How I would save Microsoft as CEO
If they elected me CEO of Microsoft, here’s how I would save the company. In order to make this more interesting I wrote it as if I really was elected CEO and even included a video for those inclined to watch instead of read...
In an unprecedented decision Microsoft Corporation has named me, a developer who presented them a vision of what Microsoft could achieve, as their new CEO. This is the first message I am posting to announce some of upcoming changes before the main press conference. First off I wanted to say thank you to everyone who made this possible.
In order to reinvent oneself, you must look deep within and not be scared of failure or of the daunting tasks required for true change - self realization followed by vision and then commitment to a goal.
I remember a better Microsoft, a company which brought the magic of technology and wonders of productivity to our homes, business, classrooms and even outer-space. This once thriving company has vanished and it’s place is a bloated slow, barely recognizable shell that people for the most part have stopped carrying about at it’s worst people wish would slowly die and be crushed under the weight of more innovative companies like Apple or Google. I have not given up on Microsoft and here is my vision of what it could become in 2014 and beyond.
Voice control and gesture control built-in to all new version of windows.
New versions of windows and all our flagship software products will include full voice and where applicable to have sensor technology to allow for complete control of all features and operation via voice and gesture commands. This technology has been battle tested in our entertainment products like the Xbox One and it’s time to move this experience out of the living room and into a truly unified experience that’s more accessible and fun for everyone. I’m NOT talking about light voice integration, but all features, “Computer on”, “Save Word Doc”, “Send to Skydrive”.
Microsoft’s new digital assistant will include an open robotics platform and be developed in a public facing - feedback oriented way. As stated before in press reports, Microsoft has been working on a digital assistant that can live on your computer and other windows devices. I would like to take this a step further and announce the next major home and work revolution that will be trail blazed by Microsoft. This digital assistant will be platform independent, A first for Microsoft and can run on Mac OS. It’s development API will be released allowing third parties to improve, improvise and . but that’s not all. In order to really make a digital assistance revolutionary and something that can transform the home and workplace, it needs to transcend a closed computing environment. I am pleased to announce, Microsoft’s first accessible robot software and hardware hybrid code named "Robo". Robo can be controlled and synced to your digital assistants, there is also a simple app to control Robo. This allows for your “digital assistant’ when synced with Robo to monitor your home while you gone, record events, videos, photos, open doors and get / retrieve things, great you when you come home, and eventually a whole lot more. You will be able to tell their own personal robot to move around the house, turn on or off lights, get you a drink.
Instead of developing Robo in a vacuum, There will be a public site called, robo says, where the world can gather and help us creatively come up with ideas, test and improve robo before it’s released. All customers who help us make Robo better will have access to it months before the public released, at a huge discount, 30%, We want to reward people that help make Microsoft better. Also any customers that are first.
New versions of all windows operating systems will include more than one interface tailored to different use styles and tastes. Since the launch of Windows 8 and the introduction of the metro UI, we’ve learned a lot of things, namely forcing everyone to conform to a radically different user interface can be polarizing, especially one that’s so fundamentally different than it’s predecessor. Why should a modern operating system force all users to adhere to a single user interface when the way people interact, use their computer are so fundamentally different? Starting immediately I would open up a new team with the goal to design 3 interfaces (to start with) that adhering to different use styles that run on top the windows platform. There is no reason to force all users to conform to one user interface style and interaction style anymore. We need to develop at least a number of options and let people choose the one that works for them the best. One would include a power user interface that allows people to have more control over the aspects of their computer and fast access and prompt based access to all functions and features including compatibility with prompt command from other systems like Linux. If you know what I’m talking about, you know that this is long overdue.
Add a simple, clean and powerful user portal for accessing all Microsoft services and tools (not just sales and scattered support sites). Microsoft needs a user centric site that is a fast way and user centric to access all it’s cloud based services and online tools, not an integrated sales site. currently, you have to visit office365, bing.com
and many more. This is ridiculous and hurts our acceptance in the market. We need a unified, front to all available user centric Microsoft services and tools and this should be used on all marketing material everywhere. It can sub-link to support, and individual software site, but all major services and tools in one easy to find spot, including Microsoft account, profile, etc. This should be the same for all users and not differentiate between mobile, desktop or xbox one, we need one Microsoft for all devices, we need to be true to that.
Full redesign and value proposition change in marketing for office365.
I would redesign the funnel and ui at office.microsoft.com
to importantly highlight the FREE cloud doc portions, and I would push a 100% free version which I would compare with Google Docs in marketing. I would also improve the value added cloud service that showcases the affordable $99.99 per year for up to 5 household PCs for the entire office suite on any device (MAC and PC). This is terrible marketed and even technology enthusiasts just go to Google docs many times, when Office has a nice competitive product that integrates with their chosen operating system. Let’s make Microsoft Office Cool. I would kill the price discrepancies between “standalone” and “cloud” professional versions. We want everyone enjoying software as a service, on their individual pcs and where/ how they need it. It should be the same price, one low monthly fee should also come with the stand-alone versions and licenses to use them everywhere. We need to take the headaches out of maintaining software and stop over differentiating between many complicated versions of products.
