“We would have a stronger position in the phone market today if I could redo the last 10 years.” — Steve Ballmer

Former Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer spoke candidly at the Saïd Business School in Oxford, U.K, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The retired CEO, replaced by Satya Nadella, emphasized his faith in Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services unit and shared vague opinions on Facebook’s WhatsApp deal.

Discussing WhatsApp, Ballmer said it’s probably not a fad: “It looks more like text [messaging.] I don’t know whether they’ll be successful or not.” Ballmer went on to say that there’s no reason to doubt that Zuckerberg will be able to generate revenue from the service’s 450 million users.

On Microsoft, Ballmer called it his child:

“I own 4% of Microsoft,” he said. “I care a lot about my child, and my investment, and therefore the investment of the other owners of our company.”

Since Ballmer’s departure, Nadella has already announced a major leadership shakeup. The company just lost former Skype CEO Tony Bates and marketing head Tami Reller.

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