Short Bytes: In an interview with Bloomberg, ex-CEO Microsoft and the owner of Los Angeles Clippers, Steve Ballmer, recalled the time when he made the decision to take Microsoft into the hardware business. This decision destroyed his long-term friendship with co-founder Bill Gates.
Ballmer acted as Microsoft’s CEO for 14 straight years from 2000 to 2014. He told Bloomberg that his decision to make Microsoft a hardware company was disagreed by the board, including Bill Gates.
“There was a fundamental disagreement about how important it was to be in the hardware business,” said Ballmer. “I had pushed Surface. The board had been a little — little reluctant in supporting it. And then things came to a climax around what to do about the phone business.”
Ballmer regrets taking Microsoft into hardware segment but on the note that he didn’t do that earlier. In fact, he considers it a mistake. “I would have moved into the hardware business faster and recognized that what we had in the PC, where there was a separation of chips, systems and software, wasn’t largely gonna reproduce itself in the mobile world,” he said.
Microsoft did enter the hardware business by launching the Surface RT and acquiring Nokia’s phone division. The company faced hardship initially but they are making headlines with their recent Surface Studio and a rumored Surface Phone which could also be an end for the Lumia devices.
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