Regrets? I've had a few, says Ballmer, but buying Nokia ain't one of them

Big Steve admits mobile missteps at Microsoft

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Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told an audience at Oxford University that convincing the board to sign off on the purchase of Nokia was one of his toughest tasks, during a 14-year spell in charge.

During the lengthy chat, the larger-than-life Baller, who handed over the reins to Satya Nadella last month, said snapping up a phone-maker was a tough sell, given Microsoft's deep roots as a software company.

He said: "It's important because the name of the company is Microsoft," he said "It was a fundamental part of the founding principles: we were a software company.

"And yet: Xbox, Surface and now the phone, and we have a profile that will end up being mixed in the future. That's a pretty fundamental change."

United we stand

Ballmer also owned up to a few mobile missteps during his tenure as Bill Gates' successor, including the company's hesitance to unite the company's hardware and software strategies.

He added: "In the last 10 years, there are things that didn't go so well. We would have had a strong position in the phone market. The thing I regret is that we didn't put hardware and software together quicker."

If you're so inclined, you can watch the full chat below.

Via PC Pro