Microsoft The Future…
As the saga unfolds of Steve Ballmer’s sudden retirement announcement and the tech blogs take wagers and polls over who the next CEO will be I have spent the past few days mulling my vision of where Microsoft should go from here.
Many other blogs dealt with this issue already with reader’s polls and rampant speculation. One of my favorites is this conversation:
@BrianSHall I guess you didn’t have me as one of the options huh 😉
— jonathanross (@jonathanross) August 25, 2013
Curiously no one has speculated on a come-back by Bill Gates. Still time will tell.
Imaging for a moment that I’m sitting being interviewed for the job. I had a thought about some of the things I would have to say …
- It’s time for Microsoft to truly embrace Agility and not just in development. Microsoft can no longer be the turtle to their competitors’ rabbits: shorter cycles between iterations and not just keeping pace but setting the pace of innovation are a must: Windows 8.1 is a good example of the right way to do this.
- Redmond allowed a molasses like pace in developing mobile, apps and tablets and even then as incredible as Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8 ecosystem are, the tasks of gaining traction and market share in these areas seems Sisyphusean.
- Agility needs to be the defining factor in strategic decision making, but it needs a foundation of actionable intelligence on coming market trends in verticals Microsoft wishes to dominate.
- Sustainable roadmaps for gaining this market share balanced with aggressive customer retention policies: Windows Phone 7.8 bones thrown to loyal consumers are not enough.
- UI/UX and consumer usability testing of alpha versions not just rolled out to developer / blogger communities but to real world, end-user consumers. Their feedback counts more than anyone else’s.
Microsoft have made a colossal effort to rebrand since Windows Vista. Windows 8.1 (amongst other course corrections) indicates as I have said before that the company has become more responsive to consumer criticism. Whilst many of the marketing efforts deserve praise, just as often you are left wondering,
“What the heck were the marketing people thinking?”
Maybe it’s time to rethink the sometimes combative marketing strategy and focus on a clear message that lets the products speak for themselves.
Microsoft has some of the most passionate, creative and inspiring people I have met or heard speak and I strongly rate their products for stability, function, quality, scalability and UX. I believe that Microsoft’s place in the market is not just as a strong competitor but also as an innovator who stimulates innovation in others. At the end of the day, the consumer benefits from this.
Not too long ago I tweeted this,
Not software, not hardware, not services .. it’s about offering people solutions, scalable, efficient and easy to implement solutions
— jonathanross (@jonathanross) August 27, 2013
Yes this was my call to action for Microsoft but it applies to us all. We create solutions to challenges based on our pain or passion.
What’s your vision for the future?