Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella has said that the company’s exit from the smartphone business was a mistake which could have been handled better.
After struggling to sell Windows smartphones as Google's Android and Apple iOS Operating Systems (OS) surged ahead, Microsoft in 2017 had for the first time said that the software giant will no longer develop new features or hardware for Windows 10 mobiles.
On December 10, 2019, Windows 10 Mobile users stopped receiving new security updates, bug fixes and assisted support options.
In a latest interview with Business Insider this week, Nadella admitted that giving up on Windows Phone and mobile was a mistake.
“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,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
“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,” Nadella added.
Nadella took over from ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in 2014.
In 2015, Microsoft cut 7,800 jobs primarily in its phone business, and wrote off $7.6 billion related to its acquisition of the Nokia phone business.
“We are moving from a strategy to grow a standalone phone business to a strategy to grow and create a vibrant Windows ecosystem including our first-party device family," Nadella had written in an email to employees.
Microsoft finally confirmed in 2017 that Windows Phone was dead.
The company's co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates had also said that his “greatest mistake ever” was Microsoft losing to Android.