Bill Gates: Microsoft made a mistake with its mobile strategy

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates admits the company's late start with smartphones cost it the chance to be a market leader in mobile

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Global sales of Windows Phone devices increased by just over 124% during the last three months of 2012 compared to the year previous, according to a recent report from market research firm Gartner. Another report, this time from IDC, said Windows Phone worldwide device shipments grew by 150% during the last quarter of 2012. (IDC and PCWorld are both owned by International Data Group.)

Based on IDC's numbers, Windows Phone is closing in on BlackBerry and could overtake its closest rival to become the third-most popular smartphone platform worldwide. Even so, the research firm reports that Windows Phone accounted for just 2.6% of the worldwide market at the end of 2012, trailing way behind Android at 70.1% and iOS at 21%.

There's little doubt that Microsoft has made mistakes in its cellphone strategy over the past five years, but so has BlackBerry, Hewlett-Packard, and the now defunct Palm. The good news for Microsoft is the future is looking a little bit brighter for Windows Phone, and the best days could be yet to come if the company's cross-platform vision for Windows bears fruit.

This story, "Bill Gates: Microsoft made a mistake with its mobile strategy" was originally published by PCWorld.

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