10 Strategies Microsoft Should Follow in 2010

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.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...