Steve Ballmer faced plenty of critics during his tumultuous 14 years as Microsoft 's CEO. But during a Bloomberg interview at the tech giant's recent annual shareholder's meeting, Ballmer criticized two of CEO Satya Nadella's strategies. Let's discuss what Ballmer said and whether or not his points are valid.
Ballmer told Bloomberg that this strategy "won't work" and that Microsoft needed to enable Windows 10 Mobile devices to "run Android apps." Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled two "bridges" that helped developers port Android and iOS apps to Windows 10. But in November, Microsoft suspended the Android bridge, which limited developers to ports of iOS apps. Jumping through those hoops didn't appeal to many developers.
Supporting Android apps natively would simplify the process considerably. Microsoft could then follow the footsteps of Amazon's Appstore and cut Alphabet 's Google Play out of the loop with its own Android app store. However, BlackBerry also believed that running sideloaded Android apps and installing Amazon's Appstore would prop up its hardware sales. Unfortunately, those apps didn't boost handset sales, and BlackBerry now only controls 0.3% of the global smartphone market, according to Gartner . Windows Phone still controls about 1.7% of the market, but it could be tumbling down the same path.
Should investors care what Ballmer thinks?
Ballmer's criticisms of Nadella's strategies might seem ironic, considering how many critical mistakes he made as CEO. Under Ballmer, Microsoft passively relied on periodic upgrades of Windows and Office software instead of aggressively countering the growth of Google's Chrome OS and Drive. Ballmer mocked the iPhone when it arrived in 2007, and Microsoft waited three years before it launched its first multitouch mobile OS. Ballmer tried to rectify that mistake by buying Nokia 's handset business, which resulted in a disastrous writedown earlier this year.
Despite those major blunders, Ballmer's points about Microsoft's cloud revenue reporting and lack of Android app support are quite valid. Microsoft can provide investors a clearer picture of its cloud growth by disclosing official Azure numbers, and Windows 10 Mobile might gain more users with native support for Android apps.
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The article Steve Ballmer Thinks Microsoft Corporation Must Fix These 2 Things originally appeared on Fool.com.
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