I’ve just re-read a post I wrote in 2010 about the future of Steve Ballmer. My two topics of focus were Windows Phone 7 (released that day) and the lack of a Windows tablet at the time.
I thought WinPho would struggle behind iOS and Android, mainly because of apps. I was not wrong. Things have improved, but there’s still issues with app quality and availability.
We now know that Ballmer bought into the Sinofsky plan (sounds like some dodgy French plan to keep out invading forces, and we know how those tend to work out). Windows 8 came, Windows 8.1 came, Windows 8.1 Update 1 came, and still Microsoft struggles in the tablet market. I thought (and I was not along) that, despite everything, Microsoft should get WinPho working on tablet devices. Instead we got the confusing and failed Windows RT, which is now being killed off through a merger with Windows Phone for ARM devices.
Oh yeah, I completely underestimated the impact of smartphones and tablets on the consumer market.