Microsoft Corp chief executive officer Steve Ballmer regrets his past decision to focus the company’s resources and efforts on the lackluster Windows Vista project. He has admitted that the wrong decision made Microsoft overlook the opportunities for making portable devices like smartphones and tablets.
The outgoing CEO made the disclosure during the Q&A portion of the company’s recent financial analysts’ day. He revealed that at the onset of the last decade, the company’s attention centered on Windows that it failed to see potential opportunities for new devices like handsets. He said he thinks that if Microsoft did differently that time, it may not have been left behind in the smart devices race today.
Microsoft entered the smartphone market a bit late through its Windows Mobile. In 2010, it launched the Windows Phone 7, the predecessor of the current Windows Phone platform. Ballmer humbly admitted that the mobile operating system has negligible market share compared to current leaders—Apple Inc’s iOS and Google Inc’s Android.
Windows Phone is well-received by its users. In the recent quarters, the mobile operating system has also showed signs that it is picking up steam. However, Ballmer admits that it would still take much just to get where its more popular competitors are.
He revealed that this is why the company recently agreed to buy Nokia Corp’s handset operations. Nokia is currently accounting for more than 80% of Windows Phone sales globally. According to Ballmer, acquiring the smartphone manufacturer gives Microsoft the chance to actually be a device maker aside from being a software producer.
He added that buying Nokia seems to be a logical and perfect fit because it could help Microsoft build and continue momentum. This strategy might also pit Microsoft directly against market leaders like Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics.
To date, Microsoft is developing products aimed at non-Microsoft platforms. The company has already produced and launched a suite of its popular programs specifically for Android devices and iPhones. Those come in the form of apps, which could be distributed for free or for a minimal amount.
Sources claim that the company is working on a Microsoft Office suite that would work in tablet PCs. The company’s foray into tablet PCs was also into a slow start. However, it is set to re-launch its Surface line of tablets on its upcoming New York event on Monday.