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Bill Gates ‘not satisfied’ with Microsoft’s innovation, cites smartphone strategy ‘mistake’

Published Feb 18th, 2013 2:02PM EST
Bill Gates Microsoft Criticism

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For the first time in recent memory, Microsoft (MSFT) chairman Bill Gates has started making noises that he’s not pleased about how the company is going about its business. In an interview with CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose, Gates said that despite all the progress Microsoft has made breaking into the mobile world over the past year with Windows 8 and the Surface, that the pace of his company’s innovation wasn’t fast enough and that he and current CEO Steve Ballmer were “not satisfied” with how quickly the company was getting out ahead of trends.

“No, [Ballmer] and I are not satisfied that in terms of, you know, breakthrough things, that we’re doing everything possible,” Gates told Rose. “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.”

But even though Gates expressed frustration with some aspects of Microsoft, he stood firmly behind Ballmer as the right man to lead the company.

“[There] were a lot of amazing things that Steve’s leadership got done with the company in the last year,” Gates said. “Windows 8 is key to the future, the Surface computer. Bing, people are seeing as a better search product, Xbox.”

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.