Looking back, Steve Ballmer never should have laughed off the iPhone. Or at least that's the subtext of a recent CBS interview in which Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates says that his company made "mistakes" in mobile that allowed Apple and Google to emerge. Today, they're two of the world's dominant suppliers of smartphone operating system software.

Meanwhile, Windows Phone remains in the formative stages with hopes that a wide-ranging partnership with one-time smartphone leader Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will pay off. Do the odds favor Mr. Softy? Or have Apple and Google grown too big, too fast?

The Motley Fool's Alison Southwick asks Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova for his perspective in the video below. Please watch, and then leave a comment to let us know what you think.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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