Gates: Microsoft's smartphone strategy was a "mistake"
Now 57, and no longer the baby-faced young man whose software changed the world, Gates admitted that the way Microsoft entered the cellphone business did not allow the company to take a leadership role. According to the executive, this means that Microsoft's strategy was "clearly a mistake." This is a rather large difference than the way that BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins sees the also-rans battling for market share. While Heins seems content to battle it out with Microsoft for third place behind iOS and Android, Gates is not pleased at all that Windows Phone is looking up at Apple and Google.
source: CBS via BGR
1. rusticguy (Posts: 2811; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Ask ELOP and he will definitely not agree at NOKIA :D
5. _Bone_ (Posts: 2061; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
The numbers show (or rather the lack of) that Gates was right. He's not saying it was bad to enter the cellphone business, but when and how was a mistake, probably referring to the lack of fluidity, app support and mass appeal compared to iOS and Android. He's hardly criticizing the CURRENT crop of Windows phones because W8 got it right, but it's a long road ahead to catch-up on the rivals.
13. rusticguy (Posts: 2811; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
If they have the cash to fund 24 billion deal for Dell why couldn't hey have spent some 5 billion on APPS? Money talks but they thought WINDOWS Talks and failed in that process ... now trying to find excuses :)
WP did not fail ... it's brand WINDOWS that failed and that's what hurting everyone's ego at TOP. They failed to realise that generation that grew up playing Solitaire on WINDOWS is reaching retirment age :)
3. MrJerry (Posts: 378; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
Gates: Microsoft's smartphone strategy was a "mistake"
Mistake = Nokia
48. Johnnokia (Posts: 389; Member since: 27 May 2012)
Windows phone is having the sight of success because of Nokia and its great reputation
56. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
"Gates admitted that the way Microsoft ENTERED the cellphone business did not allow the company to take a leadership role. According to the executive, this means that Microsoft's strategy was 'clearly a mistake.'"
Read the first capped word...you'll get it.
I think what Gates says is not related with WP8 or WP7...or the OS. He's talking about how the company launched themself into the smartphone business. Nothing to do with Nokia...
61. jsdechavez (Posts: 676; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)
you know how some people get really shallow here...
69. MrJerry (Posts: 378; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
We are only guessing
He couldnt just say "Nokia is failure" could he?
65. jroc74 (Posts: 4006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
You know some ppl actually do consider WP as them entering the cellphone business...lol. Trying to rationalize the long road ahead for WP n all.
But...when they came in the cellphone business....them, BB, Palm were the top dogs. With BB and Win Mo being 1 and 2 at one point. I think Win Mo made it to #1 at one point.
I dont think they way they came is was the problem....what they did after getting in was the bigger problem. They waited too late to do things. Saw what was going on around them with other companies....and reacted too late.
70. MrJerry (Posts: 378; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
Nothing to do with Nokia???
Are you serious?
yoy basicaly think he meant it is all MS's fault and Nokia is just great???
And you have 5 thumbs up
You guys are sick do u know that? lol
71. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2964; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
So you're bothered about my 5 thumbs upwards and you're not about your 19 and 14 down?
64. shikroi (Posts: 182; Member since: 24 Sep 2012)
You mean the only mistake they didn't make was choosing nokia. With nokia controlling the lions share of wp and being the primary mover of wp, whithout them I doubt wp would even have even 1 percent market share.
If there is any mistake here its nokia going only with wp and microsoft continuously failing to be ahead of the curve in os tech. I mean how could the not see the 1080p and 4k push and include support for it? Why is their no file system in wp? I still can't port a pdf to my wp and read it unless I download it directly on the phone and some files are to big to download on a phone. Why is microsoft lagging behind in support for their own platform by not aggressively pushing xbox games? Why is it that I still cant choose the exact colors I want my tiles and background in because ms still feels they should dictate the colors I use? Wouldn't and rgb color slider have sufficed? Where is my notification center? Wp8, rt, and pro are supposed to be connected and similar, yet I still don't feel that. In fact if wp8 was anything like rt minus the desktop, recovery partition, other desktop stuff etc; it would be a whole lot better and its not like that is impossible to achieve. Microsoft even missed the flash support boat for their phones. Though html5 is supposed to be the future, in the present all the sites I visit on my 920 have content I cant view because their is no flash support. I cant even watch anime without using an app.
