Home Invites Members Groups Events Careers Videos News Photos Blogs Polls Singles Forums Chat
Home > News > Post Content

Bill Gates says Microsoft — not Google — should have built the dominant mobile operating system (1064 hits)



The failure of Microsoft to establish a leading mobile operating system was a huge blow to the company, and something that apparently still haunts one of its co-founders to this day.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said Monday that not developing the “dominant” mobile operating system prior to the spread of smartphones was one of his biggest mistakes at the helm. While Microsoft was working on a mobile platform, it was distracted by other issues and “didn’t assign the best people to do the work.” That allowed Android and Apple to jump in and become the dominant players of what became a revolutionary trend.

Here’s what Gates had to say on the topic at a speech at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.:

We were in the field of doing operating systems for personal computers. We knew the mobile phone would be very popular and so we were doing what was called Windows Mobile. We missed being the dominating operating system by a very tiny amount. We were distracted during our antitrust trial. We didn’t assign the best people to do the work. It’s the biggest mistake I made in terms of something that was clearly within our skillset. We were clearly the company that should’ve achieved that and we didn’t.

Microsoft did build a Windows-based mobile operating system, but it failed to catch on widely. Microsoft spent years unwinding the division, including killing off the last vestiges of it earlier this year.

Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has experienced a resurgence from a down period earlier in the decade. Part of that transformation included ditching the struggling smartphone divisions and focusing on stronger businesses like cloud computing.

Microsoft has become the most-valuable U.S. company under Nadella, with a market capitalization of just over $1 trillion as of Monday. Gates said market cap is an imperfect way to measure a company’s success, but he asserted it would be much more valuable had it been able to become the dominant force in mobile.

“Microsoft would be far more valuable if we had won the mobile operating system competion,” Gates said. “Android is a huge asset for Google.”

Gates mentioned that the company was “distracted” by the anti-trust lawsuit the company faced in the early 2000s. The case centered on Microsoft’s move to bundle its Internet Explorer browser into Windows, undercutting rival Netscape in the process.

Gates said that the tech titans of today should be prepared for their own regulatory reckoning.

“There will be more regulation of the tech sector,” he said. “Things like privacy, and there should be, at some point, federal regulation that relates to that.”

He noted that some of Microsoft’s peers are taking lessons from the company’s battle with regulators.

“I, for the early years of Microsoft, bragged to people that I didn’t have an office in Washington D.C.,” he said. “Eventually, I came to regret that statement because it was almost like taunting Washington D.C. Now the technology companies, partly because of the lesson of Microsoft … they’re very engaged.”

Check out the video below for Gates’ full talk. The mobile OS discussion begins around the 36:30 mark, and regulation of tech comes up at around 1:01:30.


BY NAT LEVY
Nat Levy is a staff reporter at Geekwire covering a variety of technology topics, including Microsoft, Amazon, tech startups, and the intersection of technology with real estate, courts and government. Contact him at nat@geekwire.com and follow him on Twitter at @natjlevy.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)
Posted By: Sister Elynor Moss
Monday, July 1st 2019 at 11:37AM
You can also click here to view all posts by this author...

Report obscenity | post comment
Share |
Please Login To Post Comments...
Email:
Password:

 
More From This Author
Random Photo Upload On Sun Nov 17th, 2019 at 10:12AM
VETERANS DAY CEREMONY
Celebrating The Stories of Our Breast Cancer Survivors
Register for the Fantastic Voyage 2020!
Legendary hip-hop duo Salt-N-Pepa to headline Famously Hot New Year in Columbia, S.C.
Applications for the Techstars accelerator are due Oct 31. Let us refer your company!
Attend the "Destination HBCU" College Fair in Cleveland happening 11/21 - 11/23!
FRIDAY DATE NIGHT MOTIVATION: "LET ME KNOW"
Forward This Article Entry!
News Home

(Advertise Here)
Who's Online
>> more | invite 
Black America Resources
100 Black Men of America
www.100blackmen.org

Black America's Political Action Committee (BAMPAC)
www.bampac.org

Black America Study
www.blackamericastudy.com

Black America Web
www.blackamericaweb.com

CNN Black In America Special
www.cnn.com/blackinamerica

NUL State of Black America Report
www.nul.org

Most Popular Bloggers
deacon ron gray has logged 154237 blog subscribers!
agnes levine has logged 18094 blog subscribers!
tanisha laverne grant has logged 17506 blog subscribers!
brother marcus! has logged 15619 blog subscribers!
harry watley has logged 11935 blog subscribers!
>> more | add 
Latest Jobs
Administrative/HR Intern (Remote, Part-Time) at MoveOn with MoveOn in New York, NY.
Communications Director with Tompkins County in Ithaca, NY.
Director - Undergraduate Financial Aid with Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA.
Support Engineer (Remote, Temporary 2020) at MoveOne with MoveOn in New York, NY.
Carol Zicklin Endowed Chair in Honors Academy (Visiting Associate or Full Professor) with Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, NY.
>> more | add