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Five Things That Microsoft’s New CEO, Satya Nadella, Should Do Immediately

With a new CEO, it’s time for some changes.  There are probably a whole lot of things that Mr. Nadella should be doing right away, but I’ll start with 5 of them.  You have any other ideas, leave them in the comments.

1. Fix Desktop Windows

Really.  The Metro interface – or whatever it is called now – is a disaster on a large screen and should never have made it to the desktop OS.  On a big screen it looks like the Teletubbies might waddle their way across the screen at any moment.  It looks childish, it’s klunky, and I don’t want it on a computer that I use for work.

Is Metro nice on phones and tablets?  Yes, it is rather nice.  But I’m sure it wasn’t designed for a desktop and it should not be there.

Give us back the Start button the way it was, and for god’s sake get rid of the crap that floats out from the right side of my screen every time my mouse passes there…that is so annoying.

Without these gripes, Windows 8.x is actually pretty good.  So fix it and gain millions of customers.

2. Office on iOS

A full version of Office on my iPad, please.  Maybe it can’t have all the capabilities of the desktop version, but it should at least be able to open anything and apply edits to it when needed.  The prospect of a full version of Outlook on my iPad is so good it almost makes me drool.

I would think this is a no-brainer as you’ve already lost the tablet war.  So get on with it.

3. Stop calling everything “Windows-whatever”, “Zune-this”, and “XBox-that”

Really, whether it’s called Zune Video or XBox Video makes no difference to any of us as we’re never going to utter either name in public anyway.  I know you have to brand things, but surely you can do a better job than taking the name of whatever hot property of the moment and sticking it in front of everything else.

While we’re on marketing, whoever you’re using – fire them.  Fire them either because they suck or because your briefs to them are too restrictive and they don’t stand up to you.  To build your entire marketing campaign for Surface around the fact that the keyboard cover clicks on with magnets was just lame.  It’s a neat feature, sure, but most people couldn’t care less.  Either way, fire them and get yourself a new agency.

4. Ditch Nokia

Yes, I’m saying they should just eat a loss on Nokia and ditch it.  Microsoft is never – NEVER – going to make money selling phones, so why try?  Ditch it, take the loss, and get on with it.  The sooner it’s gone the sooner the mistake can be forgotten.

5. Spin off XBox

Spin it out into its own company.  IPO the thing and collect your cash, then get on with what you’re supposed to be doing, which is helping me get my work done.

And a couple more, because I can’t help myself.

Bonus 1:  End the backward-compatibility of Windows.

Yes, I said it.  Get rid of the tons of crap that’s in Windows and making my machines less secure for the sake of backward-compatibility.  I know it’s not a simple thing to do, but Apple has completely changed the processors used in Macs twice and they seem to be doing just fine.

So get on with it.  People will upgrade their stuff, and if they don’t they can stay on Windows XP or whatever.  Move forward.

Bonus 2:  Stop using Windows and Office to subsidize crap that no other company would even greenlight.

Zune, anyone?  Bing?  Surface?  These are just the latest, but Microsoft has a history of launching bad products into tight market spaces and spending from their war chest to try to make a go of them.  And it has always failed.

So pick those products in the stable that don’t make you any money and kill them.  Then go about firing the people that drove them, and then take a good, long look at where you should be headed as a company and do it.  Annihilate it.  We don’t want you to be Apple, as Apple is quite good at being themselves as it is.  Google is quite good at being Google as well, so don’t bother.

Can you even imagine what Windows would be like today if even half of the billions that have been poured into junk projects had been spent on it instead?

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