Bill Gates on the biggest mistake he’s ever made

Microsoft became the industry leader in this market with the Windows operating system in the 1990s. So you might think that founder Bill Gates did everything right in terms of business. But the tech genius has one thing on his mind, which he described as “the greatest mistake of all time”.

While Apple runs its very own operating system for its iPhones and iPads with iOS , almost all other manufacturers share one system – Android . Although other companies have tried to set up their own mobile operating system over the years, Google’s 2008 published operating system has prevailed to this day. Alternative operating systems such as Firefox OS, Symbian, Ubuntu and Tizen failed due to the lack of apps and the resulting low distribution. Microsoft was also unable to convince with Windows Mobile – a fact that company founder Bill Gates still has a hard time with today.

Bill Gates on the missed opportunity

At an event organized by Village Global especially for founders and reported by Techcrunch, Gates spoke about Microsoft’s missed opportunity in the mobile market. “The biggest mistake I’ve ever made is the mismanagement that has resulted in Microsoft not being what Android is.” There is only room in the market for one more major operating system besides Apple’s iOS. And Google has secured this place with Android. The figures confirm this view: Apple and Google together have a total market share of almost 100 percent. The shares of the competitors are therefore as good as negligible.

Unlike in the mobile sector, Microsoft has dominated the desktop market for years – alongside competitor Apple. If the company hadn’t missed entering the mobile sector, it could have become “THE” leading company, according to Gates. Today Gates uses an Android smartphone himself .

Review: The History of Windows Mobile

Microsoft’s early beginnings in the mobile segment started in 2002 with the first version of Windows Mobile. It was primarily intended for business users and small, keyboard-less pocket PCs. Several updates followed and in 2010 the name Windows Phone was introduced. Operation became more intuitive and now also allows multi-touch and gesture control. Thus, normal users outside of the business area were also increasingly being addressed.

As part of a partnership with Nokia, Windows Mobile was mainly found on the Finns’ smartphones. In 2014 Microsoft even took over the device division from Nokia and became a smartphone manufacturer itself. But companies such as Huawei, Samsung and HTC also had one or the other smartphone with Microsoft’s mobile operating system on offer.

Microsoft developed Windows Mobile parallel to the Windows system for desktop. For Windows 8 there was also Windows 8 Mobile (Windows Phone 8) and for Windows 10 Windows 10 Mobile. But there was no success. Missing apps let the market share of Windows Mobile shrink noticeably. In 2017 it was less than one percent. As a result, Microsoft decided to stop developing its mobile operating system. Support for the last smartphones with Windows 10 Mobile ended in December 2019.

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