Bill Gates' $400 billion mistake involves Windows Phone and Android - PhoneArena

Bill Gates' $400 billion mistake involves Windows Phone and Android


Bill Gates started Microsoft in 1975 along with Paul Allen and the rest is history. You don't get to be one of the wealthiest people in the world and build a trillion dollar company without making some great decisions over the years. At an event held by venture capital firm Villiage Global (via TechCrunch) Gates said that there is still one thing that bothers him to this day, and that is allowing Google to develop Android. He calls it the "standard non-Apple phone form platform." According to the entrepreneur, "That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win."

Gates put a value of $400 billion on Android and admits that "we did screw up a super important one." After all, Windows Mobile was running on smartphones for years before Android was developed. And the reaction made by Microsoft's then CEO Steve Ballmer to the introduction of the iPhone revealed how Microsoft missed a golden opportunity. Ballmer said that the iPhone wouldn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard. "We have our strategy. We have great Windows Mobile devices," the executive said in 2007 after Steve Jobs unveiled Apple's touchscreen handset. While Microsoft saw the iPhone as a goofy phone that required users to type on glass, Andy Rubin's team inside Google reportedly did a quick 180-degree turn and changed Android into an operating system for touchscreen phones. By the way, Ballmer admitted his mistake in November 2016.

The "app gap" kills Windows Phone

Windows Phone was launched in January 2010 to replace Windows Mobile and was used to power the Nokia Lumia line of smartphones. Despite being "buttery smooth," developers failed to support the platform and the so-called "app gap" meant that consumers had to stick with iOS or Android to keep their favorite apps. Microsoft took a swing at the hardware by buying Nokia's Devices and Services businesses for more than $7 billion back in 2013. This led the company to release its own Lumia devices, but they sold just as poorly. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that support for Windows 10 Mobile will end on December 10th of this year, and urged users to switch to iOS or Android.

The Android operating system is believed to have an 85% share worldwide with Apple's iOS second.
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