Billion Dollar Blunder: Bill Gates Admits Microsoft Biggest Mistake
In an event organized in San Francisco, the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, admitted the biggest mistake his company ever made. He said the mistake was to not develop an operating system as efficient and user-friendly as Android or iOS. Google won this battle when they launched Android in 2007. The Android platform today covers 80% of the smartphones in the world. This cost, as per Gates is a whopping $400 billion.
Although Microsoft launched Windows Mobile prior to iOS or Android, phones failed to make an impact due to lack of app support. In 2010, Microsoft deprecated Windows Mobile and Windows Phone superseded it. However, in January 2019, Microsoft announced the support of the last release, Windows 10 Mobile, would end in December 2019 and urged the users to move to iOS or Android phones.
Gates quoted, “You know, in the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is, [meaning] Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. It really is winner take all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90% as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom.”
He further added, “It’s amazing to me, having made one of the greatest mistakes of all time — and there were this antitrust lawsuit and various things that, you know, our other assets, Windows, Office, are still very strong. So we are a leading company. If we got that one right, we would be the company. But oh well”.