4. -box- (Posts: 3568; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
He is talking about Windows MOBILE more than Phone, read the full interview
17. MrJerry (Posts: 378; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
He is talking about "Smartphone Strategy"
"We didn’t miss cell phones, but the way that we went about it didn’t allow us to get the leadership"
So the strategy to pick Nokia as main device for their OS is the "Mistake"
41. Izoe (Posts: 95; Member since: 02 Sep 2010)
Doesn't necessarily mean choosing Nokia was a mistake, might be referring to the fact that it took so long for them to revamp the windows mobile platform. I mean it was practically dead (in a far worse position than blackberry) before they finally came up with the windows phone 7 operating system. If they had done it two years earlier, WP would have been a much stronger contender than it is now. We are seeing the same thing with apple at the moment. they are too content/comfortable with the way the ios is even though it is now quite stale. This is because they currently have a large market share. However this can change anytime (the demand for their products) if they fail to evolve ios to match the increasing demands and needs of users. Complacency has been the downfall of many top businesses, just ask Nokia and Blackberry.
44. jroc74 (Posts: 4006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
"Doesn't necessarily mean choosing Nokia was a mistake, might be referring to the fact that it took so long for them to revamp the windows mobile platform."
21. 14545 (Posts: 992; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
By a long margin. They should have freshened WinMo instead of going in a completely different direction and alienating those of us that are/were windows mobile users. I would consider going to back to a new version of WinMo, but WinPhone is ugly, terrible, and basically useless compared to iOS and Android.
42. -box- (Posts: 3568; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
It would have required a revamp from the ground up, which is essentially what WP7.5 was (both based off Windows CE) and 8 even more so, and it was a horrid UI for the time (I tried using an acquaintance's Samsung Blackjack to see how it compared a few weeks ago) and utterly pathetic now. Technically WP is more capable than ios, looks and moves better, and actually has a future over the next few years.
57. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Have to agree here.
Windows mobile was far and away better than Android was, in the moment they dropped it.
60. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Just check out HTC HD 2 in depth reviews.
The thing is, geniuses at Microsoft were in awe by the iPhone' success and they rightfully concluded it's because of the relative simplicity, smoothnes, and ease of use compared to WM and Android. But that was extremely partial understanding of the phenomenon.
So they went to extreme there, starting completely from scratch and killing off the ecosystem and market share that was already there.
They also killed off every feature they could think off, resulting in a completely impotent OS that had the abilities of iOS, but no apps.
In the meantime, Android was improving at a rapid pace and, fueled by its open nature, started to spread like a wildfire..and that process is still underway
68. Aeires (unregistered)
And lumped the PC side into that same move, thereby making W8 a terrible UI compared to the previous versions. While I understand cross platform uniformity, I'm not interested in upgrading to W8 at all. On a phone it's not my cup of tea but it works well enough, just don't want that on my computer desktop.
6. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2384; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
Gates is the man....the "right" man, for microsoft
7. nikenturd (unregistered)
I think Nokia made the worse mistake here than Microsoft lol
10. nikenturd (unregistered)
Ballmer is your typical fat rich balding dude who's not into tech and gadgetry, ..he's just a plain old businessman
24. JohnnyBravo (Posts: 105; Member since: 02 Dec 2012)
How do you know this??? Do me a favor and read up on Ballmer. Love him or hate him the man is a freaking genious! He is very passionate about Microsoft, which is why every once in a while youll find a psycho looking picture of him on the internet when all he is really doing is talking about a new feature of Windows 8 etc.
