Thoughts on what is wrong at MS... and some ideas to fix it.
Lately, as much as respect MS,
The MS problems:
I feel that there seems to be too much committee style management going on at MS!
There seems to be a total loss of focus on what to do and what to provide!
The MS Tiger seems to have turned into some kind of gentle fat pussy cat! (Hello Kitty...)
While MS has with Windows 8 / 8 Pro and WP8 some decent software, there seems to be little effort to integrate the capabilities of these packages into a "Complete solution."
Also the location itself, USA... suffers from some real serious drawbacks for top talent that are not US citizen: a) Tax rate b) Capital gains tax c) death tax d) exit tax. There are many countries were doing some milder drugs will get you nothing more than a little fine.
The most important things to the consumer are content availability, cost and ease of use. Even if you have a better solution, you need to get the message across via TV ads to show what you mean, cause technology is so fast, most people can not keep up... you have to demo it.
= MS must integrate the products into one easy to use and flexible solution that is affordable.
a. MS needs to come up with a WP8 emulator for Windows 8 / 8 Pro that clones you phone as app, which you can use from your ie. tablet to send and receive all kind of messages like, SMS, Facebook etc, without even touching your phone. Nicely made so that it looks like you actual WP8 phone. People will love it! As it syncs OTA with your real device it also makes transferring files real easy... they auto transfer :-)
b) MS needs to come up with an Android emulator app that spies less than Android, that allows users to install and buy Android apps from the Amazon app store. Do this to show off how much more power Windows 8 has when compared to Android. Also it adds thousands of apps to the Windows 8 platform. Also it degrades Android to the Phone OS it is.
c) MS needs some real NERD with vision to run the WP department. Someone with character and also the ability to give orders and have goals accomplished. No a nice guy will not do the job... There needs to be someone like a watchdog that barks and bites if progress is too slow.
d) MS needs to think about a development center for WP in Europe. ie. Switzerland (low taxes, no death tax, no exit tax, little fines for smoking pot.., multi lingual society where most speak English) here they can attract talent that will simply not move to the US.
e) Hardware like Surface and Surface Pro and a Surface Phone is nice. But when you do things like that you need to release it on a more global scale.
f) I don't care what people tell me, but from my experience someone that has never lived in the US and in Europe will simply not understand the cultural differences and different ways to market products. There is a serious need at MS to employ people with a more global heritage that can actually locate a nation on the map. If that can not be done in the US... then MS has a problem no stock option or health care plan will overcome.
g) Better marketing... Who ever is in charge... Please note that Best Buy is an American thing and that in the rest of the world the stores are different, work differently. Technically I would send the MS Marketing team to Siberia, one way ticket. There are plenty of young and older folks out there that are better!
h) Sorry to say that... But MS needs Bill Gates back during major product presentations. Not to say much or to demo things, but to show that he is still around and that MS means business.
i) The big markets of today are emerging markets, and the USA, Europe, Russia, Korea and Japan. Each of these markets has different needs and budgets. It would be an advantage if some of the "hill billies" in Seattle would actually listen to what these customers want, even if we find some ideas... strange.
j) MS needs a MS Bank. Why? Because when you have your own Bank you can deposit and get loans directly from a national Bank. Like the EZB, Fed, Swiss National Bank. Big advantage! Siemens does that, they have their own Bank!
My recommendation would be. a) Move EU HQ from Ireland to Switzerland. b) All international operations are transferred to EU HQ. c) Move WP development to EU HQ and inject the funds needed. d) Adjust the General for Staff Sargent ratio, aggressive top guys should lead departments, not lower rank and file that was promoted cause there was no one else available because immigration denied a H1B or because who you wanted, would not come because of "taxes" and other issues.
In order to win a fight, you must first want to WIN... for which you need a team that wants to win. Actually, if you consider the costs of US medical insurance and stock options, a place like Switzerland is very attractive to both MS and top talent. I recommend ZUG or St Gallen in Switzerland. ZUG because many international corporations are located there, St Gallen because it is the most export and engineering oriented part of Switzerland which creates over 1/2 of Swiss exports (Car parts for Germany, RedBull, high tech machinery etc.) MS could even incorporate in Liechtenstein which now has a tax treaty with the US. Even less taxes and you avoid some Swiss incorporation laws concerning shareholder approvals of some things. But the actual offices would be in Switzerland. (Holding Structure).
Oh well... My guess is that no one will listen ;-)
But that is okay :-)