What I would do if I was Microsoft`s next CEO
So, I was reading an article at PC Pro (don’t ask me why) about what the guy would do if he was chosen to be the next CEO. It had some valid points, but I largely disagreed with him. So, I decided to write my own "article" about what would I do if I was Microsoft´s next CEO, and what better place to do that than the Tribe.
Step 1: Increase employee’s morale
So, the natural first step would be to use some kind of big conference room and gather all available staff (including higher-ups) and setup laptops to Skype with the non-reachable personal. Then, give a very emotional speech about Microsoft´s history, it´s dark stains, etcetera, to gain their respect and loyalty (I know that with a single speech you don’t always gain people, but it would be a start)
Step 2: Buy Nokia
You may disagree with me, but I think buying Nokia would be huge for MS. You may say "Microsoft is already getting all the milk without buying the cow", but that cow may have other products than milk: that cow has the second best mapping solution, the best driving solution, a relationship with carriers all over the world, experience with building phones, a kind-of popular "Lumia" brand (it may not be selling all that well, but a lot of people know it exists), and more importantly, that cow may stop giving you the milk to go to the big city of Android land to open up shop. With Nokia, I would sell the Nokia Solutions Network (NSN) to the best buyer, replace the Surface name with the Lumia name (sounds a little less dark and it is easier to say to non-English speakers)
Step 3: Hardware
We can mostly say that the Surface line hasn’t been a "success", so I would replace it with the Lumia brand, that and increase availability. Stop using numbers (I don’t think it is a bad system, but for the purpose of diversifying the brand, it would need a better one) and use letters: something like the Lumia A1 for the flagship phone, the B1 for the midrange and the C1 for the low-end. Going beyond phones, and make tablets (T1 for the 10 inch and M1 for the 8 inch), ultra books (U1), full notebooks (N1), desktops (D1) and smart watches (W1), for the second generation there would be a 2, for example the Lumia A2.
Step 4: Research
We all know that Microsoft Research is very cool, but the problem with it is that it thinks way to further than what it is needed to. Some very great things have come out of there (Kinect and others), but it is a small number considering the amount of funding it gets. So, make them look just a few years to the future, stop with all the nonsense and make them stay on earth.
Step 5: Buy WhatsApp
It may sound weird, but WA is huge in today’s mobile chatting industry. Buy it, and merge it with Skype, combining the best of both worlds: _______ Chat (for now it is a secret). It checks your Contacts phone numbers and lets you chat, call and video chat with people that are using the service
Step 6: Outlook as a brand
People don't like Bing, they never have. The only reason it is gaining market share is because it is it powers various services. But people don’t use it willingly, why? Mainly because of the name, and that it is only decent in the US. That is why I would kill the Bing brand and replace it with outlook. Why? Because outlook sounds so much better. I would diversify outlook beyond email, making it the brand for all web based products of Microsoft, creating: Outlook Mail, Outlook Calendar, Outlook Cloud (with 15 gigs of free storage), Outlook Contacts, Outlook Chat (the one I just talked about), Outlook Translate, Outlook Share (more on this latter) and Outlook Home (where you can search the web, images, videos, files on your cloud, contacts, emails, and a google now competitor)
Step 7: Get more social
Microsoft users has long depended on companies like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google (G+ and YouTube) to satisfy their social needs, but no more... behold Outlook Share. Think of it like a mix of Facebook (you have friends, blah blah blah), Twitter (you also have followers), Vine and Instagram (you can share images and short videos), YouTube (you can submit more "professional" videos) and Xbox Live (you can post your scores from CoD and Halo)
Step 8: Multimedia
I'd buy Netflix, because of their good collection of movies, and merge it with Xbox Video and Xbox Music, creating Xbox Media Subscription or XMS, with a free 10,000 songs.
Step 9: Windows
There would no longer be Windows RT, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows Pro. Watches, phones and small tablets would run Windows ARM (similar to windows phone, only runs modern apps), large tablets, convertibles and ultrabooks would run Windows Tray (similar to windows 8, but without the desktop, runs modern and desktop apps, desktop apps), desktops and notebooks would run Windows Classic (similar to the desktop part of windows 8, but with a start menu) and in your living room, Windows Play (like the Xbox One UI, runs metro apps). All share an app store called the Windows Store.
Step 10: Xbox
Xbox can be described as one of Microsoft biggest successes on the consumer space, and I wouldn't want to change that. What I would do is rethink some nomenclature: the now called Xbox One would be called the Xbox Home (where you get all your things Xbox), create a version of the Xbox Home just for media consumption, called the Xbox TV, and both with a Kinect-like camera included on the front of both devices, for navigation, voice recognition, games and more. Both would run a version of Windows optimized for gestures and voice, use the Windows Store for getting apps, light games and just for the Xbox Home, real games. There wouldn't be an Xbox Live Gold subscription, but the ability to play multiplayer would be a paid service, called Xbox Together. Also, I would add a new accessory to the Xbox family, the Xbox Glass, a Google Glass-like device plus an Xbox Home peripheral, for augmented gaming.
Step 11: Increase availability
I would partner with Barnes and Noble, so that in every B&N store there was a Microsoft space called the Microsoft Zone, so that more people can see our products. All Microsoft stores would be renamed as Microsoft Zones, and there would be Microsoft Zones on Best Buys, Staples, B&Ns, and also outside the US, partner with at least one retail store on every market.
Step 12: Delocalize
We all hate that some of the features of the Xbox are US only, or that Bing is bad outside the US, or that the Search Hero in the 8.1 upgrade was bad on some markets, but fear not, because new Microsoft would treat every country as equals, or at least, try.
Step 13: Office
Office has been Microsoft's cash cow for a long time, but it needs to change a bit: I would move to a subscription based model, like Office 365, but a little bit cheaper. Office would become a brand, Word, PowerPoint, Exel, Outlook, OneNote, and the rest would become Office Word, Office PowerPoint, Office Exel, Office Mail (to distinguish it from the online services brand), Office Notes and so on.
Step 14: Marketing
I would fire all the marketing department, except for the ones responsible for those Lumia commercials and the IE10 campaign. Hire people from Samsung and Apple, and create a huge ad campaign, all over the newspaper, the TV and the internet, called: "Microsoft, the company you used to hate", kind of laughing at the old Windows, old Internet Explorer, and more.
So, that’s what I would do if I was chosen to be Microsoft´s next CEO
What would you do?