Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says mobile phone ‘exit’ was a mistake

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says mobile phone ‘exit’ was a mistake

Nadella said “there could have been ways we could have made it work”

In a recent interview with Business InsiderMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella said it was a mistake to “exit” the mobile phone business.

Responding to a question about a strategic mistake or wrong decision Nadelle might regret, the CEO said:

“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. In retrospect, I think there could have been ways we could have made it work by perhaps reinventing the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones. “

As The Verge points out, Nadella is now the third Microsoft CEO to admit the company screwed up in the mobile arena. Co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates previously said Microsoft losing to Android was his “greatest mistake ever,” while former CEO Steve Ballmer said he regretted not focusing on phones earlier.

While most of Microsoft’s mobile efforts happened and failed under Ballmer’s watch, Nadella did oversee the end of Windows Phone. Notably, Microsoft wrote off $7.6 billion USD (roughly $10.48 billion CAD) related to its acquisition of Nokia and cut 7,800 jobs in its phone business just a year after Nadella took over as CEO.

Though Windows Phone might be gone, Microsoft hasn’t totally abandoned mobile. The company has had a strong focus on mobile apps for years, including making a surprisingly good Outlook app for iOS and Android. It also has a close partnership with Samsung, which sees Office apps preinstalled on Samsung handsets and deep integration with Microsoft’s Phone Link service.

Beyond software, Microsoft also launched the Surface Duo and Duo 2, dual-screen smartphones running on Android. While the devices were intriguing, the project has faltered thanks in part to mediocre software support from Microsoft, leaving the future of Duo unclear.

Image credit: Microsoft (Screenshot)

Source: Business Insider

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