19 Comments

Summary:

Spurred on by the news of Zune, and some thoughtful comments by my good friend, Pip Coburn, here is a Microsoft To-Do List. Its not complete, so leave your to-do-items in comments and I can add them later to the big list. 1. Figure out a […]

Spurred on by the news of Zune, and some thoughtful comments by my good friend, Pip Coburn, here is a Microsoft To-Do List. Its not complete, so leave your to-do-items in comments and I can add them later to the big list.

1. Figure out a way to keep the current cash cows, Windows and Office, creating more cash, and induce users to upgrade.
2. Ship the next versions of cash cow products, Windows and Office, and pray that people want to upgrade.
3. Turn its entire product line “LIVE” and future proof the company as transition to web unfolds over the next decade.
4. Out iPod iPod with Zune.
5. Turn Origami into a hot seller. (How many of you are chuckling?)
6. Take over the wireless world with Mobile Windows.
7. Become the dominating force in wireless email via ActiveSync, pummeling Blackberry into dust.
8. Deliver IPTV platforms for some of the most demanding customers in the world – Telephone companies.
9. Lets partner with (someone) to out-hustle Cisco in VoIP.
10. Team with someone to beat AOL in the IM space.
11. Turn XBox into a profitable business. This one might happen sooner than we think because, Sony is busy shooting itself in the foot.
12. Make Media Center work like a real consumer electronics device.
13. Let all of Microsoft work together. (Send up a bat signal for Lou Gerstner, now!)
14. Lets start by saying – we will play nice with everyone, and then couple of days later announce Zune.
15. Oh come on, its already such a long list, that one needs to sign-up for Ta Da List .

By Om Malik

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  1. wifi will really make the device stand out

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  2. Just FYI, Microsoft has near-complete dominance of IM outside of the US. I think US (and Canada possibly?) is the only places which the normal person has even heard of AIM.

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  3. I have heard that in some parts of the world, Yahoo has a bigger presence. I am pretty sure Microsoft has a big share of the market, but it might not be #1. I will try and get some stats on this.

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  4. Here’s what comScore had to say in April about IM usage: http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=800

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  5. kip, thanks for the heads up. here is what Comscore has to say about global market share.

    The MSN Messenger application has the strongest penetration worldwide, with 61 percent of worldwide IM users utilizing the application in February. MSN Messenger is also dominant in Latin America, reaching more than 90 percent of IM users, and in Europe and Asia Pacific, reaching more than 70 percent of IM users in each region. North America is the most competitive IM market, with MSN Messenger, AOL/Aim and Yahoo! Messenger each garnering between 27 percent and 37 percent of IM users in February.

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  6. Excellent Om. :)

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  7. Interesting stat Om.

    Could be because in countries without broadband, there isn’t much incentive to download an installation file for hours… when windows messenger comes pre-installed with the OS :)

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  8. Met,
    MSN Msgr is a downloaded application, and if anything, broadband usage is greater around the world than in the US: http://www.usagewatch.org/2004/12/broadband_subsc.html

    MS certainly does have market penetration advantages with MSN.com pre-installed as the default IE home page, with links to MSN Messenger.

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  9. How about,

    1. Advertizing partnership exclusive to GigaOM!!
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  10. This one is for Mr. Ballmer – Keep throwing chairs at people defecting Microsoft. Others include,
    - keep European Union off its tail.
    - keep those goddamn wall street types happy that complain about the rising cash pile
    - keep plugging in security holes

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  11. Many underestimate the power of the coming IE7 search box, to leverage that massive distibution power what Microsoft need is a much better search brand & technology… So they should buy yahoo and drop the MSN brand.

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  12. Who cares about IM’s… I prefer using a phone and actually hearing a Human Voice if I need to talk to someone in “RealTime”…

    My life is not that complicated that I need to have 10 IM windows open at one time and talking to all those people…

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  13. BIG BIG To-Do:

    • Redesign NTFS compete with Sun’s ZFS
    • sub-to-do: allow NTFS to export nicely to systems that understand other FSs

    and give us tools to delve into NFS internals when something is up. Even n 2 RAID fails. Try backing up a few TB in a small window (hint: unless you have tape silos, even 4TB can get you looking at a weekend with the latest gen drives. Our outsourced IMAP providor made the mistake of observing incrementals were fast, until their array got hit with a multiple failure. btw was a freak thing, not their fault, new array etc)

    it’s not just photohosting sites and “web 2.0″ blah blah that need better data management. Think like Sun did – build data integrity into the FS/OS chain, provide snapshots (not volume shadow copy)

    • sub-sub-sub-to-do: think real hard about a UI front end to file management. Various Sun people are working on that for ZFS now, and it seriously is NOT intelligible to typical users. Normal people worry about their data. Give them the underlying features and a way to interact with burgeoning file systems, and MS have a real win.

      • RANDOM-to-do: MERGE THE OFFICE SPELL CHECKER WITH THE IE7 SOURCE. Make it a modest chargeable item, separate from the Live product offerings, or bundled with them. Writing this in Firefox’s “BonEcho” and even the spell check in that is very useful, but no way as good as Office. The implications of this ought to be plain to see.

    On that last note i’d like to add a Mark Twain quote:

    “I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us.”

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  14. Just on my random-to-do, obviously if you’ve licensed Office, the spellchecker would have to work without charge in IE.

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  15. AP wrote: “- keep plugging in security holes”

    okay, scenario: we get more and more cores on the desktop and still don’t have enough multithreaded (let alone parallelized) apps to take advantage. Use one of these cores to run a deep-packet inspection on the TCP/IP stack. It doesn’t even have to be wire-speed for big downloads, but things like WMV should not have executable strings or mem calls embedded in them. As of now, deep-ppacket inspection at wire speed is the desmesne of Big Router People, but i don’t expect that’ll be for long. Any of the specialist companies that make that gear could be had for what MS consider pocket-change.

    As we get more “CPUs” PCs start to look more and more like mainframes, where every task – bandwidth depending – is offloaded to a dedicated processor. NT runs on Mach. Win32 runs on NT. (as did OS/2 until XP) How about separating the whole deal so that the native NT APIs are “sent off” to a particular core(s) and so that core doesn’t have to worry about the mess that is userland? (not to mention the performance gain possible.

    sorry this is not a to-do, but it is a theoretical future approach to the inefficiencies of reactive security, off the top of my head.

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  16. I doubt MSN has much presence in Asia. All my friends have Yahoo IDs and use Yahoo Messenger to communicate with me (I’m currently in USA). I too have heard that Yahoo has a strong Asian Presence.

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  17. The ToDo List:

    • Dethrone the iPod by building a secure and open device that plays all formats and also allows music to be shared through a zero configuration wireless network – and keep it ultra simple
    • Deny it’s existence before it ships – announcing a product 2 months before it ships is marketing blunder #1, especially when trying to make an iPod killer
    • Use the cash pile to buy out all the major music labels, force them to go online without DRM and cut off the Apple contracts
    • Migrate all cash-cows into hosted applications
    • Build the next versions of Windows off of an open source and already secure OS
    • Recode all the APIs and packages with security as the #1 objective
    • Simplify all the UIs

    In other words, copy Apple.

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    • Exchange Client for Linux
    • Active Directory Anywhere

    other than that Anders suggestions are pretty good.

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  18. Apple Dude .. Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    1) Take on oracle with sequel server
    2) take on sap with ms dynamics
    3) take on ibm with consulting
    4) take on java/RubyOnR etc etc with .net/ASP.net etc etc

    a wise man once told me pick your fights ;)

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