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Microsoft Cellphones

Bill Gates Says Windows Phone Strategy Was Inadequate 268

puddingebola writes "Perhaps it isn't newsworthy, but Bill Gates has characterized Microsoft's mobile and smartphone strategies as 'a mistake.' From the article: 'In an interview with CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose on Monday, Gates admitted he wasn't pleased with Microsoft's performance in the mobile market, going as far as to characterize the company's smartphone strategy as "a mistake." "We didn't miss cell phones," Gates said. "But the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership, so it's clearly a mistake."'"
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Bill Gates Says Windows Phone Strategy Was Inadequate

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  • big (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday February 18, 2013 @08:59PM (#42940395) Journal
    Considering the lead Microsoft had in the mobile phone market, they were there in 2002 (before Blackberry, I believe), but somehow they never made it work. I'm not sure exactly why. It's actually surprising, not that they failed, but how big their failure actually is.

    They knew it was important, they tried to get the market, had a huge lead, and they failed. It's a little more than 'inadequate.'
  • by avatar139 ( 918375 ) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:06PM (#42940433)
    Clearly, you must be new here!
  • Re:Like... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:07PM (#42940437)

    Everybody thinks Ballmer has dropped the ball. According to Joachim Kempin, it's more likely that he's dropped the bat.

    Steve Ballmer Roams The Halls Of Microsoft Swinging A Baseball Bat

    Microsoft's history is filled with stories about its rough culture, from it's "stack-ranking" employee reviews to how Bill Gates used to yell, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." Here's another one: Six-foot-two Steve Ballmer sometimes brings a baseball bat with him into meetings, and that's if he's feeling happy... []

  • Mistake?? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:20PM (#42940527)

    It may be a mistake but weighed against the disaster of Balmer's leadership of Microsoft... You'd be forced to conclude the mobile market was a success.

  • by lseltzer ( 311306 ) on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:30PM (#42940585)
    In the context of the article he's talking about Microsoft's *old* phone strategy. Windows Mobile was basically an attempt to do the Blackberry thing with Windows. It could have done worse, but obviously it didn't succeed, which is why they dumped it for Windows Phone. I don't think he's criticizing Windows Phone.
  • Re:Uh huh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Teresita ( 982888 ) <badinage1@netzer ... net minus distro> on Monday February 18, 2013 @09:59PM (#42940775) Homepage
    Frankly I think they should admit defeat on their mobile and tablet offerings, buy Blackberry, which at least still has some corporate penetration, and tighten the links between those mobile products and Office-Exchange. RT and Surface are still demonstrating just how much Microsoft is on the wrong side of the door trying to get in.

    Microsoft is always a day late and a dollar short. They're just getting Bing together when Search is yesterday. By the time they put out a decent smartphone, in 2017, everyone will say that's so five years ago because the Samsung Shirtbutton will be uploading everything a user sees and does, real time to Facebook and Google Goggles will be all the rage for web content delivery.
  • Ballmer (Score:5, Interesting)

    by asmkm22 ( 1902712 ) on Monday February 18, 2013 @10:02PM (#42940795)

    At what point is Ballmer going to be held responsible any of the "mistakes" that Microsoft has been making? The guy is bulletproof beyond all logic for a publicly traded company.

  • Re:big (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gorfie ( 700458 ) on Monday February 18, 2013 @10:58PM (#42941079)
    I have a Lumia 900 (after owning a Captivate/Galaxy) and I haven't had any problems with the apps. Some of the apps are significantly better than the Android counterparts in terms of polish and reliability. I know the marketplace isn't as mature as iPhone/Android but it's not dismal either. My "biggest" problem with the Lumia 900? I'd say it's that I paid $100 for it a month before they knocked it down to $50.
  • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:13PM (#42941171)

    I always thought Paul Allen was the real brains at Microsoft anyway. Gates and Ballmer were the ruthless cutthroats who bamboozled IBM. What they did to wring IBM's business away isn't going to work against Google and Apple as it's a different era not to mention the EU isn't going to allow that stuff anymore.

  • Re:big (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Monday February 18, 2013 @11:30PM (#42941261)

    ^^^ What killed them was themselves, when Microsoft literally abandoned it when it was finally becoming good.

    WinMo 6.5 was fine... as a pocket laptop & PDA with built-in wireless data.It was utterly dysfunctional for making voice calls, but that was just the deal those of us who used it made with the devil. Given a month or two of hardcore tweaking & thirdparty enhancements, it blew away both iPhone AND the first year or two of Android.

    Really, 90% of its real-world usability problems were caused by HTC's last-minute ill-conceived decision to eliminate the menu & ok hard buttons from most of their phones around 2008 (which caused endless misery when a missed call or unnoticed text msg activated the touchscreen in your pocket).

    If Microsoft had made "phone" just another app with first-class API support (allowing thirdparty phone apps instead of treating "phone app" as HTC's private domain), and rolled out an open, Android-like app market, they would have been a strong force keeping the fire lit under Google's feet. They would have absolutely lost marketSHARE to Android (& iOS), but would probably have twice as many users today as they had in 2008 (due to the market itself growing).

    WinMo wasn't "open" in the purest Android sense, but with a few improvements to strengthen its API for "phone" apps, it would have been more de-facto open & hackable by end users than a non-rooted Android phone is today.

  • Re:Like... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @12:17AM (#42941471)

    and the way I read the bit about them not getting the leadership was that they were not able to control the market. So when since they got their DOS/Windows monopoly have they been able to get a leadership position outside of the Windows platform?

    Bill, you tried the tablet thing for 2 decades and failed. You tried the phone for a decade and failed. Bill and Steve's excellent adventure is over as you guys can no longer strong arm the industry like you seem to have strong armed your employees.

  • Re:Like... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nefarious Wheel ( 628136 ) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @01:33AM (#42941791) Journal

    Their Windows Phone platform is good stuff -- the biggest problem with it is that it is late to the game.

    There's more to it than that. At least one of the few phone hardware platforms (cough*htc*cough) that ran Windows Mobile were not up to the task. Last company I worked for had about 600 of these in the field, and at any one time over a third were down for hardware faults. They just weren't really all that well-made or reliable. If our experience was similar to that of others', it wouldn't have been long before the platform was effectively abandoned. Word-of-mouth is exceptionally powerful in this connected age.

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?