Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has had his fair share of ups and downs, and yet despite what many analysts have pointed out as his failings, Ballmer has brought Microsoft to higher financial levels. That’s one thing no one can take away from him.

Just like any other human being, though, Steve Ballmer had his own share of regrets, and in terms of his professional life in Microsoft, it is this: not transitioning quickly enough from software to hardware.

Steve Ballmer

Microsoft has long been known best for its operating systems and productivity suites, but it was not able to keep itself ahead of the pack – or at least up to par with its competitors – when it came to hardware.

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

“If I look back with 20-20 hindsight, the thing I regret is that we didn’t put the hardware and software together soon enough,” he said. “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’s helpful to be able to conceive and deliver the hardware and software.” (Source)

While he is not at the helm of the company anymore, Ballmer does believe that all is not lost for Microsoft. In fact, despite his biggest regret, he thinks that the company is right on track to fix the mistakes of the past. He believes that they are en route to building up their resources and that while they may not be at the head of the pack in the foreseeable future, Ballmer thinks they can remain competitive.

As he says, with seven billion people living in this planet, there’s bound to be a couple or so billion that will give Microsoft their time of the day.

What do you think of Steve Ballmer’s biggest regret?

[Image via inserbia]