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Bill Gates Calls On Microsoft To Innovate More

According to the software billionaire-turned-philanthropist, the firm missed a trick on the mobile front and didn't "get out in the lead early... clearly a mistake."

Bill Gates Calls On Microsoft To Innovate More

Microsoft needs a kick in the innovation pants, says its founder, Bill Gates.

The founding geek of the Seattle-based firm, now at the forefront of amazing things in world health, aimed his comments directly at the firm's mobile policy during an interview on CBS yesterday. "There's a lot of things like cellphones where we didn't get out in the lead early," Gates said. "We didn't miss cellphones, but the way that we went about it didn't allow us to get the leadership."

And, although he shored up support for the firm's oft-criticized CEO, Steve Ballmer, some commentators found his defense of his successor somewhat hesitant. Describing Microsoft's current CEO as "self-critical," he added that "he and I are not satisfied that in terms of breakthrough things that we're doing everything possible."

Despite the success of the Kinect gaming system, Microsoft has been struggling in recent years. Its Surface tablet launched last year but sales have been less than stellar and, despite the arrival of the Windows Phone OS, the firm's head of Windows, Steven Sinofsky, stepped down just three weeks after the launch of Windows 8.

What do you think Microsoft needs to do to stay in the game? Has it left it too late to shine in the mobile field, or is there an answer—and should Steve Ballmer figure in these plans? Would you like to see Bill Gates back at Microsoft? Comments, please!

[Image by Flickr user DFID]