Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates in an earlier interview at Village Global this year had revealed that missing the Android opportunity to Google was his “greatest mistake ever”.
Elaborating further on this topic, the former Microsoft CEO while speaking at The New York Times’ DealBook conference on November 6 said that people would have been using Windows instead of Android if they were not caught in the U.S. antitrust investigation.
“There’s no doubt that the antitrust lawsuit was bad for Microsoft, and we would have been more focused on creating the phone operating system and so instead of using Android today you would be using Windows Mobile,” Gates said.
He also claims that Microsoft just missed delivering Windows Mobile for an unknown Motorola smartphone. The company was “three months too late on a release”, Gates said possibly referring to the iconic 2009 Motorola Droid, the first phone to be launched with Android. It was Verizon and Motorola’s push in the U.S. that made customers notice Android and helped it succeed at the time in the mass market.
“If it hadn’t been for the antitrust case… we were so close. I was just too distracted and I screwed that up because of the distraction. We were just three months too late with the release that Motorola would have used on a phone. So it’s a winner-takes-all game, that’s for sure, but now nobody here has even heard of Windows Mobile, but oh well. That’s a few hundred billion here or there.”
Gates expressed his disappointment over the failure of the OS that cost the company around $400 billion in overall revenue. He said, “I am disappointed that Windows Mobile did not succeed.”
Despite Gates’ regrets, Microsoft surprised everyone this year when it announced its intention to use Android OS to support its first foldable device, the Surface Duo due for release next year.