Bill Gates calls Microsoft’s smartphone strategy ‘clearly a mistake’

Microsoft chairman and former CEO Bill Gates sat down for an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning in which is talked a bit about how Microsoft is doing as well as some of his philanthropical experiences. While philanthropy is a wonderful thing, seeing that here at IntoMobile we have a tendency to stick to technology news, you’d be correct to assume I’ll be covering the former. In particular, Gates had a bit to say about Microsoft’s smartphone strategy.

Interviewer Charlie Rose brought up how he sees many articles about Microsoft criticizing its business moves or suggesting what it could do to get back on track. “Well, we appreciate the advice,” Gates quipped as the two shared a laugh.

He was also asked about Steve Ballmer’s leadership performance to which Bill Gates somewhat indirectly answered the question on a positive note. “Well, he and I are two of the most self-critical people — you can imagine. And here were a lot of amazing things that Steve’s leadership got done with the company in the last year. Windows 8 is key to the future, the Surface computer. Bing, people are seeing as a better search product, Xbox.”

Smartphones, however, he was less optimistic about. “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,” he commented. By that remark, it seems Bill Gates isn’t satisfied with having a strong position in second or third like RIM has been aiming for lately.

It’s long been known that Gates and Ballmer are close friends so it’s unlikely that Gates would ever publicly trash talk the guy. Other critics, like former Microsoft executive Joachim Kempin have been more than willing to point out the company’s faults in recent years.

[via BGR]

  • PeterSteinbeck

    I’m not sure he’s totally right. Microsoft seems to know what it’s doing. The only problem is that their competitors are killing it, too.

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