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Bill Gates says ‘not expanding into the Android market’ was a huge mistake

It’s uncommon to see a company owning as much as their mistakes, but in a Techcrunch interview revealed yesterday ex-Microsoft CEO and founder Bill Gates just did, calling dropping the smartphone market to Google’s Android his “best mistake.”

Gates stated:

You understand, within the software program world, specifically for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So, you already know, the greatest mistake ever is the no matter mismanagement I engaged in that prompted Microsoft to not be what Android is, [meaning] Android is the usual non-Apple cellphone type platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win.

It truly is winner take all. When you’re there with half as many apps or 90% as many apps, you’re in your approach to full doom. There’s room for precisely one non-Apple operating system, and what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G [Google] to company M [Microsoft].

And it’s superb to me, having made one of the most significant errors of all time — and there were this antitrust lawsuit and numerous issues that, you already know, our different assets, Windows, Office, are nonetheless very robust. So we’re a number one firm. If we acquired that one proper, we’d be the company. However, oh well.

So this concept that only small variations can amplify themselves doesn’t exist for lots of companies. , if you happen to a service enterprise, it doesn’t exist. However, for software platforms, it’s utterly gigantic. And so that’s partly the place you may have the mentality of each night you suppose, ‘Am I screwing this up?’ And ultimately, we did screw up a super vital one.

There are a number of notable factors right here – Gates notes that whereas Microsoft is doing well, they may have been even greater, in Gates’s words “THE company.”

He put a value of $400 billion on Google’s Android dominance and explains the network effect – why not successful from the beginning will imply you’ll by no means win – a characteristic of platform wars relatively than services business.

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