Originally Posted by donw35
Good, Microsoft needs some new fresh leadership. the same old follow what Apple is doing isn't going to work anymore.
Actually, I don't think Microsoft ever followed what Apple was doing. Instead, they made a half-hearted attempt to copy some of Apple's PRODUCTS, but that's not the key to Apple's success. IOW, the problem was in execution, not in the strategy of learning from Apple.
If they really want to learn from Apple, they would:
1. Understand what the customers need (even better than the customers do themselves). Let customer needs dictate direction, not some egomaniac in an R&D management position.
2. Stop thinking that throwing money at a problem will solve everything. Their R&D expenditures are much higher than Apple's, yet their innovation is only a fraction of what Apple does. Value innovation, not numbers.
3. Be willing to scrap some of their legacy. There's really no strong reason why every OS they release has to run on 15 year old hardware. They could start by announcing that the current Windows will be the last (although they might agree to maintain it for longer than normal). Throw it out and build a robust, registry-free OS from the ground up that takes advantage of modern hardware without all the junk. Build security in rather than tacking it on.
4. Find a way for their R&D groups to work together more effectively. This is somewhat limited by their consent decree, but there's still a huge opportunity for the groups to share experience and solve problem together rather than having a brick wall between departments.
5. Set aside a significant budget for pie-in-the-sky projects where they let people's imagination soar free. Unfortunately, they must resist the temptation to staff this department with people who were successful in the Microsoft Office or XBox group - they want people who are creative and not bound by what's out there now. Maintain absolute secrecy in this department and resist the temptation to show it off to outsiders.
If they do those things, they'll provide strong competition for Apple and will have a much stronger future. Unfortunately for them, I don't think they have a culture that would allow that to happen. Unless they bring someone in from outside and give them the power to really shake things up, they'll never get there.