Bill Gates: Microsoft isn’t innovating enough

Gates says Microsoft "not satisfied in terms of breakthrough things"

Dave Stevenson
19 Feb 2013

Bill Gates has said he isn't satisfied with how Microsoft is innovating under the steerage of CEO Steve Ballmer.

Speaking on American television, he told interviewer Charlie Rose that "[Ballmer] and I are not satisfied that in terms of breakthrough things that we’re doing everything possible."

Gates’ criticism came after a warmer appraisal of Ballmer’s 13 years as Microsoft CEO. "He and I are two of the most self-critical people you can imagine," he said. "There are a lot of amazing things that Steve’s leadership got done with the company in the last year."

He cited Windows 8, Microsoft Surface and the Bing search engine as specific Microsoft successes.

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Prompted for specifics, Gates said Microsoft stumbled when it came to capitalising on the smartphone revolution. "We didn't miss cellphones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership."

"It was clearly a mistake," he added.

Gates went on to talk about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has made the eradication of polio its "top priority."

"Innovation is what I love to work on," he said. "Often the money that lets you do the innovation is what’s missing, and I'm lucky enough to have capital to, whether it’s a new nuclear reactor or cheap solar, I can back some wild ideas."

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