Microsoft Founder Bill Gates Says He Regrets Making This Mistake

Even for one of the world’s richest persons, not all business decisions have given him success over the years.

Tech News
2 min read
Bill Gates, co-founder, Microsoft has made mistakes.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is one of the richest persons in the world, but even he accepts that not all his decisions led to successful results. Gates has been investing heavily in social work for the past few years, but speaking in an interview recently, he admitted to have made a few mistakes which he still regrets.

And one such regret he carries from his hey days is the inability to compete in the mobile space with a non-Apple platform. “The greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in, that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is, the standard non-Apple platform,” he was quoted saying at an event on 20 June this month.

Gates also pointed out that if it wasn’t for the success of Android in the mobile ecosystem, Microsoft would have been ‘the’ leading company, going straight up against Apple in the market. “There's room for one non-Apple platform in the segment, and that turned out to be Android,” he added.

You can watch him share his opinion on the industry and his biggest mistake of letting Android become the standard non-Apple platform for mobile.

You know, in the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. It (Android) is the standard non-Apple phone form platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. 
Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft

But unfortunately Gates and Co. never truly realised the monster in the making, that was the mobile segment, which has been the groundwork over which companies like Facebook and Amazon have thrived.

Microsoft had Windows Phone under its wing, but by the time it decided to work seriously on the platform, Google had taken a big march forward with Android, which the search giant had bought for over $50 million back in 2005.

Microsoft tried the Apple approach, by trying to control the hardware as well as software, for which they bought the Nokia brand, and launched a slew of devices under the Lumia badge.


Bill Gates clearly wasn't the sole culprit for the demise of the Windows Phone, but his admission of letting Android become a mobile giant as his biggest mistake comes a few years too late for the company. Having said that, he wouldn’t be too discouraged with the way the Microsoft has pulled itself back into the numbers game, ever since Satya Nadella took the reins.

The company has shifted its focus from consumer devices to enterprise solutions and is placing heavy emphasis on cloud computing with products like Azure.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!