The Windows phone was a failure, with the smartphone garnering very low sales and customer retainment, ultimately reaching on the verge of closing down. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently named the company’s investments in hardware as one of the things he regrets not doing fast enough.
In an interview with Recode, Steve Ballmer has mentioned, “I wish we’d built the capability to be a world-class hardware company, because one of the new expressions of software is essentially hardware.” This statement was in correspondence to the fact that Microsoft never really succeeded in the mobile phone industry — and, really, the hardware based business model which Apple used to transform the industry with the iPhone did succeed.
“Companies get successful with an idea, with talent around the idea, and with capability as a company to execute on the idea,” stated Ballmer. “Turns out that if you have a second idea that is different from the first, you may need new talent, but you also need new capability and you don’t get new capability overnight.”
“I think I was too slow in cases to recognize the need for new capability and particularly in hardware. I wish we built the capability to be a world-class hardware company because one of the new expressions of software is essentially the hardware,” he continued. “And I think we came to that later than I think the company under my leadership should have built that capability earlier than we did.”
But now with Satya Nadella at the helm of the company, Microsoft looks ready to give mobile another chance, as the firm is reportedly working on the reboot of the smartphone platform, not only with the new software but also with a new device.
The latest smartphone from Microsoft whose name is not known just yet, could be the highly anticipated Surface Phone, which could run the overhauled version of Windows 10 for phones, but at the same time also provide new capabilities, as Microsoft is trying to do with every new device that is part of the Surface lineup.