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Microsoft: smartphones, "the biggest regret" Steve Ballmer

May 20 category:High Tech
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Microsoft: smartphones, "the biggest regret" Steve Ballmer



Ballmer no secret that Microsoft's failure in smartphones is his biggest regret.

REUTERS / Anthony Bolante



Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, who is about to leave the group, acknowledged Thursday that his regret was missing the turn of mobile phones, but for him the software giant does not admit defeat in this area.

"Virtually no market share"

"I regret that there was a period in the early 2000s when we were so focused on what we had to do with Windows that we have not been able to redeploy talent to a new device called the smartphone. That's the thing I regret the most, "said Ballmer during a conference call with analysts. "It would have been better for Windows and for our success in other forms" of products, he added.

The markets for smartphones and tablets are now dominated by Apple rivals (with the iPhone and iPad) and Google (many manufacturers use the Android software). Microsoft did it "virtually no market share" in mobile devices, Ballmer conceded, but felt that the group had suddenly "opportunities for growth."

For phones, he put on the recently announced takeover of mobile phones of Finland's Nokia, with which he was already working to manufacture smartphones running under Windows, the Lumia.

In tablets, the Surface launched last year has captivated audiences. Microsoft has had to significantly lower prices, which resulted in a charge of nearly a billion dollars in its latest quarterly results. A new generation of these devices, however, must be presented next Monday.

No details on the successor to Ballmer

In addition to mobile devices, Microsoft, says Ballmer, significant opportunities to capture in the services of cloud computing, online subscriptions for example its office suite Office, or Bing search engine.

Ballmer has not yet buried the PC, despite the crisis in this product, which is Microsoft partner, but faces competition from tablets. "We must work to ensure that the PC is the preferred device for people when they try to be productive," he has said.

Microsoft also explained at the conference how his recent internal reorganization would affect the presentation of its financial results. It has however not elaborate on research still being a successor to Ballmer.

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