How Microsoft can make itself a better company

                                                                             

Microsoft has always been regarded as the ‘evil’ company. Or at least not a good one. Viruses, no good OS, not innovative, not fast, tons of stuff people use to describe Microsoft.

Well, it’s about time Microsoft fixed that.

I’ve been wondering, how Microsoft could improve itself to gain a much better reputation amongst people again. If you’re not interested in reading long posts, just read the bold parts. That’s more important – the other is just description and my analysis. So here’s my list:

  • Make something really good, not increment updates – Apple seems to nail this one. Make the first version really good on it’s own. Nobody wants a 1st gen. product that’s not even decent. It would be too much like a beta. Make something that anybody would want on the 1st gen. product. Example of Microsoft’s failure with this: The Zune. Example of Apple doing this right: The iPhone. Zune should have had all the features that people have been wanting on their wishlist for Zune 2.0. Podcasts, thinner, better software have been things Zune users have been wanting. Why didn’t they do something about this before? That’s why people aren’t liking Microsoft. They assume (and probably are right) that Microsoft just doesn’t make stuff real good in the first version. The iPhone is first version, and it’s selling like hotcakes. Apple does this right, and Microsoft doesn’t. So Microsoft has to make something right the first time.
  • Less lawsuits, less trying to ‘own’ the whole market – People hate lawsuits, period. When a company throws a book at another company, people always assume that the one making the complaints is the bad guy. Unfortunately, Microsoft always seem to be throwing the books at anyone. Get out of that position, and stop it. Can’t there be peace? Talks? And Microsoft should quit trying to own the whole market. That’s too anti-competitive, which is a bad thing. Like Windows, it’s practically comes with every PC (although Linux computers are coming). I think it really hit Microsoft in the early 2000’s. Windows was pretty much everywhere, and Windows had become lazy. OS X came out, and gave a push to making things better. Vista came out too long, and now people are kinda angry. That’s what happens when you own the market. I’m just hoping Microsoft learned their mistake, and won’t try that fiasco again. Make a better product, instead of trying to get people to bow down to ‘your’ standards and that.
  • Focus on quality, not ads – Microsoft should be focusing on making their products have better quality. Rich, good UI, good functions, just pretty much the best product of its kind in the world. Office 2007 is a case in point. It’s pretty much the best office suite there is. Great UI, an great functions. Has pretty much anything you’ll ever need. Another thing, is that Microsoft should stop trying to push itself for ads. Nobody really likes web ads. They’re more annoying than anything (especially pop-ups, and too-sensitive hover over ads). I’ve been hearing stories on how Microsoft wants to put them on their OS with some patent application, making Microsoft Works have ads, and all that kind of stuff. No, Microsoft – That’s not something you guys should be focusing on. Make great software, that people will buy. Ads are the farthest thing. At best, make software with less functions, and do it without ads. Ads are just something Microsoft shouldn’t invest in so much. They have other things to do.
  • Better promises – If you’ll say you expect it in 2010, make sure you can do it by 2010. Not 2012, or 2013. People have made jokes with Vista’s release, and upcoming releases of Windows. That’s what happens when you don’t keep to your promises. And I think you guys should take Apple’s approach – keep people guessing. Don’t show some demo of a future app. At least not officially. Places like demos, meetings, conferences, that has to stop. No showing off crazy features until the last moment. That way, nobody will copy. I’ve heard that Apple Finder and Google Desktop were copied off from some Longhorn demo in 2003 or something. That’s what happens when you show a preview, and other companies copy it fast and release it to market. Sad. Wait until you’re quite sure it’s ready, and then show-off. That’s how it should be done. Keep to your word, and don’t show-off things you can’t promise.
  • Be more open source – Stop with the proprietary stuff. It gets annoying and in the way, of doing whatever you want. Accept more standards. Except more codes and whatnot. Stop trying to force the market bend in your way. Nobody likes that. It’s the truth. If it’s good, people will use it. If not, then accept it. That’s one of the biggest thing that techies haven’t liked about Microsoft. "Their standards and proprietary stuff". Nobody wants to be locked in. I’m not saying that all Microsoft products have to take this move, but how about some stuff? Like the next version of Internet Explorer? IE8 ought to be open source, and compatible and easy to use with lots of stuff, or people will move on completely. I heard many users would consider IE if it were more open.
  • Make more Mac versions – Make more Mac versions that are great. Try not to limit functions on Mac versions to Windows versions. Try to even outdo Apple’s signature products like iMovie, GarageBand, that stuff. Outdo them. Show Mac folks that Microsoft isn’t all bad. Apple folks already have a negative connotation of Microsoft, and living to that name by making worse products on the Mac isn’t helping. Please, do better on the Mac side as well. Could there be IE, and updated WMP on OS X?
  • Eco-friendly – Could the Microsoft campus be eco-friendly? That’s a big plus these days. I’m not sure if it is, but if Microsoft could do that, that would help show how Microsoft does care. It’s not that hard, and I’m quite sure with Microsoft’s profits, that wouldn’t be too hard. And packaging and hardware too. Packaging that isn’t too wasteful, and hardware made at good factories and eco-friendly parts.
  • Better design – Make something that looks nice, as well as it functions. Vista and Office 2007 finally step up to the plate with this one. The more functions and nice design, the better it is. Microsoft can do this, right? Make your products look nice too, and you’ll also win people that way. As long as it works well. Windows Live and MSN are something that’s still kind of behind (especially MSN). The Microsoft campus looks like it could use an update too. For a tech company, it should be kind of futuristic like, or at least modern-esque. And I’ve seen videos on the inside, and I’m kinda surprised. Couldn’t Microsoft buy some more higher-end computers for their employees? Microsoft should focus on that too.
  • Be more faster – Technology is always going and going. We can’t wait too long between versions. Be quick. Or fall behind, and have to catch with out players.
  • Tap into something new – We don’t want to see Microsoft caught behind all the time. Microsoft should be able to start some trends too. I’m thinking a polling site (votes/polls), Office on a web browser, home automation, tapping into the education platform (make Encarta in schools something worthwhile), starting a better ebook market, lots of stuff. Microsoft should tap into something before it’s too late.
  • Open to feedback – I’m sure that Microsoft does read the feedback that people give out. I do it all the times, and I’ve even had a few replies before. It’s just the part where Microsoft really responds to the feedback. As in actually doing something I suggest. And how about opening up the character limits to 5000? And making the box bigger to enter it in? Just be more friendly to users giving feedback, because you really need it.

So if Microsoft could stick to doing these things, then they’ll be a better liked company. Sticking to its old ways isn’t a good idea in an ever changing market.

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