or increases. " Apple sells more phones in 1 year than all the Windows phones ever sold. Android sells more in 2 months than all Windows phones ever. In that kind of market - against that kind of competition - exactly how many more years should MS continue to sell phones? ". Yes. Don't forget the Surface write down, the losses Bing has made YoY before becoming profitable. Just to name two divisions that have made losses. Secondly, sales plateau just like iphone sales have recently (somewhat) and android apps do not lend well to larger screens (yet). Thirdly, it's a key piece of any ecosystem and as without any Windows based mobile device how does Microsoft showcase interoperability between their services on offer? Don't forget home automation and connected home appliances which will hit the market in the next few years once price points become affordable for most households. Also when the internet addicted teens become adults and prefer to use the apps for everything - heck it's already started some young parents are using apps to guide them when it comes to parent hood and are already using smartphones as nannies. It's foolhardy to line the coffers of your competition and to enable them to reduce your sales thus your profits because that is what is going to happen and is happening case in point mouse support for Ipads. Apple will in the near future want to get into the infrastructure business and Google is already there with Google fibre, that also puts Azure in jeopardy perhaps not now but it will be in the future. I've said it before (and I'm not the only one) that Apple and Google aren't going to sit idly by when they can generate more profit and it's only natural for a company to want to grow otherwise it becomes stagnant over time.
  • I think they will never take the hill with a Windows product because of the app gap. No amount of anything will overcome this issue. Like Amazon, Fork Android and go that route, they could vastly improve on in and it would parallel Google forking Apple's webkit to make Chrome. as long as they keep migrating Android Apps simple there's every reason to count on success.
  • As the article said Balmer was the CEO. It happened on his watch. He dismissed Android with his typical arrogance and it cost them. He was a terrible CEO who never created a single new business or product.
  • Sorry you are so wrong. Balmer's legacy: 1) Windows XP , 2) Xbox 3) Skype acquisition 4) at that time under Balmer annual revenue went from 25 billion $ to 70 billion $ 5) gross profit of 75 cents on every dollar in sales 6) Balmer founded the MS enterprise 7) diversified product mix 8) MS Surface
  • Many tech companies have come and gone when their technological leadership was left behind by new innovations or changes in the market landscape. Fortunately, not all technological innovations force prior leaders aside. MSFT has demonstrated the importance of the existing PC model and the ability to transition to moving the PC ecosystem into the cloud based on the software subscription business model. Does anyone think the smartphone era will persist for decades to come? Sure. But how will revenue be earned? Hardware? Apps? Subscriptions? Cross-platform services and systems to deliver services through various devices at any location? Clearly, MSFT has a leadership role to play in the mobile space. They are not hurting for revenue. There is a reason MSFT is a Trillion Dollar company. Sure iOS pushed Apple to the Trillion dollar club but their future is through services in the iOS ecosystem and with various hardware development.
  • Microsoft had many achievements, still Windows Mobile wasn't one of them. It seems like MSFT is still tributary to Balmer syndrome. Looking to other comments, how can somebody put WM on the same level with Android and iOS? Simply they don't play and never played in the same league. With more common sense maybe MSFT wouldn't have been in the situation to announce WM's end of support. Common sense would have also bring a higher respect for "the customer". I remember the series of bugs in WM updates that created waves of frustration on forums. How that nobody in MSFT leadership took a stand to correct the dysfunctional relation between development and testing teams. Or could this mean again that MSFT didn't care about the customer. I bought a Windows phone with a clear promise, that was not fulfilled by MSFT. I did my part paying for such phone, so Bill Gates should ask if MSFT did its part of the deal too. When I take my phone out of the pocket people are asking what's that. Now, I have to tell them a story.
  • Worst part is that in the early 2000 he said in an interview... That mobile phone was the future of computer... I personally put the blame on Balmer for the most part
  • And it is the future so Microsoft has lost it all when it comes to personal handhold computing. Only question left is whether Microsoft will wake up and smell the coffee or not.