Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella makes big revelation, says shutting down Windows Phone was a mistake

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has revealed in an interview that the decision he regrets the most is exiting from the Windows Phone and mobile business.

| Updated on: Oct 25 2023, 12:06 IST
Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella said exiting Windows Phone and mobile business was one of the most difficult decisions he made. (Getty Images via AFP)
Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella said exiting Windows Phone and mobile business was one of the most difficult decisions he made. (Getty Images via AFP)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has revealed the decision he regrets the most, and it is giving up on the Windows Phone and mobile business. This makes him the third Microsoft chief to admit that the company wasn't running the mobile division correctly and made some seriously erroneous decisions. The Microsoft Mobile division was closed in 2016 after the company took a write-off of $7.6 billion relating to the acquisition of Nokia hardware assets. It also laid off all the employees in the division and witnessed a 1 percent drop in market share that year.

In an interview with Business Insider, Nadella pondered upon a strategic mistake or bad decision that he might regret later and said, “The decision I think a lot of people talk about – and one of the most difficult decisions I made when I became CEO — was our exit of what I'll call the mobile phone as defined then. In retrospect, I think there could have been ways we could have made it work by perhaps reinventing the category of computing between PCs, tablets, and phones”.

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Satya Nadella says giving up on mobile category ‘a difficult decision'

Microsoft entered the mobile market in October 2010 with Windows Phone 7. Then, in 2012, it launched Windows Phone 8. At the time, the company was receiving positive feedback from consumers and analysts equally, with some claiming the company was poised to overtake iPhones soon.

Boosted by this confidence, Microsoft launched Windows 10 Mobile in 2015, which focused on increased integration and unification with its PC counterpart. However, it was the same year Apple launched the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus while Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and both the lineups offered better features, and versatility, and had a large developer community working to build third-party applications.

Around the same time, in 2014, Microsoft acquired Nokia's mobile business for $7 billion, which saw the introduction of the Lumia series of smartphones that came with the Windows Phone OS. Lumia 520 was one of the devices that stood out in terms of sales, but the overall market share remained quite low eventually, Microsoft decided to shut down its entire mobile division, and afterwards it began software development and integrations with Android and iOS instead.

However, in recent years, Microsoft has ventured into the smartphone market again, with its Android OS-powered Surface Duo and Surface Duo 2 smartphones, where the latter was launched in 2021. But, as per reports, there are no updates on the development of Surface Duo 3, so it is hard to say how committed the Windows maker is to this venture.

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First Published Date: 25 Oct, 12:04 IST