News Analysis: Microsoft had a relatively successful year. But 2009 is nearly history and Microsoft must look ahead to 2010. Google and Apple will remain its biggest competitive challenges. However, Microsoft would be wise to avoid unhealthy obsessions about the competition. Here is a look at 10 strategies Microsoft should follow in the new year.
Now that 2009 is coming to a close
it's time for Microsoft to look ahead to 2010. The software giant will
be met with several challenges during the year. It will need to face
off against Google, an increasingly disconcerting competitor that seems
to have its sights set on Redmond.
It also needs to take on Apple, which has enjoyed unfettered growth
in the mobile space. It gets even worse when one considers that
Microsoft also needs to worry about regulators that have major problems
with the strategies Microsoft follows. Needless to say, it will be a
tough year for Microsoft.
That's why Microsoft needs to be smart about the moves it makes. It
can't simply expect to maintain status quo by offering services and
solutions that don't appeal to user desire. It also can't expect to run
roughshod over the market without the European Union having a few
things to say about it. So as Microsoft prepares for the challenges
that it will face in 2010, it's important that it has the right
strategies in place to ensure it will be successful.
We have 10 strategies Microsoft should follow in 2010.
Let's take a look.
1. Drastically improve Windows Mobile
It's not enough for Microsoft to simply address the problems users
have with Windows Mobile. The company needs to drastically improve its
mobile OS if it even wants to stay relevant in the space. Right now,
Windows Mobile is little more than an "also-ran." It lacks multitouch
support, it has none of the features users are looking for in next-gen
offerings today, and the number of apps available to the platform pale
in comparison to anything Apple offers. Windows Mobile is in desperate need of improvement
2. Leverage Bing
If Microsoft wants to be successful online, it needs to do a better job of leveraging Bing
In 2010, the company must integrate Bing into just about everything it
does. Bing Search should be in Windows Mobile. It should become a key
component in Windows 7. It should especially find its way into
Microsoft's many online services. Bing is the centerpiece of
Microsoft's online strategy. It must be leveraged.
3. Adhere to the EU's demands
The European Union has a major problem with Microsoft. It believes
that the company is engaging in practices that the governing body finds
unacceptable. When Microsoft made the deal to offer users the opportunity to download up to 12 different browsers
it was the smart play for the software giant. It can't spend 2010
trying to find ways around that agreement. Microsoft needs to do what
the EU wants and move on with other strategies.
4. Get to work on Azure
It's unbelievable that Microsoft would allow Google to be the first
company to move into the online-operating-system space. As a software
firm, most expected Microsoft to lead the way to the Web. It hasn't.
That needs to change in 2010. The company needs to work hard on Azure
and get it to market as quickly as possible. It can't allow Google to
steal the online-OS spotlight. Microsoft could easily find itself
trying to catch up to Google, rather than leading it.