In Pictures: The 12 biggest gaffes by high-tech execs

Tim Cook admires Macs running Windows. Mark Zuckerberg flop-sweats. Marissa Mayer fancies herself a graphic designer. The bigger the names, the bigger the embarrassment when things go awry.

Ballmer laughs off the iPhone If someone comes along and shows you the future, you probably shouldn’t laugh at it. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer learned that the hard way when he laughed off the iPhone in a January 2007 interview. Ballmer pooh-poohed the iPhone as being too expensive and said its lack of a physical keyboard “makes it not a very good email machine.” Keyboard-less phones quickly took over the smartphone market.

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS fell further and further behind iOS and Android. It wasn’t until Windows Phone 7’s release in 2010 that the company had a proper, modern, touchscreen-centric mobile OS.

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