Steve Ballmer Says Smartphones Strained His Relationship With Bill Gates

Steve Ballmer said his decision to push Microsoft Corp. into the hardware business contributed to the breakdown of his relationship with longtime friend and company co-founder Bill Gates. Ballmer's only regret: not doing it sooner.

Ballmer, who was chief executive officer of Microsoft for 14 years, told Bloomberg Television that if he could do it all again, he would have entered the mobile device market years earlier. When he finally did, Gates and other members of the board disagreed, he said.

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