Microsofts Management Could Have Done a Better Job

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-12-21 Print this article Print

5. Focused more on the cloud

The cloud has become a key battleground for Microsoft. However, the company didn't necessarily see so much value in it this year. Sure, it offered up Office 365, but what else is Microsoft really doing to ensure that companies like Google, IBM and others don't block it out of the Web? The cloud is the future. And it's about time Microsoft makes a strong move to prove it understands that.

6. Leveraged Windows' success for mobile

Microsoft is sitting on a desktop operating system-Windows 7-that, at last count, has 500 million licenses running all over the world. And yet, Microsoft didn't even consider trying to leverage that to help out with its mobile platform. Surprisingly, Apple did just that this year with the launch of the Mac App Store. It also links its desktop and mobile operating systems with FaceTime. When will Microsoft do something similar?

7. Dumped cash into the Web

Bing is an integral component in Microsoft's plans. If the search engine can continue to nab market share, it could put Google's business in jeopardy. Even better, it can help Microsoft generate far more in advertising revenue. However, Microsoft seemed to ignore Bing for much of the year. And in the process, the company did little to make Google scared. That's a problem.

8. Less focus on Windows 8

Microsoft's focus on Windows 8 this year was rather odd. The operating system, which isn't expected to launch until next year, could have waited to be unveiled at, say, the Consumer Electronics Show in January. With that plan, Microsoft could have made Windows 8 the focal point of its presentation and allowed for several more months this year of companies and consumers buying Windows 7 computers. Now that they know Windows 8 is launching next year, many customers will likely wait for that, rather than buy a computer now that will be obsolete in a year. Microsoft still needs to learn the art of maximizing revenue opportunities.

9. Attack Android

Microsoft recently made the smart move to offer a free Windows Phone 7-based device to Android owners who had experienced security woes. But it should have done much more of that this year. The time has come for Microsoft to go on the offensive against Android and prove once and for all why it believes Windows Phone 7 is superior. If it doesn't start attacking Google's mobile OS, Microsoft might never catch up.

10. Fire Steve Ballmer

Look, Steve Ballmer needs to go. Yes, Microsoft is still generating billions of dollars every quarter, but that shouldn't be attributed to Ballmer. The fact is, he has watched Microsoft's mobile market share plummet, he has yet to lead the company into tablets and, perhaps most worrisome for investors, he hasn't been able to give a jolt to the stock. Ballmer has been largely ineffective over the last few years, and it's about time the board sees that.

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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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