My take on the Microsoft current ecosystem & changes.
So a little about myself. I was an Apple guy from 05 to 2010 I decided to try Microsoft products again because I liked the Xbox 360 experience. I had a vision back then where I'm going to follow the company that creates an experience that flows from a television to a PC to a phone. I really saw this vision coming together when I purchased my first Windows Phone 7 and from there Microsoft has been on a roll.
Right now with the release of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Surface and the new Xbox dashboard, Microsoft is slowly getting there but to me and I'm sure many others the experience is still somewhat disjointed.
So with all this who's going to be the next Microsoft CEO I would like to point out a few changes I would make to make the Microsoft ecosystem better.
Windows + Windows Phone
Windows and Windows Phone needs to be ran and overlooked by the same person to get a tighter experience between both platforms. Don't get me wrong a phone should be a phone and a PC should be a PC and today we see that with Windows Phone 8 focusing more on people and communication while Windows 8 focuses on the different ways we can use our PC's to compute.
But having a single person overlook both platforms will allow way better integration and roll outs for example
- If Windows 8 is launching on the 28th of October Windows Phone 8 should be launching on the same date.
- If I can view WiFi hotspots using the maps application on my WP I should be able to do the same on my W8 CPU. If I can easily print a document on my W8 CPU I can do the same on my WP8
- If there is a new feature update it will be released and presented together as a unified platform
I feel that Windows 8 and Phone 8 have the right idea and direction but I feel that the execution is disjointed.
Xbox is just not another piece of gaming hardware to me I look at it as the true competitor to iTunes and other digital media distributors. I would make Xbox the number one multimedia service and platform world wide not only that I would re-shift the focus from being a service into a lifestyle.
What I mean by a lifestyle is that I would do the following
- Push Xbox Music to new heights by highlighting the Music Pass feature and making sure Indie artists are well represented and have a platform to upload their music to for distribution. I would take on iTunes and Google Play with deals, discounts and exclusives to help push the Xbox Music brand recognition.
- I would partner up with carriers to implement an Xbox TV cloud based service that works and can be easily scaled and presented across a wide range of platform but obviously with a focus on Windows devices.
- I would turn gaming into a lifestyle where you can walk to your local mode and play Arcade machines that run on Xbox 360 hardware and is connected to Xbox Live. So you can take your gamertag to your local arcade for achievements and set new records. This move only creates more Xbox brand awareness.
Xbox has an amazing opportunity to innovate when it comes to digital distribution.
Surface is Microsoft's answer to the iOS devices and the Google Nexus line. Right now RT is the begging of a wave of new Surface products and I can see the potential of Surface being a really strong brand that carries Microsoft into new heights when it comes to consumer devices.
Couple of changes I would make are
- Surface (ARM) will be branded as RT and Surface (x86) will be branded as PC. Everybody knows what a PC is it runs legacy stuff RT can be the term to describe the new school cloud based computers with no compromise solution. Surface RT and PC will be presented as the "new school" computers for everybody.
- Surface Pro is my answer to the Macbook Pro line. This is strictly catered for power users. The design would somewhat mimic the Lenovo Yoga but with better custom hardware.
- Surface Phone there are two versions an actual Surface Phone which runs WP8 operating system running on the latest ARM chips. I will include a kick stand and I will aim to have this phone replace your traditional work desk phone. Surface Phone RT is what I'm going to use to compete against the iPods. RT will focus on a deep Skype experience where its a phone but a web phone but will have access to all WP8 apps and experiences but no cellular access. Media device + Skype phone is what I'm going for priced around the 200-300$
- Xbox Surface is the ultimate living room companion 7 inch tablet that should be aimed to replace all smart controllers. It can play games, control your TV, browse the web etc. It will run a modified version of Windows RT.
Surface has the potential of changing how consumers use and interact with their daily devices.
- Office will go multi platform similar to how MS is approaching this in 2013 but I will use the opportunity to make Windows devices really stand out by offering Office for free on Windows RT and phone devices.
- Bing will be MS answer to Google Now and Siri but I will insure Bing can be used on every mobile, PC and living room devices by offering deep speech services through the web.
- Extreme focus on services. A strong service suite is what is going to really tie people into the Microsoft ecosystem and this is important making sure every service is awesome and very easy to use and scale.
Well that's it those are my thoughts on the whole Microsoft ecosystem. I currently enjoy using my MS products and I tell people if your looking for a lot of apps look towards iOS if your feature hungry go towards Android but if you want a very good end user experience try a Windows device.
I'm confident MS will pull this through its going to be though but it's going to take some time. Windows 8, Phone 8, Surface, Smart Glass is not perfect but they work pretty good so by just judging the overall ecosystem I defiantly have to give it a 7 (since everybody is all about Ecosystems here).
Why a 7? Because Microsoft is easily the third biggest ecosystem in the world it deserves more than just 5.
My thoughts let me know what you think