Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates recently revealed his greatest mistake that still bothers him to this day. Gates says his greatest mistake was letting Google launch Android, a non-Apple platform and rule the smartphone industry.
“That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win,” he said at an event held by venture capital firm Villiage Global. Bill Gates admits that they did screw up a super important industry.
Windows Phone was a glorious failure. Bad decisions and the app gap turned one of the most innovative mobile operating system UI into a low-adopted platform. While the OS did many things better than Android and iOS, it failed to attract smartphone audience.
Windows Phone’s main success was visual design, performance, battery backup and security, but some bad decisions allowed Google to rule the smartphone industry with Android.
“It really is winner take all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90% as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom. There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system, and what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G [Google] to company M [Microsoft],” Gates said.
“So this idea that just small differences can magnify themselves doesn’t exist for a lot of businesses. You know, if you’re a service business, it doesn’t exist. But for software platforms, it’s absolutely gigantic. And so that’s partly where you have the mentality of every night you think, ‘Am I screwing this up?’ And eventually, we did screw up a super important one,” he added.
Many believe that bad decisions, mismanagement and app gap resulted in lower adoption of the most compelling mobile operating system.