Microsoft's initial mobile strategy 'clearly a mistake,' Bill Gates says

Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder and chairman, Bill Gates, called the company's initial efforts to dominate the smartphone market "clearly a mistake." In an interview with CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose, Gates acknowledged mounting media and investor criticism of Microsoft's mobile efforts. "There's a lot of things like cell phones where we didn't get out in the lead early. We didn't miss cell phones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership." Microsoft entered the smartphone space in April 2000 with the release of its first Windows Mobile operating system. However, the product never really took off and was eclipsed by touchscreen offerings from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). As a result, Microsoft launched Windows Phone in 2010, but the platform continues to lag: Windows Phone powers just 2.9 percent of all smartphones in the U.S., according to comScore data issued earlier this month. Said Gates: "[Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer] and I are two of the most self-critical people you can imagine. There are a lot of amazing things that Steve's leadership got done with the company in the last year--Windows 8 is key to the future, the Surface computer. Bing--people are seeing is a better search product. But is it enough? No, he and I are not satisfied, in terms of breakthrough things, that we're doing everything possible." Article