With that said, I truly believe Microsoft missed the boat with the whole smartphone uprising. They were late in the game that is for sure. The single reason why WP8 hasnt caught on with the masses in my opinion....ugly looking OS! Sorry but its true...go head thumb me down.
26. nikenturd (unregistered)
If he really knew what he was doing...then how come he released the abomination known as Windows 8/WP8? The dude's out of touch with reality
29. papss (Posts: 3447; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
I disagree.. W8 and WP8 are nothing close to that..
53. pookiewood (Posts: 528; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)
Abomination? The only Abomination I see is you.
35. VZWuser76 (Posts: 986; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
While genious and passion aren't mutually exclusive, they don't go hand in hand either. People can be passionate about things without knowing anything about them, just look at some of the comments here on PA. Gates was more tech savvy and Ballmer was more business savvy, which is a similar relationship to that of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. The thing is being tech savvy doesn't necessarily make you business savvy, and the reverse is true as well. Sorry but I'd be listening to what Gates has to say before Ballmer. Gates doesn't have the charisma or presence that Ballmer has, he's a little OCD and jittery, but when people think tech, they think Gates, Jobs, Wozniak, Rubin, Page, & Brin.
11. joey_sfb (Posts: 1974; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Microsoft should continue to build on the success of their window mobile 6.5 instead they disappear from the smartphone market for a few years. Apple walk into their empty castle and resume the throne.
There nothing wrong with using the stylus and smartphone should increase in productivity with increasing processing power. Just that everyone was taken in by steve jobs reality distortion to believe that finger computing on smart phone is the future.
54. pookiewood (Posts: 528; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)
WM6.5 was cool and successful but when I jumped to WP7 I was so happy and relieved! No matter how much you ROM danced it would always be slow. While it was better on my Sprint HTC Touch then the newer HTC Touch Pro2 still it slowed down. WP8 builds upon the what WP7 brought to the table. With WP8 though there is the inclusion of Windows NT which opens so many doors and possibilities. It pretty much future proofs the OS. I have a feeling that they are going to really push app sharing between their platforms. Build it for W8 and port it EASY to WP8 or the XBOX. But they could've stuck with the limited WinCE.
63. joey_sfb (Posts: 1974; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
There no need to abandon the platform completely. Microsoft release windows 3.1, 3.11 workgroup, windows 95,98,98SE (16 bit OS before they embrace the true 32 bits OS Win XP.
End User wouldn't know what Kernel is on the phone. Apple win thru the salemanship of steve job.
I have no problem with my windows mobile phone when the phone is running with 256Mb ram, earlyphone model suck due to 128 Mb or below ram.
12. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)
Wow phonearena you really know how to turn his words around watch the whole dame interview. He was talking about windows mobile and there late entry.
18. JohnnyBravo (Posts: 105; Member since: 02 Dec 2012)
well duh, how do you think they can get people in here to comment so passionately about this kind of stuff??
16. papss (Posts: 3447; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Come on.. Like you should expect anything less from this rookie blogger site?
20. maccess (Posts: 479; Member since: 16 Jan 2013)
that's what bill gates said.. there's nothing to do about which site this news should be on..
25. papss (Posts: 3447; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
Would you read the whole article at the source before looking silly? Lets pull contexts and take it as fact.. While he did say that it's not the only part to that discussion which is typical of the blogging here .
27. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)
Microsoft will get huge boost when we start seeing more x86 smartohones, running the very same os on your phone and pc would bring lots of advantages!
37. TheCynicalTechie (Posts: 55; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)
Yes! I have been saying that since Windows 8 has come out. Microsoft should make a phone and do that now, that would get them on top. Put a small track point on the phone for desktop mode and make a Windows 8 phone with an Intel Atom Bay Trail processor.
