Microsoft: Rebranded and Reorganized

Introduction

To the surprise of few, the Microsoft ecosystem is muddled and honestly needs to be cleaned up. This is an attempt at doing so in a logical fashion, accounting for all major products of Microsoft.

Six Brands

These are the six brands that define Microsoft

Surface

Surface is the hardware division of Microsoft. It will be the standard for all devices, and people who want a "pure" Microsoft experience can purchase these devices. They will be created with OEM partners but sold under Microsoft.

Products

  • Phone
  • Tablet
  • Ultrabook
  • Laptop

Explanation

Since I can remember, OEM's have had no reigning in on how they create their products. The downside of this being that Microsoft was to blame when something an OEM did failed. Microsoft had bad track pads, not Dell. With this the bar is now set for OEM's, they have a standard, something to strive towards, and they get to put their name on one of those standards by partnering with Microsoft to build a revision of it, alongside creating their own competing products. Microsoft should choose new partners yearly to let each show their stuff.

Windows

This is the operating system to run on all devices created by Microsoft.

Products

  • Windows Touch
  • Windows
  • Windows Server

Explanation

Windows has for too long suffered from terrible naming conventions. That day has ended, you now have 3 simple flavors, Windows Touch, Windows, and Windows Server. Touch becomes an option on Windows and Server meaning you can turn it on or off if you decide to use it, but for touch-only devices it is the primary operating system.

When you have a phone or tablet, you get Windows Touch, the touch-friendly version of Windows currently known as "Metro". When you have a keyboard and mouse as your input, you use Windows, and when you need a server you use Windows Server.

Bing

The platform that ties everything together.

Products

  • Search
  • Explorer
  • Maps
  • Weather
  • News
  • Sports
  • Finance
  • Cortana

Explanation

Bing has been a huge undertaking by Microsoft, and it's really starting to shine. That being said there are some products that will always have a bad mark and the first and worst that comes to mind is Internet Explorer. While that blue 'e' is known across the world, it's not in a good light. It needs to be re-branded and reworked, it needs to be for Windows and Windows Touch, automatically updated and not tied to versions of Windows. It needs to be platform agnostic and compete with Chrome and Firefox and it needs to be amazing. A lot of work needs to be put into making it stand out from Internet Explorer and Microsoft certainly has the talent. The rest of the products do not really change

Xbox

Xbox is all things entertainment in the Microsoft ecosystem, from games to movies to music to working out.

Products

  • Kinect
  • Music
  • Live
  • Video
  • Fitness
  • Console

Explanation

The biggest change you'll see here is that Xbox is now a brand that encompasses everything fun about your life, it's the fun side of Microsoft. To add to this Video is reworked, YouTube has been king for far too long, and the market demands competition and who better to create that competition than Microsoft. Video is two fold, it's your go to for all movies and shows similar to the current Xbox Video but it also has user-driven content and streams. This will be an even larger undertaking than the Internet Explorer rework and should be possibly the biggest push by Microsoft. There is a group who want to leave YouTube but have no alternatives, give them the alternative they want and increase competition in the market.

Office

Office is all things productivity in the Microsoft ecosystem. This is what businesses use to get work done.

Products

  • Word
  • Excel
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Notepad
  • Calendar
  • Paint
  • Skype

Explanation

Office is the gold standard and needs to continue being so. To do this, Microsoft needs to change the entire system, every product needs to be free to use with an entry-level version unless you really need extra functionality. Similar to how Office Online now works, you get all things Microsoft out of the box, but when you really need something more than the baseline for any product you then pay a subscription to get the full product.

This goes double for Office. You need high adoption to last and the easiest way to do that is to lower the barrier to entry. Give every single copy of Windows Touch and Windows the full line of Office products out of the box. Alongside this, Lync needs to fade out and Skype needs to replace it, this will require a decent push by both teams to unify their system making Skype a product that can be run as an internal business chat client or as the free-to-use video client for Windows users. Drop the price on group video to compete with Hangouts and let a rip.

The last thing people may notice is Paint, this is Microsoft's challenge to yet another king, Photoshop. Microsoft is going to turn Windows Paint into Office Paint, with a much larger plethora of tools at hand out the gate, and like all other products by upgrading to a subscription you gain functionality that only power users would want. This will give Office the well-roundness it's always lacked, a creative tool.

Compute

Compute is all things cloud and development from Microsoft. When a developer needs a tool, it can be found here.

Products

  • Azure
  • Drive
  • Develop
  • Database
  • Virtualize

Explanation

This was a tough decision, I decided on the name Compute over Azure because Microsoft needs something to define all things cloud and development. Microsoft also had really long names for some products that were just terrible sicj as Visual Studio, which is now Develop, or SQL Server, which is now Database. These products, like Office, start off free with limited functionality (think Visual Studio meets Web Matrix for Develop and SQL Server meets MySQL for Database), but for power users an upgrade is available at any time. Azure stays the same and OneDrive becomes Drive. Hyper-V also receives a re-branding as Virtualize.

Cleaning House

No more overlap, it's time to use brands across all products! From now on, all products are free to start at some level or another, but once a user requires more functionality they enter a subscription model, this applies to all six brands. If it's a mail client, it's Outlook, if it's a writing client, it's Word. Users need to see these brands in the ecosystem they are using, and products big enough to have their own line need to be under one of these brands.

With this change, we no longer have Notepad, Wordpad, Word and OneNote, we have Word and Notepad. We no longer have Bing Video and Xbox Video, we have Xbox Video. This will effectively reduce redundancy across Microsoft, and teams should be reorganized to follow suit.

List of changed products

  • Lync merged with Skype
  • WordPad merged with Word
  • OneNote merged with Notepad
  • Internet Explorer rebranded Bing Explorer
  • Windows Phone & Windows RT rebranded and merged into Windows Touch
  • OneDrive rebranded as Drive
  • Visual Studio rebranded as Develop
  • SQL Server rebranded as Database

List of new products

  • Surface Phone
  • Surface Ultrabook
  • Surface Laptop
  • Office Paint

One More Thing

Microsoft can't afford to let it's competitors run the internet, so they need to compete in this market as well. Microsoft Fiber will be Microsoft's push to bring 1GB speeds to major cities.

This will be a living post, and I plan to update and edit it as time goes on to account for your feedback, so please leave some in the comments. Constructive criticism is most valued, so please let a rip.