Seriously, Steve Ballmer should have been fired years ago. I am hoping it’s very soon. The man is flat out an idiot of a CEO. Why do I feel this way?
1. He has repeatedly failed to see where the market is.
2. He has failed to leverage Microsoft brands and technologies.
3. He has failed to stop infighting and bring about a conducive team inside Microsoft.
4. He has failed to implement common sense “features” while repeatedly implementing immense change.
[Please note, I am actually kind of okay with Windows 8. I am sort of getting used to the interface. So please don't view this as a Windows 8 knock. I think it's adventurous and was worth the effort and simply needs some refinement. In fact I jut think they need to incorporate some easy drag n drop arrangement of the new tile screen. And some outlines in metro apps.]
But let me address each of the above:
1. Microsoft is just now pushing into tablets, 4th generation smartphones, and mobile devices in general. Come lately again? Granted Bill Gates nearly missed the internet itself.
2. Failure to leverage Microsoft brands. And to recognize which ones are tarnished and which ones are marketable. I’m going to be point blunt honest here. “Windows” is a tarnished brand; so is IE. Very few people are using Internet Explorer by choice. Even though it’s vastly improved in many ways.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has it’s Xbox and it’s Kinect platform which has an overall strong brand loyalty. I believe it was a mistake for Microsoft to push the Windows Phone platform. Especially, in such an appless environment. It’s not enough to motivate the market.
Rather, an “X Phone” that was branded with the Xbox platform. That had an emulator to play many of the mini-arcade Xbox Live! games. This could have gone somewhere. Yes, it’d need more work. But imagine if the Microsoft phone came out, and while it may have lacked apps, it had a thousand games available at launch. Imagine if it could sync with your Xbox, carry your Live! profile, store your replays of Halo matches. Suddenly, a few million Xbox owners have got a lot more reason to go with Microsoft’s phone. (Ironically, many of these suggestions were sent to Microsoft by myself long before the 360 came out. And they’re still missing the game. Had Microsoft done this back when the 360 came out with their Zune, they might have given Apple a far greater challenge.)
3. Look, I understand Office team, isn’t as fond of Windows team, and neither is as fond of the Xbox/Entertainment branch. Suck it up. A CEO’s job is to make sure the various major divisions of their company are working in synergy. Steve Ballmer repeatedly fails at this. And that’s because of the “pie problem”. Each has their slice of pie and feels at risk. Eliminate the feeling of potential jeopardy so that there can be synergy.
4. Common sense features. Okay, how many stinkin revisions to MS Office do we need? And why can’t I simply schedule a block of time in the calendar and then select “Out of Office”, and automatically have my out-of-office reply turned on ONLY at those times.
Instead, I have to remember to turn it on right before I leave for vacation, turn it back off when I arrived, turn it on a few days later when I might be out for a day, and then remember to turn it back off. Of course, I do none of this remembering. And the feature becomes one of uselessness and guilt.
Logically, one should NEVER set their auto-reply, they should simply set their schedule and denote the status as “out of office”. When that is done, the message should automatically be set. (With an option use a custom message or append a msg to one’s general OOO reply.)
Sadly, this probably won’t make it into Office 2013 either.
Please Steve, pass the torch to someone who “can do”.