Bill Gates at DealBook
Image: CNBC

There was a time when Microsoft had a significant place in the mobile world, and its operating system — Windows Mobile — had a hold. However, that changed, and now we don’t see its traces at all. Now, we might know one of the reasons for the same, as hinted by Bill Gates. Although there are other reasons behind its failure as well.

How Windows Mobile Was ‘Screwed’?

At the New York Times’ DealBook conference, Bill Gates has admitted that he got really distracted during the DoJ’s (the US Department of Justice) antitrust against Microsoft.

The distraction eventually affected Windows Mobile as Bill Gates could focus well on the operating system, which could have taken on the current ones — Android and iOS.

Gates said, “There’s no doubt the antitrust lawsuit was bad for Microsoft, and we would have been more focused on creating the phone operating system, and so instead of using Android today, you would be using Windows Mobile if it hadn’t been for the antitrust case.

He further suggested that Microsoft was “so close” to doing well in the OS arena and was all set to sign a deal with Motorola. The deal would have shipped Motorola’s smartphones with Windows Mobile.

Of course, the deal would have eventually led to more usage of Microsoft’s OS in smartphones other than the Motorola ones.

A Look At The Microsoft Antitrust Issue

For those who don’t know, back in 2001, Microsoft faced a DoJ antitrust. The US government accused the tech company of illicit monopoly in the OS market by putting legal and technical barriers.

It was alleged that Microsoft tried to create a monopoly even in the web browser market and preloaded Internet Explorer with Windows. It’s another story that the browser still failed so badly.

Furthermore, Microsoft allegedly tried to follow unfair practices to maintain its monopoly.

However, the first investigations on the part of FTC started back in 1992 and went on until 2001, when eventually a verdict came up, and the antitrust was settled.

Not The First Time Gates Regrets It!

Microsoft is out of the mobile OS business and focuses just on PCs, laptops, and other services. However, Bill Gates regrets it ain’t a part of the mobile OS race and has even blamed himself in the past.

During a previous interview, Gates suggested that it was his biggest mistake that he couldn’t produce something like Android.

Nonetheless, Microsoft is still a crucial tech company. Rather than focusing on its mistakes, it should learn from them and strive to remain one of the important tech majors.

Also Read: Microsoft’s New All-In-One ‘Office’ App Merges Word, Excel & Powerpoint