By the time Windows Phone 8 made Microsoft’s mobile platform a real competitor in 2012, the iPhone had been on the market for five years and Android-based phones had been on the market for four years. Clearly, Microsoft wasn’t nearly fast enough when it came to getting its mobile platform up to speed and now The Wall Street Journal reports that outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said this week that Windows Phone would be in a much stronger position today if he could go back in time and “re-do the last 10 years.”
Ballmer’s most recent remarks echo ones he made last year about how his biggest regret during his tenure was that Microsoft had to spend so much time and money fixing Vista, which meant the company had fewer resources to devote to building a competitive mobile operating system. During his tenure Ballmer also raised eyebrows for bluntly dismissing the importance of both the iPhone and Android while insisting that older Windows Mobile phones were more than enough to meet consumers’ mobile needs.
However, even though Microsoft has racked up some big misses in the mobile market, they haven’t been enough to hurt the company’s hugely profitable enterprise unit that can practically print money from software and services such as Microsoft Office, Windows Azure and Windows Server. So while Microsoft is certainly down in the mobile market, it’s by no means out.