Launch a new loyalty and rewards program to encourage early adopters and reward true supporters. Microsoft has never done a good job of encouraging loyalty and rewarding early adopters. I would change both these things immediately. It needs loyalty programs and incentives for people who continually choose Microsoft and a huge bonus for customers who come from Mac.
Improve mobile app development tools and look into cross platform development studio tools sponsored by Microsoft. On the mobile front, instead of begging - Microsoft will look into improving or creating a cross platform development environment that will enable awesome apps to work on android, windows and mac phones. This has to happen. I’m open to technologically how to make this the best solution possible. I know it’s possible to actually run android on a windows phone, for Microsoft to fork android’s open operating system and create a version that can also run windows apps, I’m not sure what the solution is at this point, but I would consult the greatest minds the world has to offer and find a better solution than begging app developers to also create versions for windows phones that aren’t as good. This has to be fixed!.
Use the old Xbox 360s to improve the world and reach out to impoverished and low income communities and countries.
We sold 80 million Xbox 360 devices worldwide, so far. With the Xbox one release and progress moving forward, Within the next 5 years it’s only a matter of time until many of these devices end up neglected or in a dumpster headed. I would immediately set up a program that offered a discount to our customers who upgraded and “turned in” these old devices. Although originally intended for gaming, the Xbox 360 is a full functioning computer that can access a full version of internet explorer and with a keyboard provide a way for anyone with electricity and internet access to be able to learn, work and improve their lives, especially with the prevalence of cloud based services like office 365.Each one of these xbox 360s that were turned in could be equipped with a low cost USB keyboard, then repackaged and distributed to individuals, families and children in impoverished states. It would also include an education application allow it to be valuable without an internet connection - The demand for accessible computers world-wide is VERY high and this could at least be a step toward building a better tomorrow and it’s using an old system that would go to waste otherwise.
Openly challenge Google and Apple to confront world challenges with our combined technology. I would public-ally publish open challenges to Apple and Google on how to use our combined technology to facilitate solving the world hardest problems . I would record all efforts Microsoft does and showcase how our products and operating systems can help solve real world business and humanitarian problems and have this content available for all of our marketing as well. i want you to feel good about Microsoft as a company, as an innovator and as a legacy of making the world better off through the use our software and technology.
Rethink social and improve it’s implementation in every Microsoft product. Microsoft needs better social, but I’m not talking about re-inventing the wheel and forcing users to use it like Google plus :). I’m talkabout about building better social aggregation and management tools directly into windows os. People are social and microsoft needs to make staying up to date with your digital life easier and easier for developers to also use these tools in all windows apps social. After improving aggregation and creating a better front facing user tools site, i would do a user forum or survey with focus groups and open up a discussion on how to improve social in general world-wide if there was demand I would build a Microsoft original social network, but it would have to demand driven and I’m not sure that exists for us yet, but I would like to test waters and see, It would be interesting to see a social network with combined sharing and information from all the services Microsoft will offer and continues to offer.
Halt dividends to reinvest in R&D to stay innovative.
Initially this may not make investors as happy, but it needs to happen to facilitate these large plans. Microsoft will temporarily halt dividends to stockholders and instead invest this money in the much needed R & D to actually launch these initiatives. They’ll make many times what the dividends are worth when Microsoft stock again reaches a high level and innovation rockets up once more.
Do more with Kinect - Kinect face-sensing technology will be improved and built directly into all Surface devices. The development for using motion sensor technology on windows will be opened up and released to all application developers allow for new talent to make use of this cool way to interact with technology.
Start a new program to help entrepreneurs in a more public way.
i would create a new program for people with ideas, be it business, technology, or humanitarian and open a Microsoft Development Accelerator Program, where all the resources, software, hardware, human intellect would be available to try and help the next generation of idea makers and visionaries use Microsoft’s resources to help bring their ideas and dreams to life. And instead of this happening in a vacuum, I would publicize this in a video series and online interactive social environment that all people around the world could help, take part in and watch from their devices. Microsoft at least on the corporate level needs to bring it’s value to the people and show the world how it can be used to improve the entire planet and facilitate big ideas. While also creating original Microsoft content that can be streamed to its wide network of devices. I’m proud to announce that first company that will be the recipient of this will be MoviePals social filmmaking, and their idea of improving the distributed and social aspect of the filmmaking process. I will personally be working with them in the accelerator project.
Thank you and Goodnight.