It has been quite some time since father Microsoft handed over his child, but he still has some influence over the company as Chairman of the Board. His goal, in his early years with the company was; a computer on every desk and every home. Well, since that objective has been achieved, computers, whether they are desktops, servers, laptops, or workstations, have almost become a thing of the past. Gates foresaw this fate of computers and started producing Handheld and Palm sized PCs (which ultimately comprised of telephone capabilities, cellular radios, and went by the name of Windows Mobile).
For quite some time Windows Mobile devices were the only ones in the game. Palm was there but they didn’t experiment much with the telephone side and then the mighty BlackBerry was born and it wasn’t until then that Microsoft started to see the competition in the market that they had all but created.
As time went by, Apple invented smartphones that were easy enough for the layman to use and secured the top position by relegating Microsoft and BlackBerry to second-class platforms. Even though Microsoft has tried hard enough to renovate new UIs on their Windows Mobile phones, but all was in vain, since Windows Mobile was too inadequate to be a real competitor. Turns out that the man who formed Microsoft isn’t happy with the company’s performance in the ever evolving mobile market and even said that Microsoft’s smartphone strategy “was a mistake”. The question is; did he really say what the tech sites have been flashing all along?
What he actually said was, “We didn’t miss cell phones, but the way that we went about it didn’t allow us to get the leadership, so it’s clearly a mistake.”
What Gates admitted here was that his company didn’t “get out in the lead very early” on cell phones, which is not entirely true either. Microsoft’s first smartphone had everything a modern smartphone has but their only problem was that they offered computers first and phones second at a time when people wanted phones first.
In today’s world the tables are turned and things are quite different than before. An average person wants tablets and smartphones that do everything a computer does and much more like receiving emails, voice and video chats, syncing calendars’, a DSLR quality camera, running their social networks, and run apps, which, ironically, makes the typical telephone features second to everything else.
Coming back to the topic of whether Windows Phone was a “mistake”? The answer is no, it was a much needed step to keep the company alive, breathing and up-to-date in an ever progressive mobile market. Hence, it was a necessary paradigm shift.
So, for those out there who think Microsoft, the first player in the mobile market, is losing the mobile game, they’re utterly and completely wrong. We say that the inventor of the game simply cannot lose the game, but they can lack creativity to stay ahead of the competition.