Microsoft Needs to Mend Fences with Enterprise Customers

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-01-19 Print this article Print

4. The Web-based OS

Although Microsoft has Azure, which could become an important product in the company's online endeavors, Google has set the pace for the Web-based OS. By announcing Chrome OS and capturing much of the attention, Google has put Microsoft back on its heels, potentially making it difficult for Redmond to catch up. Microsoft needs to quickly get an OS to the Web.

5. Regulators

Over the past few months, Microsoft has faced mounting pressure from regulators on several of its services. The company was forced to give users the option of choosing a browser to use in Windows 7. Now it has agreed to save search data for just six months. Microsoft has a target on its back. It needs to make a more concerted effort to get it off.

6. A suspect enterprise

The corporate world is unsure just how well it can trust Microsoft's Windows 7. Windows Vista was a nightmare that most companies didn't adopt. Internet Explorer is in the news, thanks to a security breach. And Windows Mobile is still the also-ran in the market. The longer Microsoft allows the corporate world to remain suspect, the worse it will get. Microsoft needs to actively improve enterprise relationships sooner rather than later.

7. Vista's legacy

Unfortunately for Microsoft, Windows Vista is still fresh in the minds of both corporate users and consumers. The operating system was rife with incompatibility problems, security issues, and thanks to its hunger for resources, required most users to pick up a new computer just to run it. Vista has cast a long shadow over Redmond that it has yet to emerge from. It must.

8. Security

Microsoft's security woes are troublesome. Not only is Windows not nearly as secure as users would like, but Internet Explorer is causing trouble for users as well. Security is a thorn in Microsoft's side that won't go away until the company makes a concerted effort to fully address the security problems that are affecting its platforms. Admittedly, Microsoft has done a better job of that recently by deploying Security Essentials and having a more open line of communication, but it needs to do more before the mainstream loses faith in its software.

9. Innovation

A quick glance around many of the markets where Microsoft operates reveals a staggering issue: the competition is innovating far more rapidly than Microsoft. The iPhone makes Windows Mobile obsolete. Mac OS X provides a clean, secure experience that Windows can't easily match. Even Google and its Chrome OS beat Microsoft. That needs to change. If Microsoft wants to turn things around, it needs to be more innovative. It needs to take chances. Most of all, it needs to spend that bundle of cash sitting in its coffers on something unique.

10. A look to the future

Following that, it's important to note that so far, Microsoft's strategies have focused mainly on the short term. The future of software is, at least by most accounts, centered on the Web. And yet, as the most important software company in the industry, Microsoft is lagging behind the Web software innovators. That's a major blunder. As the leader in the market, Microsoft needs to lead to maintain its position. It's not. And it could cost the company dearly.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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