Microsoft failed to grasp the surging importance of the mobile market and missed an entire generation of mobile users according to Steve ballmer the CEO of the Redmond based computer behemoth.
Talking to more than 14,000 partners at Microsoft's World Partner Conference, he said that "On the phone side we missed a generation with Windows Mobile. We really did miss almost a release cycle, but Windows Phone 7 which we had a chance to debut at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year has received really quite remarkable reviews."
However, he was convinced that the wrongs will be righted later this year with the launch of Windows Phone 7 which, delegates were told, would be devices that they'd be proud to carry.
The global share of the smartphone market occupied by Windows Mobile has shrunk significantly down to two per cent after rivals like Google, Apple and Blackberry launched compelling mobile platforms while Microsoft stuck with an ageing Windows 6.5.x platform (which really is Windows Mobile 6).
The first Windows Phone 7 devices should appear in the UK in the first few weeks of Q4 with a full launch likely to happen in October/November. Interestingly, it is not the first time that Microsoft underestimates the tech market.
It pushed for MIDs well before Apple popularised the tablet but failed rather miserably. Bill Gates famously had to bundle a working version of Internet Explorer in Windows 95, then cancelled work on the browser at its peak before scrambling to get development up and running after Firefox caught up with it.