Bill Gates Regrets Microsoft Losing to Android as Dominant Platform Beyond iPhone

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    At a recent event hosted by venture capital firm Village Global, highlighted by TechCrunch, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lamented on losing to Android, calling it "one of the greatest mistakes of all time."

    Skip to the 11:40 mark:


    Transcript:
    In fairness to Gates, it was Steve Ballmer who served as Microsoft's CEO between 2000 and 2014. Ballmer infamously laughed off the iPhone, but Apple had the last laugh, as Windows Phone failed to ever gain any significant market share among mobile operating systems and is ultimately being abandoned.


    Gates added that there is room for exactly one non-Apple mobile operating system, which is certainly the case as of today. Together, Android and iOS have an estimated 99.9 percent market share, according to research firm Gartner, having squeezed out former heavyweights like BlackBerry and Nokia.

    [​IMG]

    Simply put, Apple upended the industry when it launched the iPhone in 2007, and Microsoft failed to respond. Windows Phone could have been the commoditized mobile platform, as Windows is to Mac, but Android won the battle.

    Article Link: Bill Gates Regrets Microsoft Losing to Android as Dominant Platform Beyond iPhone
     
  2. rosegoldoli macrumors regular

    rosegoldoli

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    iPhones still being considered the standard, we have to stan
     
  3. bigjnyc macrumors 603

    bigjnyc

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    With that idiot Ballmer at the helm, be thankful the whole company wasn't lost.
     
  4. Zimmy68 macrumors 68000

    Zimmy68

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    I admire Bill Gates. He is not speaking in platitudes. He is talking about the tech, not the customer experience. He is not worried about shareholders.
    Even better, he probably was only involved at a very high level but yet takes all the blame.
     
  5. benshive macrumors regular

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    #5
    "it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard"
    That gave me a good laugh :')
     
  6. tevion5, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019

    tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    I'm an Apple zealot but I really like what Nadella is doing with Microsoft and I'm glad Ballmer is gone.

    Satya opposed Ballmer's misguided Nokia buyout from the start, is leading MS in the cloud, expanding MS's presence in games again and opening up software and development tools like VisualStudio to Linux and Mac. Heck even Flight Simulator is making a comeback! A Microsoft that leans into its strengths is good for the whole tech industry imo.

    Also I think Windows Phone was a sleek platform and I'm sorry it didn't take Android's spot as the defacto 'open' OS in the smartphone space. I much prefer straight up Hardware/Software companies like Apple and Microsoft, as opposed to pseudo tech advertising giants like Google.
     
  7. benshive macrumors regular

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    DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS
     
  8. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    Ballmer underestimated the potential for the iPhone when it launched in 2007, what he didn’t realize, it wasn’t about the hardware, it was about the iOS experience that would change the game forever.
     
  9. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

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    Android is just as messy as Windows, so I guess we still got what MS couldn't deliver.
     
  10. jonnyb macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Interesting how he frames it as having lost to Android instead of losing to Android and Apple.
     
  11. Falhófnir macrumors 68040

    Falhófnir

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    I initially followed Nokia onto the WP platform for a time, and at first it actually showed decent promise to offer much of the best of both Android and iOS - unfortunately MS just didn't seem to have their heart in actually getting it up to snuff with the other two, so it just fizzled out.
     
  12. BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    Gates says MS was in the perfect position but blew it. I would like to know more about exactly what he thinks MS could have done to gain market dominance ... just respond quicker? Or is there more to what he thinks they could have done?

    As we’ve seen, first to market doesnt always mean total dominance.
     
  13. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    No, not even close. Android is actually a lot more ‘cleaned-up’ than Windows OS ever was. I mean, have you used Android recently to say that?
     
  14. Slippery Gimp macrumors regular

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    I had a work phone that was Windows Phone, i thought it was a nice looking OS and it would have been nice if it still existed as a third option. Competition is always good.
     
  15. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    He's smart enough to know Microsoft would be wasting their time chasing Apple's smaller niche luxury tech section of the market.
     
  16. deckard666 macrumors 6502

    deckard666

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    Should have apologised for XBox too...ducks..
     
  17. cardfan macrumors 68000

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    Was all about the UI. Tiles were bad. Sad all around.
     
  18. subjonas macrumors 68010

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    Yeah I thought it was a real shame that the windows phone didn’t take off. I thought it had great potential as a phone, and more importantly, the potential to make the windows ecosystem all around a much more complete competitor to Apple’s ecosystem than Google’s chrome+android ecosystem.
     
  19. redman042 macrumors 68030

    redman042

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    In all fairness, a lot of business customers actually did feel that way at the time. I was the first person in my engineering consulting firm to purchase an iPhone, and that was the 3G model a year later. Everyone else was rocking BlackBerries or Palms and thought the iPhone was a glorified toy. It took about another year or two before my coworkers started jumping on the iPhone train en masse.

    What few realized at the time was that typing on the screen was actually WAY better than typing on a mini keyboard. Apple was one of the few companies that saw that. Ballmer’s problem is that he was too pig headed to looking to the future and admit the change that was coming.
     
  20. synergize macrumors regular

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    If you look at the screen on the Microsoft phone for more than 5 seconds you will need two Advil to suppress the headache it gives you.
     
  21. dontwalkhand macrumors 603

    dontwalkhand

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    This sucks for Windows users. They could have had their own ecosystem instead now, they don’t have one at all. Want to have “your computer” on the go? You can’t.
     
  22. DNichter, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019

    DNichter macrumors G3

    DNichter

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    #22
    At least he is honest about it. Most will point to Ballmer, which is fair, but Bill still had as much pull as he wanted during this time frame. Very true though, Android should be the Windows equivalent to macOS/iOS. They really blew it when it comes to mobile. I have admired their approach recently under the new CEO, but mobile is too far gone at this point.
     
  23. tevion5 macrumors 68000

    tevion5

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    Textbook case of Steve Jobs' "people don't know what they want until we show them" marketing philosophy.
     
  24. BigBoy2018, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019

    BigBoy2018 macrumors 6502a

    BigBoy2018

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    Actually Gates biggest mistake was letting Balmer take the helm. HE deserves blame for not dominating the phone market.
     
  25. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

    Moonjumper

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    iOS and Android are going to be hard to beat, but Huawei's mobile OS might stand a chance if it gets a start with traction in China.

    (I don't mean this as a political post, I just see an opportunity for a new OS that might get backing in it's home country, I'm interested in what a new OS starting from zero would be like)
     

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198 June 24, 2019