Bill Gates Describes Microsoft's Early Smartphone Efforts as "Clearly a Mistake"
February 18, 2013 3:10 PM
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The Windows Mobile era took a heavy toll on Microsoft's mobile efforts
In a new candid interview with CBS Corp.'s (
) titular station, Microsoft Corp. (
) co-founder and
Bill Gates discusses his
struggles in the mobile era
. Microsoft today accounts for less than 5 percent of the smartphone market, according to most estimates.
For a time, Microsoft
held nearly a quarter
of the fledgling smartphone market (circa 2004). But it failed to keep up with rivals like Google Inc. (
) and Apple, Inc. (
), sticking for years with the increasingly dated Windows Mobile platform. In November 2010, Microsoft launched
a new operating system
, Windows Phone, which was ambitious but lacked strong third-party hardware support. Today Microsoft is still struggling to sell the market on its latest mobile OS --
Windows Phone 8
Bill Gates in the interview calls Microsoft's former cellphone strategy "clearly a mistake", remarking, "There's a lot of things like cellphones where we didn't get out in the lead early. We didn't miss cellphones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership."
The tech icon says that both he and current CEO (
and close friend
) Steve Ballmer are both incredibly "self-critical". He comments, "He [Ballmer] and I are not satisfied that in terms of breakthrough things that we're doing everything possible."
Steve Ballmer's company has struggled in the mobile era, since Mr. Gates' retirement.
[Image Source: SFGate]
Mr. Gates expressed confidence, though, that it's not too late for Microsoft to claw its way to a significant mobile market share. He's
a big fan of Windows 8 and Microsoft's Surface tablet
Microsoft is reportedly aiming to
unify the Windows and Windows Phone platforms
under one consistent set of mostly overlapping APIs and user interface themes, to allow users to feel more comfortable with both form factors, and to help developers save time deploying cross-platform apps. The first unified release, Windows Blue, may land late this summer.
The revisions are also accompanied with some big leadership change. Windows President Steven Sinofsky was
new rising stars are taking his place
at the company. Some investors have
called on CEO Ballmer to step down
, but for now Mr. Ballmer is
in the top spot,
vocal as ever
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Windows 8 Phone is great
2/18/2013 6:30:03 PM
I feel you but even I cant ignore Samsung did right with the Galaxy S3 to give Android a reputable device that deserves acknowledging. I too favor the Windows Phone OS over Android but I cant say that Androids latest is horrible its rather good.
I personally think the combination of Windows 8 Phone and the Nokia 920 is personally better than the Samsung Galaxy S3 running Android but both are great and far ahead of the iPhone.
Why I like the Nokia 920 over Galaxy S3 or iPhone
-Doesnt require constant carrier connection for maps to work so it doesnt cut heavily into my data plan.
-Touch Screen works even while wearing gloves. - I Ski.
-Best low light camera period.
-Nearly indestructible - watch the torture test videos.
-Windows Phone OS has never let me down.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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