Ballmer wants Windows phones to run Android apps

At Microsoft's annual general meeting yesterday, former CEO Steve Ballmer came out strongly with his comments on the company's current course. He made it clear that he thought Microsoft's universal Windows app strategy would likely not succeed. He also said the company needed to focus more on whether Windows Phone handsets could run Android apps.

Ballmer added that the company needed to disclose profit margins and sales for its cloud and hardware businesses. "It's sort of a key metric - if they talk about it as key to the company, they should report it," Ballmer told reporters.

Ballmer, the biggest individual shareholder of the company, led the purchase of Nokia's handset business two years ago, but the software giant's mobile business had failed to pick up. Windows Phone continued to hold single-digit market share, and developers had not shown much interest in building apps for the platform.

Under an initiative called Project Astoria, launched earlier this year, Microsoft created software bridges to better enable iOS and Android developers to port their apps to Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. The company also announced universal apps for Windows 10 over a year ago, shortly following Satya Nadella taking over from Ballmer.

Meanwhile, on Friday, the company told shareholders that it had settled a lawsuit brought last year against former CEOs Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, the company's board of directors and other top executives regarding a $732 million fine that EU antitrust regulators imposed on the firm in 2013.

The latest upgrade to Windows 10, codenamed Threshold 2, added a number of fixes and tweaks.

Under the terms of the settlement, Microsoft would set aside $42.5 million to fund an antitrust compliance office for the next five years, and pay the plaintiffs' lawyers at least $7.3 million, according to court documents and a Friday filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company had been fighting the case in a Seattle, Washington federal court since April 2014. The case related to a multi-million-dollar blunder in 2012 when Microsoft was caught not displaying a browser ballot screen to users of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) in the EU.