It is amazing just how quickly perspective changes when one has more time to reflect. Steve Ballmer is no longer the CEO of Microsoft, but while in charge he was often criticized for the decisions he made.
He was even criticized for the decisions he did not make — they were almost as deadly.
This mix of decisions and indecisions is one of reasons why he has had to step aside from the job a few years before than he had planned. And now, speaking at an Oxford University event, Ballmer has admitted that Microsoft made a ton of mistakes while he was the CEO.
For starters, if he was to take charge as the company head all over again, he would invest a lot more in the smartphone business:
“Devices will continue to change so do you give up, or do you get ready for the next wave of change?
If you really want to bring a vision to market it is helpful to be able to conceive and deliver the hardware and software. And our company’s in the position of building new muscle, so that we’re not just thinking about building things like tablets.”
Ballmer was also candid in admitting that Microsoft is unlikely to lead the tablet market in the coming years, but the company plans to continue investments in this area:
“Does that mean for sure we’ll lead the next generation, no, but we’re there working hard to make sure that that next wave, we’re there.”
Redmond unleashed its second generation lineup of Surface tablets in October, but word is that the company is already working on expanding its tablet family with new members.
LTE 4G enabled models are expected to launch in the coming months, and although talks of the long rumored Surface Mini have slowed down recently, chances are that the company is planning an 8-inch Surface slate that would compete with devices like the iPad Mini and Nexus 7.
Nothing particularly new in what Ballmer has said of his time at the helm, but the guy seems to be aware of what he missed out on while leading one of the most influential of companies in the world.