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QOTD: How Would You Run Microsoft Differently?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 66 comments
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There's no disputing that Microsoft is a highly successful company. It's ambitions are set very high, and the company's determination to win in every market it enters is frightening to say the least.

Of course, like all companies, Microsoft has had extremely good times and some not so good times. From faulty starts to run-ins with government entities, Microsoft has been through a plethora of difficult situations. Bet yet, even through all the rough times, Microsoft continues to dominate the computing world. Windows is the undisputed king of desktop and server operating systems, and the company's venerable Office suite is used in nearly every office around the globe.

In recent years, we've seen Microsoft dip its hands into markets that surprised many at the time. When Microsoft announced it would enter the game console market, the news shocked many. Microsoft is also going after the Internet search and online advertising market and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Cloud computing is next up on the software giant's list, and we'll hedge our bets that it'll do well in this space too.

Considering all of Microsoft's blunders and successes, its world-wide dominance allows it to be the trend-maker and market shaker. So...

The question of the day is: If you were running Microsoft, how would you do things differently?

Some ideas to jog your thoughts:

- Xbox division
- Windows operating system
- Online search
- Zune/Music
- Internet Explorer
- Office
- Servers

There's plenty of things that could be changed. What would be priority number one?

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    svenolsen , March 17, 2009 7:19 AM
    MrF430That's a fricken mic/earpiece! Do you not see the cord that runs down from the shiny part you're so fixated on! Maybe if he was wearing a black turtleneck you would praise him for being so different! Next time, instead of posting nonsense, please elaborate as to why you dislike Windows so much!? Is it because its the most common OS used, and that automatically makes it uncool? Is it because there are an unparalleled amount of programs available to run on windows without the need to emulate another OS? Is it because you can play games on it? Is it because it can do everything the other OS's can? Is it because you were influenced by your friends which were influenced by their friends who in turn were influenced by their friends to hate MS/Windows/Vista, all of whom were unable to think for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions about which OS they like/dislike and why?! Ohhhh I know!!!! It must be because the hardware and software options of a Windows based PC compared to another OS is like 60:1? I too hate having options! OPTIONS SUCK!!! I mean now I can understand why Windows does suck! Especially with all the reasons I listed above! I don't know why anyone in their right mind would run such a crappy OS!?!?Go be a troll elsewhere please! Thanks!


    I'm a Windows/PC user and a post like the one you just wrote makes me feel ashamed that you're a Windows user too. You automatically assumed the guy was a Mac, and then ranted with all that crap above like "Ohhhh I know!!!! It must be because the hardware and software options of a Windows based PC compared to another OS is like 60:1? I too hate having options! OPTIONS SUCK!!!"

    Interestingly, you don't know either. Do you know what he's using? Windows users dislike and like Windows too. Jumping the gun and automatically pulling out the Mac-fanboy card makes you a douche. You're actually the type of guy that you're dissing in your own post. GG.
  • 11 Hide
    afrobacon , March 17, 2009 6:14 AM
    As much as I hate their 20 or so version of the same thing marketing strategy, I think my feelings would change a bit when I look at my bank account and 100million dollar house it got me... I'm greedy...

    IE however, needs to be put out of it misery and replaced with something that can compete with other browsers on the market.
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    afrobacon , March 17, 2009 6:14 AM
    As much as I hate their 20 or so version of the same thing marketing strategy, I think my feelings would change a bit when I look at my bank account and 100million dollar house it got me... I'm greedy...

    IE however, needs to be put out of it misery and replaced with something that can compete with other browsers on the market.
  • Display all 66 comments.
  • -7 Hide
    raffish315 , March 17, 2009 6:30 AM
    Buy up google...
  • 3 Hide
    MrF430 , March 17, 2009 7:10 AM
    zingamAnd this guy with the ear ring is the head of the largest software corporation in the world?My God, I know now why Windows sux so badly!



