What Microsoft Should Do

Put me in charge of Microsoft, and this is what I'd do:

- Come out with a line of desktop computers called the Xbox PC. It is a PC version of the Xbox. Exactly same form factor as the Xbox 360, only it runs Windows. We're going to take a page right out of Apple's book and deliver the top-to-bottom user experience from hardware to software.


- Come out with a laptop based on the Xbox 360's industrial design style.

- Consolidate the Windows OS into a single edition - no more different editions, no more matrix of different features or prices, just one simple choice. Cut the cruft, all of it. And to top it off, replace the Windows Control Panel with something more like this:


Oh, and we'll make it cheap! We're extending all the way into the Hardware business. (Xbox PCs!)


The Rally Fighter inspires the inventor in us all
- Transform the Microsoft Stores from a wanna-be Apple Store into a one of a kind innovation showroom targeting creatives and makers (developers, artists, authors, etc) on one side, and selling to everyone on the other side (where the products are actually sold). The focus of the store is on creating, inventing, and each store would feature a spectacular marvel combining art and engineering, such the Rally Fighter.
The connection? This thing is inspiring; We (Microsoft) make the tools for you (everyone) to invent awesome things like this. The drive of the store is to provide an experience and inspiration communicating our belief that you can create greatness with our tools. Time for MS to stop trying to piggy back by way of a lame copy of some other store's experience.  The store would showcase many of the technologies being worked on in MS R&D around the world. The only hardware sold here would be Microsoft hardware - XBox PCs, XBox gaming consoles, the Microsoft Phones, Surface, and a curated selection of applicable items, such as robots that can be programmed with the Robotics SDK, etc.

- Consolidate Visual Studio into a single version. Make it free.

- Target iOS and OSX developers with a solution that allows you to convert your objective-c project into a Windows Phone app or Windows app; or create a new language initiative called Objective-C# that allows you to develop Windows/Windows Phone apps using Objective-C syntax. Remember Sony SNAP? It was Sony's Objective-C based 'networked application platform' that was announced and was mysteriously closed down almost the next day. Under my dictatorship, MS will make an Objective-C SDK a priority. What this will accomplish is bring in a flood of developers who have long been honing their skills and profiting on apps for Apple devices. This rapidly grows the MS app pool on Windows Phones and Tablets more rapidly than almost anything else. We will also undercut Apple's take on Apps, taking only 20% of each app sale, allowing developers to keep 10% more than Apple does.

- Fire everyone who had anything to do with the launch-debacle of the Surface tablet. I will keep the Surface tablet, get it finished, and then release it. 

So, to transform MS into a company that makes the kinds of tools and platforms I want for myself, this is where I'd begin.
Todd Hopkinson