SALT LAKE CITY — Microsoft founder Bill Gates admits that he made a major mistake, one he calls his “greatest mistake” ever.

He said, "the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is,” according to The Verge.

Gates said the mistake was giving Google the chance to launch its Android software platform and become the “standard non-Apple phone form platform,” according to Fox Business.

  • “In the software world, in particular for platforms, these are winner-take-all markets,” Gates said. “So, you know, the greatest mistake ever is the whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is, [meaning] Android is the standard non-Apple phone form platform.”
  • “That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win,” Gates said.
  • “It really is winner take all. If you’re there with half as many apps or 90 percent as many apps, you’re on your way to complete doom,” the billionaire continued. “There’s room for exactly one non-Apple operating system, and what’s that worth? $400 billion that would be transferred from company G [Google] to company M [Microsoft].”

Context: Android’s first handset was released in 2008, quickly becoming the leading alternative to the iPhone, according to Engadget. Microsoft tried to jump into the market but failed to gain popularity with its own devices.