Microsoft is in a very interesting position right now, to put it nicely. The press is smacking Vista down with every chance they get, and PC vendors are doing their best to promote Windows XP. Even though I myself have no real big issues with Vista, there are things I would change about the entire Windows product lineup, price schemes, and versions are only the beginning.
So I have a question for everyone, if you were CEO of Microsoft, how would you turn the company around?
If I were the CEO, with Microsoft’s current marketshare I would look at Windows as a platform, not an operating system, because Windows itself does almost nothing, the way I see it, it is a platform where other software companies build on it with their own products. Looking at it this way I would make the platform free of charge. Meaning yes, you could get Windows free! I would then charge software companies a fee for every software release they have on that platform (i.e. Company X releases Product X for Windows they pay me a fee of $XXX, then they pay me an annual fee of $XX to keep the software for the Windows platform, keep in mind, this would only be for commercial companies, so private developers could develop for free, also this would not include Hardware Drivers as they are needed by the system to run correctly).
For the server side, I would have one version of Windows Server which would be sold as it is now (The same idea would go for Windows Mobile). And then I would keep Office the way it is now, but with a lower price tag to encourage users to upgrade, and to help regain the small market share we lost to openoffice, Lotus symphony, etc… and to help keep our market dominance.
As for Windows Live, I would drop the Live Search services, which were trying to compete with Google, and focus that money on enhancements to our other systems (Server, Windows Client Platform, Xbox, Mobile)
So people may think I’m crazy, but I’m curious as to what others would do in Ballmer’s position