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Attenuating Innovation (AI) Posted onWednesday November 1 2023

There’s no doubt that the antitrust lawsuit was bad for Microsoft. We would have been more focused on creating the phone operating system so that instead of using Android today, you would be using Windows Mobile. If it hadn’t been for the antitrust case, Microsoft would have…

You’re convinced?

Oh we were so close. I was just too distracted. I screwed that up because of the distraction. We were just three months too late with a release that Motorola would have used on a phone, so yes, it’s a winner-take-all game, that is for sure. Now nobody here has ever heard of Windows Mobile, but oh well. That’s a few hundred billion here or there.

This opinion is, to use a technical term favored by analysts, bullshit. Windows Mobile wasn’t three months late relative to Android; Windows Mobile launched as the Pocket PC 2000 operating system in, you guessed it, 2000, a full eight years before the first Android device hit the market.

The issue with Windows Mobile was, first and foremost, Gates himself: in his view of the world the Windows-based PC was the center of a user’s computing life, and the phone a satellite; small wonder that Windows Mobile looked and operated like a shrunken-down version of Windows: there was a Start button, and Windows Mobile 2003, the first version to have the “Windows Mobile” name, even had the same Sonoma Valley wallpaper as Windows XP:

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