Microsoft lost the mobile war. That’s quite obvious. The company failed to see the potential of touchscreen phones, especially the iPhone which started the trend.
When the iPhone launched, Microsoft then CEO, Steve Ballmer, said that the iPhone was expensive and lacks a full sized keyboards which were pretty popular at the time. The iPhone was expensive, Steve Ballmer, said that the phone will not sell as he saw no use of it and that the price makes it a product that no would want to buy.
Steve Ballmer was wrong, the smartphones rule the mobile industry now. Even the desktop-laptop market is shrinking due to the rise of smartphones. Microsoft made bad bets, that led to it being an outsider in the smartphone industry which is now ruled by Android and iOS.
When the company did realize that the smartphone was the next big thing, it tried out its hand with Windows Mobile phone, which was later renamed to Windows Phone and back to Windows Mobile again.
However, on the hardware side, very few manufacturers actually made Windows phone. So, Microsoft decided to try its own hand at smartphones and the company bought Nokia, the phone industry behemoth of the early 2000s but which was on the verge of dying at the time.
But Microsoft bought Nokia. It was a disaster. The deal was very costly, around $7 billion. It didn’t pan out well.
However, Microsoft seems to moving and looks like the Surface Phone is on its way.
In Satya Nadella’s own words:
“We don’t want to be driven by just envy of what others have, the question is, what can we bring? That’s where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI. We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today’s market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device.”