Talking to students at Oxford University he said Microsoft “would have a stronger position in the phone market today if I could redo, for example, the last ten years.”
He continued: “The thing I regret is that we didn't put the hardware and software together soon enough. It was almost magical the way the PC came about with an operating system from us and hardware from IBM. There was a little bit of magic, too, for Android and Samsung coming together. But if you really want to bring a vision to market, it is helpful to be able to conceive and deliver the hardware and software.”
Ballmer said that the company was “Micro-soft” with a focus on software – but that had changed a bit with the move into consoles, hardware like the Surface tablet, and mobiles. He thinks that the company will be more mixed in the future.