1. Darthbobcat's Avatar
    Over the last few years, Microsoft has made some strategic errors, in terms of marketing and implementation of different products. Windows Phone market share is low, X-Box is trailing (though apparently still profitable, and frankly the PS3 dug itself out of a hole, so the X-Box One still has a chance, IMO), and Windows 8 is a punchline from people who've never tried it. The last few years of the Steve Ballmer era saw mistake after mistake, all in a row.

    The idea of this thread: What is ONE minor thing that Microsoft could have done to avoid its current woes? I think a lot of bad decisions could have been mitigated with minor tweaks.

    Here's mine: What if the Surface RT had shipped with an Intel Atom Chip?

    For my money, the Surface RT was a beautiful machine stymied, in many people's eyes, by a lack of backwards compatibility and speed. Compared to an iPad, the RT is a pokey little machine, especially before the various updates Microsoft released to speed it up.

    Also, having worked for Microsoft at a retail store, it's amazing how many people saw the lack of .exe compatibility and just wrote off the Surface RT, 2 and Nokai 2520 without a thought. If the Surface HAD launched with those capabilities, I think just about every other complaint about the machine would have seemed secondary COMPARED TO WHAT IT WAS AND COULD DO.

    No massive writedown (or at least less of one), no confused marketplace (so this machine with the exact same interface has a different operating system than this slightly thicker one next to it?), no Surface as a punchline. The atom chips available at the time wouldn't have necessarily been super fast, but that .exe capability would have turned heads.

    So what minor tweaks to Microsoft strategy would YOU suggest to Steve Ballmer, if you had a time machine?
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-04-2014 08:51 PM
  2. HeyCori's Avatar
    Hire a better marketing firm. For all the things that Ballmer missed, the things that didn't pan out could of been great with a solid marketing push. Zune, for example, already had a solid device and software but nothing to convince people to buy it. And don't linger on the same advertisement. The Siri v. Cortana ads were cute... several months ago. Holy heck guys, it's time to move on.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    11-05-2014 11:20 AM
  3. fdalbor's Avatar
    Microsoft got so used to not having to advertise when they owned the computer market that they don't know how. Too late the hero.
    11-05-2014 08:19 PM
  4. jmshub's Avatar
    Ballmer was much maligned, but he was captain of the ship through many big successes for Microsoft as well. I agree with Ballmer when he said himself that his biggest mistake was Vista. If you aren't familiar, this isn't just a Vista joke, but Windows Vista was originally codename Longhorn, and it was supposed to be a new imagining of Windows, complete with a new file system and it would be a great departure from Windows XP. The project suffered many setbacks, and late in the development cycle, Longhorn was scrapped and they started over, writing Windows Vista.

    The legacy of this mistake is still being seen in the technology scene. Windows XP was sold for longer than it should have been, over five years until Vista was released. Of course, we now know that Vista wasn't well received at first, and that continued XPs death-grip on Windows market share, which finally was overtaken by Windows 7 in 2011 - two years into the sale of Windows 7 and an astonishing ten years after XP went on sale.
    HeyCori likes this.
    11-06-2014 10:41 PM
  5. fdalbor's Avatar
    Say what you like XP was one of Microsoft's biggest successes. Trouble is they still can't get rid of it.
    11-07-2014 04:38 AM
  6. Richard Culverhouse's Avatar
    They should have let Apple die while they had the chance lol
    11-07-2014 05:41 AM
  7. SammyD97's Avatar
    They should have let Apple die while they had the chance lol
    Funny I said the exact same thing a few days ago to someone. If only they could see the future.
    11-07-2014 06:28 AM
  8. tgp's Avatar
    They should have let Apple die while they had the chance lol
    Yeah but wasn't it necessary for Apple to exist to avoid Microsoft being broken up? Anyway, we as consumers benefit from competition.
    jmshub likes this.
    11-07-2014 07:54 AM
  9. jmshub's Avatar
    I agree. Had Apple not released the iPhone, then Windows Phone wouldn't exist as it does today. We might still be using a version of Windows Mobile.
    11-07-2014 09:26 AM
  10. Richard Culverhouse's Avatar
    I agree. Had Apple not released the iPhone, then Windows Phone wouldn't exist as it does today. We might still be using a version of Windows Mobile.
    But surely it would have evolved...?
    11-08-2014 05:58 AM
  11. Ruined's Avatar
    Listen to and continue to implement all of J Allard's ideas. He was the most visionary leader MS had and they let him slip away in favor of the old guard.

    Some inclusions would be better funding of Zune HD instead of having one commercial then dropping it and launching of courier tablet. The Zune brand had a lot of potential to morph into a phone (I.e. Zone, Zphone) but Microsoft did not go all in with it so it died - killing consumer confidence with Microsoft with it.
    11-08-2014 06:10 AM
  12. vaultsurvivor's Avatar
    Advertising and branding. Microsoft already know that the name Microsoft isn't trendy, and neither is windows. It's productive, but not trendy. They needed a better brand name for mobile (people still hate windows phone due to presupposed bias), I mean very few people say "Microsoft Xbox", and generally the Xbox is pretty well received ( unless you're a gaming die hard with unshakeable loyalty to ps4/wii). They also needed a clearer ad direction. I mean what the hell was that surface advert with all people dancing with them like robots?? That's fine for apple when the customer knows what your product does, but I mean really... What ms needed with their initial adverts was to explain the product, not dance with it!!
    11-08-2014 06:14 AM
  13. jmshub's Avatar
    But surely it would have evolved...?
    It would have somewhat, I'm sure. But giving credit where it was due, Apple pretty much innovated the modern smartphone platform with the iphone. Windows Phone 7 was a response to the limitations of iOS and Android.

    Microsoft really innovates well against competition.
    11-09-2014 09:44 AM

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