Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer readily admits the software giant missed the boat on mobile and pinned the main reason on not following Apple's integrated approach.
"The thing I regret is that we didn't put the hardware and the software together soon enough," Ballmer said, referring to smartphones specifically, but mobile in general. His remarks came during a one hour Q&A in the Said Business Hall at Oxford University.
After supporting hardware partners for years, Microsoft finally decided to also build its own Surface line of tablets running Windows software after the iPad was already an established hit.
As for Apple, Ballmer said it's a company that is "quote, cool, unquote" that has "had a good run lately" and argued that in tablets it only commercialized an idea (the iPad) that others, including Microsoft, had originated.