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Bill Gates reveals his greatest mistake — and says it cost him billions of dollars

Bill Gates has a multi-billion dollar regret that still haunts him.

“The greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is,” he told a conference over the weekend. Gates was speaking with Eventbrite co-founder and CEO Julia Hartz at an event hosted for founders by venture firm Village Global. “That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win,” Gates said.

Microsoft MSFT, -0.14% tried to create a mobile phone operating system to compete with Apple’s AAPL, -0.91% but by the time Windows Mobile launched with a touch-screen feature in 2010 it was no match for Android, the Google-owned GOOG, +0.46%GOOGL, +0.57% OS that runs on non-Apple phones.

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