    Wow! You're either:

    A. Blind
    B. A Moron
    C. A nix, but most probably an Apple fanboy!
    D. All of the above!
  • -1 Hide
    MrF430 , March 17, 2009 7:12 AM
    That's a fricken mic/earpiece! Do you not see the cord that runs down from the shiny part you're so fixated on! Maybe if he was wearing a black turtleneck you would praise him for being so different!

    Next time, instead of posting nonsense, please elaborate as to why you dislike Windows so much!? Is it because its the most common OS used, and that automatically makes it uncool? Is it because there are an unparalleled amount of programs available to run on windows without the need to emulate another OS? Is it because you can play games on it? Is it because it can do everything the other OS's can? Is it because you were influenced by your friends which were influenced by their friends who in turn were influenced by their friends to hate MS/Windows/Vista, all of whom were unable to think for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions about which OS they like/dislike and why?! Ohhhh I know!!!! It must be because the hardware and software options of a Windows based PC compared to another OS is like 60:1? I too hate having options! OPTIONS SUCK!!! I mean now I can understand why Windows does suck! Especially with all the reasons I listed above! I don't know why anyone in their right mind would run such a crappy OS!?!?

    Go be a troll elsewhere please! Thanks!
  • 14 Hide
    svenolsen , March 17, 2009 7:19 AM
    MrF430That's a fricken mic/earpiece! Do you not see the cord that runs down from the shiny part you're so fixated on! Maybe if he was wearing a black turtleneck you would praise him for being so different! Next time, instead of posting nonsense, please elaborate as to why you dislike Windows so much!? Is it because its the most common OS used, and that automatically makes it uncool? Is it because there are an unparalleled amount of programs available to run on windows without the need to emulate another OS? Is it because you can play games on it? Is it because it can do everything the other OS's can? Is it because you were influenced by your friends which were influenced by their friends who in turn were influenced by their friends to hate MS/Windows/Vista, all of whom were unable to think for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions about which OS they like/dislike and why?! Ohhhh I know!!!! It must be because the hardware and software options of a Windows based PC compared to another OS is like 60:1? I too hate having options! OPTIONS SUCK!!! I mean now I can understand why Windows does suck! Especially with all the reasons I listed above! I don't know why anyone in their right mind would run such a crappy OS!?!?Go be a troll elsewhere please! Thanks!


    I'm a Windows/PC user and a post like the one you just wrote makes me feel ashamed that you're a Windows user too. You automatically assumed the guy was a Mac, and then ranted with all that crap above like "Ohhhh I know!!!! It must be because the hardware and software options of a Windows based PC compared to another OS is like 60:1? I too hate having options! OPTIONS SUCK!!!"

    Interestingly, you don't know either. Do you know what he's using? Windows users dislike and like Windows too. Jumping the gun and automatically pulling out the Mac-fanboy card makes you a douche. You're actually the type of guy that you're dissing in your own post. GG.
  • 8 Hide
    Roffey123 , March 17, 2009 7:26 AM
    With the xbox division I would have spent a lot more money developing reliable hardware...and a cooling solution that didn't suck for the old 90nm consoles. Another thing I would have invested in would have been a quieter DVD drive...and then providing cheap upgrades for the console. Like hard-drives, mainly - and then make it easier for users to transfer their data from one hard-drive to the next. Stuff like that would have avoided the massive losses in the xbox division when RRoDs started cropping up like locusts.

    With the OS I would focus on providing a lightweight software solution - with a largely modular make-up. Much like Windows 7 proportedly says it is (with uninstallable features) - but it should have been introduced much sooner. Certainly where IE is concerned - if it was plausible to remove early versions of IE from Windows 98 then I'm sure MS would of avoided a lot of the anti-trust issues its had over the years.

    Ofc, its all obvious with hindsight.
  • 7 Hide
    Roffey123 , March 17, 2009 7:29 AM
    @MrF430 - whilst I sympahise with your comment - it just made you look like an idoit. Refrain from this in future.

    @svenolsen - A little tap on the wrist would have sufficed - you didn't need to go troll on F430 yourself. Chill.

