In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Bill Gates has revealed that he's now using an Android phone. It makes sense as Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world, and one could even argue that its open platform principles parallel Microsoft's in many ways.
Also, Windows Phone has been dead for more than a year now. So while using a Windows Phone would only count as a show of support, it wouldn't make much sense to keep on using a largely abandoned platform.
What Android Phone Is Bill Gates Using?
Gates failed to reveal the specific model during the interview but did note that his phone contained "a lot of Microsoft software" on it, which The Verge speculates to be the Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition.
Microsoft started selling that Galaxy S8 variant in its stores earlier this year, with the phone basically the same as Samsung's flagship but packed with Office, Cortana, Outlook, and many other Microsoft apps. There's a possibility that Microsoft will continue doing this with other handsets moving forward.
While using an Android phone suggests Gates is willing to try other handsets and platforms outside of Microsoft, he's not willing to switch to iPhone just yet. Gates banned the use of iPhones and iPods inside his home in the past, but he still regards Steve Jobs as a "genius" in the interview.
Still, he said he uses "all Windows-based PCs," so no Macs anytime soon, probably. Windows on PC is anything but dead, so there'd be no reason to switch.
The Demise Of Windows Phone
Microsoft's smartphone business seems all but on its last legs, if not absolutely dead. Not only did its Nokia acquisition in 2014 failed to come to fruition, the company has also phased out support for Windows Phones entirely, meaning anyone who buys a Windows Phone now essentially means they'll have a piece of software that'll never get updated.
The company now has shifted its focus on other areas such as cloud computing, augmented reality, and virtual voice assistants.
So yes, Gates is now on the Android bandwagon, which makes up more than 80 percent of the total smartphone market share as of Q1 2017, according to market research firm IDC. Microsoft, on the other hand, makes up less than 1 percent. It's certainly a tough business to get into, given Android's huge capture.
Well, if you can't beat them, join them, right? Gates seems he would agree with that.