This led me to think perhaps Microsoft should take a very close look at all of the decisions made in the last two to three years with the intent to reverse them. So far by reversing decisions made by Steve Ballmer Microsoft has turned things around. Windows 8 was not doing so well with just the modern UI and no start button, after the concession of a start button (no menu though) and the ability to boot to the desktop Windows 8 sales did pick up a little. Even the rumor that Microsoft is giving back a full start menu has generated considerable interest and positive comments.
Remember that Ballmer and the Xbox One crew wanted to limit game sharing, independent game sales and transfers, and also claimed that the Xbox One would not work without the Kinect enabled. After Sony launched the PS4 without the same type of restrictions their preorders and eventual sales soared past the Xbox One. This led to Microsoft reversing many of these decisions very quickly including stating that the Kinect was not really required, but you had to buy one anyway. Sales of the Xbox One were still well behind the PS4 until the Kinect was finally dropped in May and the console was given a price to match.
As we have said multiple times in the past, Microsoft’s core customers want flexibility. If they wanted a controlled experience they would buy a Mac. CEO Satya Nadella needs to think about this as he pushes his Mobile First, Cloud First concept. Yes most people have a mobile device and consume more data there, but the PC still needs to be the work horse of the home. It should have a flexible OS that can run on a wide range of hardware combinations. Cloud options should not be the default, but enabled as needed/wanted. The massive amount of information beamed at you from the live tiles of the modernUI belongs on a tablet or a phone, but (in my opinion) should not be automatically cluttering up a desktop or start menu.
If Microsoft wants to measure success like they have in the past perhaps they need to stop the mobile and cloud focus and focus on the wants and needs of the end user when they are at the PC. To make a little change to the ad that played in my head we should say: “How does Microsoft get back to success?”
The answer: “Reverse all of the decisions made by Steve Ballmer”
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