Google's triumph over Microsoft in the mobile business is irreversible and Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates considers the missed opportunity as his biggest regret.
In a recent interview at venture capital firm Village Global in Washington, the Microsoft co-founder revealed that his greatest mistake ever was Microsoft missing the Android opportunity, CNET reported.
He said that his mismanagement "caused Microsoft not to be what Android is - a non-Apple phone platform."
"In the software world, particularly for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets. So the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. That is, Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win," Gates said.
Gates also added that products such as Office have helped Microsoft achieve its success. However, if Microsoft had got the mobile software right, it would have become 'the leading company' not 'a leading company'.
Google's initial focus when it acquired Android back in 2005 was to beat Microsoft's early Windows Mobile efforts. Ultimately, Android suppressed Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. He then praised Microsoft's current chief executive Satya Nadella for helping reshape the brand and bring it back to the being the world's most valuable company.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is reportedly planning to introduce a smaller Surface-like tablet that will have a foldable display. IHS Markit told Forbes in an email that the purported Microsoft tablet is expected to sport two 9-inch screens with a 4:3 aspect ratio, news agency ANI reported.
The device is likely to run Windows Core OS to support the dual display, and come equipped with Android Apps, iCloud service, support 5G/LTE, and adopt Intel's 10nm Lakefield SoC. It is expected to release in Q1 2020 or by the first half of 2020.
Gates retired from day-to-day work at Microsoft in June 2008 and stepped down as chairman of the board of Microsoft in February 2014.
(With agency inputs)