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Bill Gates regrets losing against Android

Manny Pham
June 24, 2019

Windows Phone and Android battled for market share for years. The Microsoft OS was discontinued in January

Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Windows Phone losing the race against Google’s Android operating system as one of his “greatest mistakes ever”.

In an interview with Global Village, Gates, made the admission after being asked about work life balance.

He described the software world as one that is “winner takes it all” that requires great personal sacrifice. He then went on to say how he targeted to make Microsoft what Android is today.

Google revealed recently at its I/O 2019 conference in May there are 2.5 billion active devices globally. While Windows Phone was quietly discontinued in January this year, with no updates to be developed in future.

Gates, the world’s second richest person according to Forbes’ 2019 billionaire list, said: “I have a fairly hardcore view that there should be a very large sacrifice made during those, those early years, particularly if you’re trying to do some engineering things that you have to get the feasibility.

“In the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is, [meaning] Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win.

“It really is winner take all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90pc 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].”

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