    Now kiss and make up you two else I'll give you a spanking with my Linux paddle.
  • -8 Hide
    MrF430 , March 17, 2009 7:34 AM
    svenolsenI'm a Windows/PC user and a post like the one you just wrote makes me feel ashamed that you're a Windows user too. You automatically assumed the guy was a Mac, and then ranted with all that crap above like "Ohhhh I know!!!! It must be because the hardware and software options of a Windows based PC compared to another OS is like 60:1? I too hate having options! OPTIONS SUCK!!!"Interestingly, you don't know either. Do you know what he's using? Windows users dislike and like Windows too. Jumping the gun and automatically pulling out the Mac-fanboy card makes you a douche. You're actually the type of guy that you're dissing in your own post. GG.


    First things first, I didn't automatically assume he was a Mac user. I did mention the probability of him being a Linux user, but, usually in more cases than not, when someone says something totally irrelevant to back their argument and they follow it up with a Windows or M$ is teh sux! or any other such variant, usually happens to be from the Mac side (apparently their ads haven't really provided any realistic/truthful/unbiased information for a person on the fence to decide which might be a better choice). You cannot argue with me on that, as I'm sure you know it is the truth. Chances are he can be a Win user as well, however, if I and/or anyone else I know were to complain about a product or service, we would at least have some information to back up our complaint. Not just say that it SUX! That brings me to the realization that this person cannot be a win user as, because if he was, we would at least have some detail as to why he dislikes it so much, not because the CEO supposedly has an earring!!!

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, if you think I'm a douche, than so be it, no skin off my nose. But don't play high and mighty without letting the post sink in and understanding why I said the things I said.
  • 5 Hide
    svenolsen , March 17, 2009 7:46 AM
    MrF430Wow! You're either:A. BlindB. A MoronC. A nix, but most probably an Apple fanboy!D. All of the above!


    Okay MrF430 -

    Let me break it down to you, since you're calling me "high and mighty."

    You called him Blind or Moronic -- was it necessary to flame and insult him like that? You say "when someone says something totally irrelevant to back their argument"--right... And those things are relevant. As if he were blind he would have been able to look at the picture of Ballmer to begin with? Is it just me or are you being a hypocrite?

    Then you call him either a Nix user Or a Mac user but conveniently left out a Windows user. Why? Because Windows users are high and mighty like yourself? That gives you the right to go dissing people?

    Heh, of course I can argue with you because your posts fall flat because of the ridiculous posting behavior you're showing in the first few posts. Now you're trying to come across legitimate with the past above?

    "Chances are he can be a Win user as well, however, if I and/or anyone else I know were to complain about a product or service, we would at least have some information to back up our complaint. Not just say that it SUX!"

    How long have you been around the computing scene my friend? Long enough to know that people of all kinds have been saying "it just sux!" for anything? And this short, unprofound statement has been tossed around within the Windows community itself for ages, BSODs to other things.

    "Everyone is entitled to their opinion, if you think I'm a douche, than so be it, no skin off my nose."

    Really? Then why do you have to lash out at the guy for expressing his "opinion"? Because you deem it to be baseless, and therefore suddenly self justify to toss around names at the guy? You sound so calm in this new post, yet in your response to him, not only did you post three times, you became offensive against him as well as defensive against yourself and appearing like an idiot.

    Let me clarify: whether or not you ARE an idiot, you certainly APPEARED like one.
  • 5 Hide
    lexspecialis , March 17, 2009 7:52 AM
    If i were Steve Ballmer:
    I think Win 7 Development is heading in the right way, so i'd leave it as is. Office is still the market leader and haven't seen any really strong competitor in the corporate market. Perhaps i'd release some simpler version of Office (sort of like Windows Starter edition) and give it a competitive price so it can thwart the likes of Open Office in the retail/home users segment.

