Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, in an interview with Der Spiegel:
Mundie: My response is that we had a music player before the iPod.
We had a touch device before the iPad. And we were leading in the
mobile phone space. So, it wasn’t for a lack of vision or
technological foresight that we lost our leadership position. The
problem was that we just didn’t give enough reinforcement to those
products at the time that we were leading. Unfortunately, the
company had some executional missteps, which occurred right at the
time when Apple launched the iPhone. With that, we appeared to
drop a generation behind.
Spiegel: What happened?
Mundie: During that time, Windows went through a difficult period
where we had to shift a huge amount of our focus to security
engineering. The criminal activity in cyberspace was growing
dramatically ten years ago, and Microsoft was basically the only
company that had enough volume for it to be a target. In part
because of that, Windows Vista took a long time to be born.
Don’t make excuses. And definitely don’t make lame excuses. This is just embarrassing.