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

Bill Gates says Microsoft — not Google — should have built the dominant mobile operating system (1490 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: 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
Amazon's COVID-19 blog: daily updates on how we're responding to the crisis
Nashville Tornado Relief Donation
Feeding Mississippians impacted by Easter tornadoes is personal for Coast volunteer
Battelle CCDS Critical Care Decontamination System™ Services Now Available at No Charge
Oakwood Students Supply Hand Sanitizer During Shortage
What is Oolong Tea and What Benefits Does it Have?
5 BLACK VEGANS WHO ARE CHANGING THE WORLD IN 2020
Best time to eat oranges
Forward This Article Entry!
News Home

(Advertise Here)
Who's Online
>> more | invite 
Black Health Statistics
+ African Americans are 70% more likely to get Diabetes than whites.

+ More African Americans are obese than any other ethnic group in the U.S.

+ Infant mortality rates are twice as high for African Americans than for whites.

+ African Americans are more likely to die from Heart Disease than any other ethnic group.

Latest Member Activity
patrisha draughn just edited her profile. 12:36PM
patrisha draughn just became a new member. 12:34PM
beverly oliver just posted a blog entitled 'world health organization has 5 steps to stay safe during covid 19 pandemic. what's dr. sebi's suggestion?'. 05:56PM
beverly oliver just commented on a article entitled '5 black vegans who are changing the world in 2020 '. 05:49PM
elnora gray-mason just became a new member. 05:20PM
raphael mbamba just became a new member. 08:49AM
beverly oliver just posted a blog entitled 'dr. sebi's son sesa defends his father's original company the fig tree'. 04:13PM
beverly oliver just posted a blog entitled 'frances, her tumor and no more sex'. 02:24PM
ashley hunr just subscribed to a new blog. 05:21PM
ashley hunr just commented on a article entitled 'all nursing grads from morgan state pass national nursing exam on first try '. 05:21PM
ashley hunr just commented on a blog entitled 'how branding superstar university offers branding accelerator program by pam perry, pr!'. 05:19PM
ashley hunr just commented on a blog entitled 'how new birth missionary baptist church presents superbowl ~ dr. jamal h. bryant, senior pastor!'. 05:18PM
>> more | invite friends