38. protozeloz (Posts: 5328; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
bad idea, surface pro is thicker and heavier than most tablets out there, yet it doesn't have the same battery life as them, translate that to a phone and you get a mess of massive proportions. and thats just a part if the equation
47. -box- (Posts: 3568; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
It really isn't. It's thinner than a number of others (I think even the ipad2? Can't check now), and the battery life is similar other actual computer tablets, NOT those that are mobile-based.
As I've said before, the Surface is Microsoft's Nexus, that is, not the best specced or best value, but good overall.
49. Tux_Alan (Posts: 74; Member since: 30 Jan 2013)
The have been few devices with intep chips up to now, this year and the next will see that change, of course an i5 will drain a mobile battery! Intelnis going places though with the recent improvements on its atom chipset!
28. papss (Posts: 3447; Member since: 03 Sep 2012)
It was more about WP7 being late to the game that was the mistake... BUT who reads full articles before responding..
30. Jyakotu (Posts: 813; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)
It's interesting, because I kind of see what Microsoft is trying to do in terms of their smartphone startegy. Since Windows on desktop has plenty of OEMs making different PCs, Microsoft wants their smartphone strategy to be the same, essentially. Thing is, a lot of OEMs aren't seeing success with WP like Nokia, but the blame should be the OEMs and not Microsoft. Windows Phone 8 is a great OS and it does offer something fresh to the table. It's just OEMs are so lazy and they don't want to think outside the box when it comes to differentiating themselves. HTC and Samsung can't hide behind Sense and TouchWiz on WP8. Instead, they need to look at what Nokia is doing and offer better hardware and offer services exclusive to their Windows Phones. How hard is that?
39. Taters (Posts: 2395; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Not hard at all. However, it just isn't profitable. Taking away resources from the GS4 money printing machine to work on a Ativ S money losing machine simply is not a good move.
For HTC it might be a good idea but we can't be for certain if HTC is even allowed to mess with the software that much.
32. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 948; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
Gates knows that Microsoft should have been more aggresive towards marketing a better solution for mobile technology. It's a missed opportunity, and a big mistake, due to being over confident and oblivious to fundamental changes in the industry...
However, WP8 works just fine, and the task now is to advertise and market their way back to the top. Good technology alone simply won't cut it: the success of Apple and Google relates heavily to the amazing advertising and marketing abilities of both companies.
36. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
Good advertising yes but ones like Droid rage is a piss poor way of getting your point across. Look at Ben the PC Guy. They need him on every tv channel 24-7! Instead they hired some guy who did negative adds for Oblabla.
40. sats.mine2k4 (banned) (Posts: 208; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
So now Microsoft fans will start hatin Bill Gates for admitting the truth... Windows phone is a mistake...?
45. jroc74 (Posts: 4006; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Their biggest problem on the mobile side: they waited too late to try to answer the iPhone. And maybe iPad. And underestimated the iPhone...probably the iPad too.
They had a shot with the HD2 in 2009 for phones, I dont know what happened. Even with that....Android did come out in 2008. It wasnt as big then. But, the Droid 1 came out about a month before the HD2. That and Verizon's Droid marketing....Android took off after that.
MS waited too long to go to capacitive screens. And when Android was out in 2008 and I also will say 2009....I really feel whatever MS had ready with WP coulda been released and held its own against Android back then. I loaded up Android 1.6 last year on my Droid 1.....WP coulda gave it a run for its money.....even if WP wasnt ready for release.
Apple was ready for the all touch screen era. MS somehow wasnt. iOS was perfect for a touch screen mobile phone; it's a good finger based mobile OS. MS was still doing a hybrid touch/stylus OS, and it was getting old fast. I have been using Android since early 2010. MS shoulda never let Android or the iPhone do what they did.
46. Shubham412302 (Posts: 293; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
I think Microsoft should remove the restrictions...
and add user and option to change home screen lock screen with apps and even onscreen keyboard.
the more the no. of apps are created.
android Market mostly consists of themes and live wallpaper which increases the no.of apps