Internet Explorer has been around for years. The browser is still a dominant force in the space. But as we consider the competition and IE’s market share losses over the past few years, its clear that Microsoft needs to drastically overhaul the browser to maintain its position in the market. It’s no easy task, for sure, but a greater reliance on extensions and speed would be a good first start.
When CEO Carol Bartz ascended to the throne at Yahoo, she was left with a big mess. She has done great work turning the company around and preparing it for the new decade’s challenges. But Yahoo.com is still troublesome. The Web page is just as cluttered and confusing as it ever was. Google understands that simplicity is the key to search-engine success. Why hasn’t Yahoo caught on yet?
4BlackBerry Operating System
BlackBerry OS fails to fully meet the demands of today’s mobile customer. The software, while adequate for some users, simply doesn’t compare on any level to the software offered by Apple or Google. RIM needs to work hard to improve BlackBerry OS before its devices start feeling the sales effect of poor software.
RIM’s BlackBerry Storm makes users scratch their heads. It runs poor software, it’s bulky, and the way users are forced to interact with applications on-screen makes it a less than ideal option in the space. That said, RIM has no other choice but to offer a touch-screen phone, so the company needs to drastically change how it goes about it. Companies like Motorola, HTC and even Palm have done a good job matching some of the iPhone’s features. RIM needs to follow suit.
When Steve Ballmer took the stage at CES this year, he had the opportunity to unveil Windows Mobile 7. Instead, he showed off Windows Mobile 6.5. If Microsoft wants to regain a semblance of its market share in the mobile space, the company needs to improve Windows Mobile as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence.
Although Windows PCs aren’t a single product, there’s little debating that Windows-based desktops and notebooks are in desperate need of an overhaul. Many of the PCs that are currently on the market have the same form factor, they run the same components, and they can’t compare on any level to the design Apple shows off on its own computers. Design matters in today’s marketplace. When will PC vendors realize that?
A few years ago, MySpace was on top of the social market. Today, it’s attempting to hold on as Facebook and Twitter attract more and more users. MySpace still has a chance to turn things around, but it needs to refocus its strategy, clean up those ugly profile pages, and market its service far more effectively.
Microsoft’s Office suite might be the gold standard in productivity, but it’s getting a little old. Microsoft has improved the software somewhat over the past few years, but it needs to do more. A full online productivity suite, capable of accommodating the vast majority of a company’s needs is a good first step. It might also want to work harder at improving the software’s menu design, which is still a major issue for many companies.
Apple’s iMac is a stellar computer. But over the past few years, Apple has done little (besides adding better components and increasing the display size) to improve the product’s appeal in the marketplace. Meanwhile, companies like HP have overmatched the iMac, offering touch technology in the company’s own all-in-one PCs. The iMac needs to regain its standing as the top all-in-one on the market.
It might seem that iTunes’ success would mean that it doesn’t need an overhaul, but it does. iTunes is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. And considering its main competition, Amazon’s MP3 Store, is available on the Web, it might be time for Apple to bring iTunes to the Internet. Apple simply can’t allow iTunes to stay behind.