During a recent interview, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates spoke of some of his biggest regrets. One was the failure to dominate the mobile operating system market, dominated by Google and Android.
We can say that Microsoft dominates the present Windows computer market with 87% market share. The same cannot be said of the mobile phone market, where Microsoft entered but was unable to keep up with the competition.
Microsoft is late to the smartphone market
Following the departure of the iPhone in 2007, Android became the only alternative platform with tactile controls with no physical keys. Microsoft already had Windows Mobile by that time but the interaction was via keyboard or stylus pen.
In 2010, Microsoft launched Windows Phone 7 with touchscreen but by that time, Android and iOS were already dominating the mobile market. Support for Windows Phone 7 ended in 2017. This year, support for its successor Windows 10 Mobile will end.
Some blame Steve Ballmer for Microsoft failures
Following the departure of Bill Gates in 2000 as CEO, Steve Ballmer took the reins of the company. Ballmer famously underestimated the iPhone, saying it was too expensive (and still is) and would not be a viable choice for companies. Years later, we know who was right, right?
The partnership with Nokia produced still-loved mobile phones like Nokia Lumia but in the end the range didn't last long. Thus, some say that Ballmer could not follow Gates's original vision.
During the interview, Gates says Android is the standard platform for mobile phones, apart from iOS. Gates points out that it would have been "natural for Microsoft to win this market segment. There is only room for an alternative to Apple in the market."
If you want to see the full interview, here you have the video.
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