He may be one of the most successful technology CEOs in history but even Bill Gates has regrets about the way he has managed his firm.
Daily Mail reports:
The Microsoft founder has spoken out about his anguish over not inventing Android as a rival operating system (OS) to Apple’s iOS.
Gates, who is currently worth $102.9 billion (£80.7bn), says Microsoft has lost out on $400 billion (£314bn) in revenue thanks to its lack of success in this area.
Gates made the comments at an event in San Francisco hosted by Village Global, a venture capital firm based in Walnut, California.
There he discussed with Eventbrite cofounder and CEO Julia Hartz the difficult decisions taken by entrepreneurs to create and build a successful business.
‘You know, in the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets,’ he said.
‘The greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is.
‘Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win.
‘There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system, and what’s that worth? $400 billion (£314bn) that would be transferred from Google to Microsoft.’
Apple was the first company to bring touchscreens and other ‘smart’ technologies to the consumer mass market.
However, the iPhone’s dominance of the world of smarthphones has waned over recent years.
Devices running Google’s Android OS overtook iPhone sales in 2010, becoming the world’s most popular mobile operating system.
Today it enjoys more than an 80 per cent share of the global marketplace – in part thanks to its open source platform, which means app developers know they’re software will be supported by the OS.
Microsoft may once have seemed the obvious choice to rival Apple’s software in the smartphone market, given its dominance over home and business PCs.
However, a number of factors contributed to the demise of the Windows OS for mobile.
Former Windows chief and executive vice president of Microsoft Terry Myerson spoke out about that demise on LinkedIn.
Partly at fault was the fact that Windows phones were founded on an incomplete Windows CE platform that was designed for ‘pocket PCs’ rather than smarthphones.
He also feels that the smartphone industry moved at a pace that Microsoft couldn’t keep pace with.
He added: ‘I knew we had so much work to do on our non-touch no-app-store Windows Mobile effort.
‘I was honored, and more than a little terrified. The Windows Phone experience was incredibly challenging.’
THE TRILLION DOLLAR RISE OF MICROSOFT
April 4, 1975 Microsoft founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
June 25, 1981 Microsoft incorporates
November, 1983 Microsoft Windows announced
Novenber, 1985 Microsoft Windows version 1.0 released
February 26, 1986 Microsoft moves to corporate campus in Redmond, Washington where it is today
March 13, 1986 Microsoft stock goes public
August 1, 1989 Microsoft introduces earliest version of Office suite of productivity applications
August 24, 1995 Microsoft launches Windows 95
1995 – Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, becomes the richest man in the world aged 39 with a fortune of $12.9 billion at the time
October 25, 2001 Microsoft launches Windows XP
November 15, 2001 Microsoft launches Xbox
October 21, 2003 Microsoft launches Microsoft Office System
November 22, 2005 Microsoft launches Xbox 360
January 30, 2007 Microsoft launches Windows Vista and the 2007 Microsoft Office System to consumers worldwide
June 28, 2011 Microsoft launches Office 365
April 24, 2019 Microsoft becomes the third company in the world to peak at more than $1 trillion in market capitalisation value