3 min Devices

Satya Nadella admits quitting Windows Phone was a strategic mistake

Satya Nadella admits quitting Windows Phone was a strategic mistake

In a recent interview, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admits that quitting Windows Phone was a strategic mistake. According to him, somehow it could have worked anyway.

Nadella has now been Microsoft’s CEO for 10 years and looks back on this period in an interview. The interview reveals that Nadella has had to work hard over the past decade to think less rationally, but more empathetically. Especially toward his employees. This is to ensure that a team is deployed not just once, but for the whole time.

Quitting Windows Phone

Asked about a key mistake during his current job, Nadella unhesitatingly mentions stopping the mobile version of Windows; Windows Phone.

Microsoft reacted too late to the arrival of the smartphone in 2008. Then-CEO Steve Ballmer once smirkingly called the iPhone the most expensive phone ever. Microsoft did not introduce Windows Phone until 2010. By then, iOS and especially Android had existed for a long time. Microsoft could not catch up with these mobile operating systems.

In 2017, Nadella pulled the plug on Windows 10 Mobile, as the mobile operating system was then called. According to Nadella, looking back now, he should not have discontinued the mobile OS. According to him, there were always new opportunities for the operating system, rather than shutting down the entire division. “There could have been ways we could have made it work by perhaps reinventing the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones.”

Incidentally, Nadella indicates that his best achievement so far is Microsoft’s current operating model. Mainly because he felt he was taking over the company from its founders and thus had a big responsibility to improve performance.

The company now works more together as one, rather than a compartmentalized company, which was the image of the outside world.

AI very important to Microsoft

In the rest of the interview, the Microsoft CEO elaborated on the recent acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard, among other things, and especially the rise of AI. Nadella believes that AI is going to have a strong changing impact on the IT business. In his view, similar to what the advent of cloud computing has had on the software business.

He additionally believes that people should not be afraid about the potential impact AI will have on society. In his view, there are sufficient resources available that can ensure that humans do not lose control of AI. Above all, this must be done by building control into the technology.

For Microsoft, therefore, one of the most important technologies to invest in permanently remains.