During an interview earlier in 2019 with Village Global, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates had said that his greatest mistake ever was Microsoft missing the Android opportunity. Speaking at The New York Times' DealBook Conference on November 6, the American business magnate elaborated further on that thought stating that if Microsoft was not caught up in a US Justice Department antitrust investigation, perhaps everyone would have been using Windows Mobile now and not Android. According to the interview covered by CNBC Television, Gates claimed that the antitrust case was bad for Microsoft and he "screwed up" because of the "distraction" due to the antitrust case.
During the course of the interview, Gates further added that Microsoft also missed the chance to launch Windows Mobile over a Motorola phone and that Microsoft's move from Windows Mobile to Windows Phone allowed Android enough time to capture the market. Explaining the situation as a "winner takes all game," Gates added, "Now nobody here has ever heard of Windows Mobile, but oh well. That’s a few hundred billion here or there,” while explaining the popularity of Android over the Windows Mobile. He further added, “I am disappointed that Windows Mobile did not succeed.”
According to a report in The Verge, while it is still murky as to which Motorola handset the American magnate is referring too, during the period Gates speaks of, Motorola had launched its Droid range of Android-powered smartphones which had become extremely popular.