    Scrap Zune altogether because it really didn't sell and focus instead on improving the Xbox, like revamping it with 45nm Processor, give it a better GPU, and fix the stability issues. IE's security issues needs to be fixed so it can at least be as safe as Opera. Online search will face stiff competition, since Google wouldn't just bow down to Microsoft. Kuno will have to be able to offer a new experience for customer in using a search engine if it were to compete competitively with Google.
  • -1 Hide
    Cuddles , March 17, 2009 8:16 AM
    I would discontinue the Zune, buy the intellectual property for Audiosurf, and then combine the two into a new device that would use VOIP to talk. This would become a new division to spearhead a new way to interact with your music.
    Xbox division and Games for Windows would be combined into one division with an Xbox application available on Windows PC that would allow PC's to play any Xbox Game. I would also purchase Valve and make Steam the defacto Games for Windows Application. From there I would combine it all into Windows Media Center so that you could Rent or buy HD Movies, purchase Music, watch TV, buy Software, rent or buy Games, easy setup to use your computer as a phone (video conferencing) etc.
    Another thing is that I would use the above application so that say a Hard Drive Crash occured and you had to replace your Hard Drive you could just reinstall the OS and click everything you wanted redownloaded and installed with just the click of a button. You could also purchase Security Boxes to store important data in.
    The Desktop OS would change into three distinct versions.
    Home Version would concentrate on being just a Home Entertainment and Communication OS. You could streamline it down or up as much as you wanted.
    Home Server: This would be your more typical Home Premium OS that would run programs for Home Automation, etc.
    Business: Would be built to streamline for the Business environment.

    Certain Office Programs would become part of the Windows Package that would install if you selected them.
  • -8 Hide
    MrF430 , March 17, 2009 8:36 AM
    svenolsenOkay MrF430 -Let me break it down to you, since you're calling me "high and mighty."You called him Blind or Moronic -- was it necessary to flame and insult him like that? You say "when someone says something totally irrelevant to back their argument"--right... And those things are relevant. As if he were blind he would have been able to look at the picture of Ballmer to begin with? Is it just me or are you being a hypocrite?Then you call him either a Nix user Or a Mac user but conveniently left out a Windows user. Why? Because Windows users are high and mighty like yourself? That gives you the right to go dissing people?Heh, of course I can argue with you because your posts fall flat because of the ridiculous posting behavior you're showing in the first few posts. Now you're trying to come across legitimate with the past above? "Chances are he can be a Win user as well, however, if I and/or anyone else I know were to complain about a product or service, we would at least have some information to back up our complaint. Not just say that it SUX!"How long have you been around the computing scene my friend? Long enough to know that people of all kinds have been saying "it just sux!" for anything? And this short, unprofound statement has been tossed around within the Windows community itself for ages, BSODs to other things."Everyone is entitled to their opinion, if you think I'm a douche, than so be it, no skin off my nose."Really? Then why do you have to lash out at the guy for expressing his "opinion"? Because you deem it to be baseless, and therefore suddenly self justify to toss around names at the guy? You sound so calm in this new post, yet in your response to him, not only did you post three times, you became offensive against him as well as defensive against yourself and appearing like an idiot.Let me clarify: whether or not you ARE an idiot, you certainly APPEARED like one.


    Ok, I don't think that you are quite grasping my point here. His statement was totally irrelevant! Maybe it was a bit harsh of me to say the things I did, but, I don't think that it was without merit, and no I was not being a hypocrite one bit, you just choose to nitpick at what I said and blow it out of proportion!

    Yes, as you put it I, CONVENIENTLY left out the possibility that he could be a win user because I believe win users are high and mighty like myself (/sarcasm)! Now, if you look down at the 5th paragraph in your post where you quoted part of my previous post, you will see a clear explanation as to why I believe that he is not a win user! But instead of actually reading to see why I said what I did, you just decided to not deal with it and start your captain save a ho rant! Well good job captain!

    "Heh, of course I can argue with you because your posts fall flat because of the ridiculous posting behavior you're showing in the first few posts. Now you're trying to come across legitimate with the past above?"

    ^ Again, the first post could have been a bit harsh, but it was far from ridiculous. My posts have been very legitimate from the first to the current, however some people just like to argue for the sake of arguing!

