I think Microsoft should show of the new stuff (like they do)... and innovate (like they do). I hope they never stop with innovation!
Agreed. But they seem to be doing a lot of that with MS Research. The trouble is that this never reaches the outside world, or it does, but so late that it's not that interesting anymore, or it only reaches it in extremely slimmed down form. Release more of
that stuff as 'research' or 'beta' editions. Hell, nobody seems to mind that Google slaps 'beta' on everything... Release some of that TechFest stuff and just don't offer any support. It'll show more people than just us and a couple of bloggers how innovative
MS can be.
There is one thing that could help Microsoft a lot: look younger! Try to reach the young people. They are your future customers. Microsoft does it very good - really really good - with the Xbox 360. It looks like a completely different Microsoft there.
Agreed. We need all of Microsoft to be like Xbox 360 Microsoft. It'll make Microsoft look less like IBM and more like the vibrant, consumer-oriented Microsoft of the mid-90's. I think that would work even with business users. After all, end users are all consumers
too. Just look at the succes of Windows 95.
I hope that Microsoft can also look younger with Windows and Office. Look at the PC guy in the Apple ads, just as an example, he looks boring and old. The Mac guy, looks like a good friend, like somebody fresh and young. Microsoft should try to get rid
of the old guy and start to be more the young guy.
To be fair, that's Apple's depiction of MS. Of course they're going to make MS unnatractive and boring. They could've put a maniacal psycho-killer next to the fresh young apple guy to further that contrast, but that doesn't mean Microsoft is a maniacal psycho-killer.
For example: the Windows Media Player. Make it feel younger and not so slow (slow => old). WMP looks like a dead app! Support stuff the young people like: support tons of codecs. Use less memory. Remove this useless skin support. Make the library more
usable. I have tons of ideas!! Make synchronization with Zune and WMP work! Make Windows Media Player BETTER!
Zune synching should've been there from day 1. It's a pathetic joke, and shameful. And you make a good point here: remember when news of the Zune had -just- broken? The rumors were beautiful: browsing online stores to buy and download music
from the device itself
. Wireless synching! A large, wide, screen for video playback. People didn't care that it wasn't as thin as the Nano and that it didn't have the touch-wheel-thing. Back then, rumor had it that the Zune might be the first real
threat to the iPod. It could've been amazing, and it turned out to be a terrible, terrible failure. If they managed to live up to those initial expectations, they would've had an innovative device that made them look like a serious player in the 'fun' industry.
As for Media Player: also a good point. I like WMP11 a lot better than the previous iterations, but it's still not very good. The library does always write metadata back to the files, and doesn't notify you when it fails. The interface is strangely huge. It
looks and feels bloated. When I ask people why they use WinAmp, it's never because they use features that WMP doesn't have. It's because it's a small, fast-loading app that doesn't use much memory, and is simply good at doing what it should: play media.
A Garageband from Microsoft would be nice, but I doubt it'd do much for most people. Making Vista a gaming platform: yes. That game browser does not do that, by the way. DX10, on the other hand, does. The rating system, if it gets picked up by the industry,
would help a great deal too. Also, make multiplayer gaming attractive on Vista, in some way.
One thing that is making my heart bleed is Steve Ballmer and what he is saying: it makes Microsoft just more evil and looking REALLY old. Old people tend to seed fear and to fear a lot. And Steve looks to me like he is fearing a lot... I don't know from
what, but his saying give me that feeling. And they make me feel sad!
Steve needs to stop talking about others. A lot of people want Steve to be replaced, but I disagree. He shouldn't have to go, because he has some unique qualities. For instance:
Those Windows Windows Windows and developers developers developers speeches were hilarious (that's not a bad thing, regardless of wether people were laughing with or at him), and they oozed one thing: enthousiasm. Steve was full of energy and really enthousiastic
about his own company. If Steve is good at one thing, it's exploding with a contagious enthousiasm and energy over something he thinks is great. Use that. Change Steve's image from the angry chair-thrower who hates other companies to the enthousiastic stage-running
demagogue who loves his own company, and gets you all riled up in loving it too.
Microsoft is going into the right direction... It's just taking some time to reach it.
Obviously it's going to take time, but it shouldn't take a lot of time. Look at that switch from the closed, secretive company to the pioneer in openness, with blogging employees and technical communities. That change happened virtually in the blink of an eye.
Microsoft is agile. Let's have them use that agility.