An open letter to Microsoft's next CEO: 12 wishes from the Windows faithful
We billion-plus customers would like the next head honcho in Redmond to address these dozen action items
Infoworld - While the world waits for that puff of white smoke and the announcement of a new Defender of the Windows faith, I wanted to take a few minutes of your time and explain how things really look from the trenches.
No, I'm not going to tell you how to run a bazillion-dollar company with 130,000 employees and a bewildering array of products. You have enough folks with green eyeshades running around already -- no doubt with a nasty propensity to tell you, "Yes, sir!"
I just want to talk about customers, especially Windows customers. If you can keep us in the fold, we can help you out of this fine mess Microsoft seems to have gotten itself into.
Microsoft action item No. 1: Fix the branding
Microsoft's branding runs all over the map, and it's been abysmal for decades. Where else can you buy a version of Windows that doesn't run Windows programs?
Microsoft threw away the name "Hotmail" -- one of the most recognized brands in the world. Instead, we got another Outlook: Outlook.com, which is completely different from Outlook, in all of its myriad versions, and different again from Outlook Express or Outlook Web Access. Then there's Windows Mail (two completely different versions) and Windows Live Mail (part of Windows Live Essentials -- or is it just Windows Essentials?). That's just a tiny part of the branding inanity.
Please give us names that make sense, so we can make sense of what you are doing and how best to make use of your services. Once you've chosen a name, stick to it.
And at least give us an alternative to "Metro." You've been dancing around the "Modern UI," er, "New User Interface," uh, "Windows Store Apps"/"Microsoft Design Language" bafflegab for more than a year. Kill it, definitively, and move on.
Yes, even if you choose "Mod." Ugh.
Microsoft action item No. 2: Simplify, simplify, simplify
Quick, off the top of your head: How many different versions of Office 365 are available? If you include the stand-alone cloud servers -- such as Exchange -- what's your count up to?
Tell the truth. Have you ever tried to negotiate the Microsoft Volume Licensing website? I think it's fair to say that Microsoft licensing rivals the U.S. Tax Code in complexity -- and self-serving stupidity.
All right, if you have a post-graduate degree in Microsoft Licensology, answer me this: How many different email programs has Microsoft shipped recently? If you can answer that, tell me why?
Byzantine licensing requirements only drive customers away, and complicated product sets do nothing to increase your profits. KISS.
Microsoft action item No. 3: Earn our trust
- Microsoft Private Cloud--Making it Real Cloud computing is happening. It is being driven by the exponential growth in modern applications, data and devices. These trends require organizations to...
- A Strategy for moving IT into the era of cloud computing In the Dell point of view, the cloud represents both the natural evolution of the data center and the future of IT service...
- Don't ignore Windows Server 2003 End of Support until it' too late! Today's business environments are very different to those of 10 years ago. Windows Server 2003 has been a trusted friend for over a...
- 5 PC Hardware Innovations that Pay Off for Business Refresh cycles have been extended for many companies over the last few years. Just because a PC still works, doesn't mean it's providing...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed in recent years, and it continues to escalate. All Windows White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!