FYI – I’ve had some thoughts floating around in my head for weeks and never posted on them.  While they are not completed, I’ve decided to post away, just to get them out “there”.  I may be back to update this over time.

Here are my ideas for Microsoft after Bill Gates is not in direct control – or even if he is in control.  I think these are things that the company needs to either investigate or simply do.

  1. Support Linux
  2. Port the Office Family to Red Hat, Fedora, Mandrake, Suse, etc…
  3. License the Windows networking protocols under a free method to all comers
  4. Create bulk pricing for end-consumers for all products
  5. Create an inexpensive licensing program for consumers in the same light as corporate SA programs.
  6. Keep it cheap – initial license $100, each additional $25 or whatever
  7. Move all products to a subscription model, with quarterly builds that are available to all customers for no additional cost.
  8. Leverage the “Live” Internet properties to support the SAAS model as needed (already there in some areas)
  9. Spin the “controversial” software like IE and Media Player out as separate products that compete within the market place
  10. Deliver on promises you make – or if it is not technically possible (i.e. see WinFS), then talk about the issues in an open conversation with your customers Realize that you are increasingly not everything to everyone. You have tremendous resources – focus on the things you do best.
  11. You’re not hip – don’t try to be
  12. Learn better naming practices – (hmm, “Microsoft Windows Mobile Pocket PC Phone Edition” or “Palm Treo” or “BlackBerry”? – ’nuff said). There is/was nothing wrong with software versioning instead of “year” names – Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 2000?  Give me the version info – and don’t try to say that the average consumer didn’t understand, that excuse was rubbish.
  13. Corporations depend on your systems – make them bulletproof
  14. Don’t rely on others to write stable code – pretend any code not written by MS is a virus, then you will be able to isolate and eliminate all potential problems that 3rd party software and drivers can cause to the OS. Of course this means that your code simply cannot fail – there is no other answer.

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