Microsoft has been a behemoth among computing for the past 30 years. Most of us probably grew up with Windows 95 / 98 (Hover! anyone?) and have had Windows as the main part of our computing education. In the last 5 or so though they have become less and less relevant as the computing industry shifts more towards mobile, whereis failing terribly. Their Surface tablet has debuted with less-than-stellar reviews and frankly terrible sales numbers. Windows Phones are not exactly shifting in massive bulk either.
When you think about it, Microsoft only really has two things going for it nowadays:
- Windows (for desktop / laptop) - personally I think Windows 8 is going to be a bit of a flop and most people will just stick with Windows 7 but at least they're trying to adapt to the modern world with touchscreens, lower prices, more frequent upgrades etc.
- Office - we all live in it, we all hate it, we all need it.
First things first, I think Ballmer needs to be fired as soon as possible; that guy is a moron and one of the worst examples of management I've ever seen.
Secondly, I think Microsoft needs to stop trying to do all these fancy things to do with building its own hardware / new operating systems etc and focus on what it is good at (see above). They need to:
- Focus on making Windows as damn good as it can possibly be. Make it simple, cheap, reliable, able to run on a vast array of PCs, strong support for enterprise, user friendly etc. They will not lose the desktop / laptop market anytime soon and they should really take advantage of their market share there
- Bring out an amazing cross-platform version of Office for mobile. I'm talking full features, wireless keyboard support, VBA, cloud sharing, multiple users at one time, etc. Enterprise will not be shifting away from Office anytime soon but they may wish to reduce their reliance on big clunky desktops - users certainly do. If Microsoft can make a top quality mobile version of Office at a reasonable price, it will be a home run among all users
So there, my brief thoughts on what is affecting Microsoft and how they can attempt to fix it. Your thoughts, as always, are welcome!