There was a time when microsoft was widely known in the smartphone market. The Redmond-based tech giant forayed into the smartphone segment way back in 2010 with Lumia devices running on Windows OS. The company competed against android and iOS smartphones. However, it was short-lived as in 2017, Microsoft said that it would not develop any feature or hardware for Windows 10 mobiles. Now, in an interview with Business Insider, Satya Nadella, the CEO of the software giant has admitted the mistake of giving up on mobile business. However, he is also not the first CEO of the company to reveal this.
Satya Nadella admits shutting down Microsoft's smartphone business
Satya Nadella took over former CEO Steve Ballmer in 2014. Just over a year later, he wrote off $7.6 billion related to Microsoft's acquisition of the nokia phone business. When asked about any real strategic mistake or wrong decision in the interview, the CEO stated “The decision I think a lot of people talk about – and one of the most difficult decisions I made when I became CEO – was our exit of what I'll call the mobile phone as defined then”
The executive also added that Microsoft's mobile phone business could have been handled better. The company could have reinvented the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones.
Nadella admitting his mistake in shutting down Microsoft's phone business doesn't come as a surprise. Former CEO Bill Gates revealed that the company did not end up doing the mobile OS well enough. Steve Ballmer also confessed that he regretted not focussing on the phone quite earlier.
Microsoft tried its hands multiple times in the smartphone business however, it failed to garner any success. Even after acquiring Nokia's smartphone division, the company could not break the duopoly of Android and iOS. The Redmond-based company has Android-based Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 foldable phones launched a few years ago, however, their future remains uncertain.