    Yes my friend, I have been around the computing scene for quite some time, maybe more than you, maybe less! I remember getting very familiar with Windows 2.03 on my old 386 Packard Bell! I have gone through the ups and downs of Windows! I hated certain versions of Windows and yes I would say that they sucked and I can tell you EXACTLY why!

    And finally, as I mentioned, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However if they step into a DISCUSSION FORUM and are unable to provide any reasoning behind their opinion, then, their opinion does not belong. What if I were to go into any random discussion and say XYZ person place or thing sux! Followed with nothing at all! You better believe that people would call me a troll and maybe say things that are worse than what I said, or maybe not as bad as what I said. Bottom line though, is that people wouldn't be happy about it.

    Oh and btw, I posted it 3 times because the first 2 times did not get the bulk of the message posted. Just look at it and it would make sense, definitely not something to call someone out on, but then the captains gotta look for something to do right?...
  • 6 Hide
    Roffey123 , March 17, 2009 8:45 AM
    Shut it both of you...this is supposed to be a serious discussion.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 17, 2009 9:48 AM
    Zune:
    I would continue the production, but take a hard look at what is being suggested on Internet forums - like the touchscreen Zune, which was extremely well received by a large number of people. Basically, listening to the public for ideas. I also would focus a lot of time on making the hardware visually competitive with the iPod; the current Zune is way too thick.

    Xbox:
    Faster product cycles. Xbox 720 should be coming out in the next year and half, considering that they introduced the 360 a full year ahead of PS3. Also, coming up with more inspirational names is a must. Lastly, making sure that each update of the console has actual benefits and reliability improvements.

    Windows:
    I don't see a problem with Windows 7; but after this, Windows is up for a complete rewrite, like what Apple did with the OS X. The NT code is becoming excessively bloated regardless of what solutions, and the only thing that can fix that is a complete rewrite. Have something like the Rosetta for emulating legacy Windows apps, and have an entirely new Windows based on a new architecture that is more streamlined and optimized for today's hardware.

    Internet Explorer:
    Integrate it more into Windows. If the EU has problems, let them deal with it. But instead of just increasing the version count every few years, do some actual development of the engine. Optimize things like the speed of opening a new tab, stability, and the entire architecture. This can go up for a complete rewrite too. It's odd how they made Windows 7 seem faster using lots of front end processing, but IE8 continues to be the slowest of all broswers.
  • 0 Hide
    yantelope , March 17, 2009 11:58 AM
    I would kill zune and windows mobile. Then I would create a phone/xbox mobile. One device that would run like an iphone/psp except with xbox branding. The Xbox phone would interface with Xbox live, run videos, play music run ms office and run all your internet applications. People usually have only one pocket to spare so you're going to bring your iPhone or your PSP not both. This is the only way microsoft can compete with Apple in the mobile enviroment and for hardcore gamers and productivity it would be unstoppable. Expensive to be sure but the iPhone has taught us how little that matters. Besides, everyone wants to play halo on the go anyway.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , March 17, 2009 12:06 PM
    make windows xp free
  • -1 Hide
    superhighperf , March 17, 2009 12:14 PM
    i think microsoft actually has the ability to figure out how to distribute media on the internet and combat pirates. they have the resources to do it.

    the hell with that if i ran microsoft i would try to take over the world. hipno-ray or some other scheme. why not.

    what are we going to do tonight brain?
  • 2 Hide
    rodney_ws , March 17, 2009 12:27 PM
    Abandon all attempts to force standards on the market and embrace open formats. Let's face it... Microsoft is capable of making some VERY slick products, but too often they use their near-monopoly powers to force standards on us.
  • 6 Hide
    rodney_ws , March 17, 2009 12:30 PM
    Also, drop the idea that controlling access to installation media is a means of controlling pirates. All media should be freely accessible from the internet. Even if you have to enter your product ID / license key prior to download... that's FINE! I cannot count the number of times I have been the legal owner of software that I cannot use because Microsoft does not give me easy access to the installation files. You're not preventing piracy... you're just pissing off customers by doing that.
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