Microsoft Recommendations for 2013

What Redmond needs to do in the new year to build on the momentum of the raft of 2012 product releases.

2012 is behind us, and it was a monumental year in terms of Microsoft product releases. That likely means 2013 will be a bit of a breather year for Redmond, at least in terms of creating new products.

It hardly means Microsoft can rest, however. Here are the major things I'd recommend the company do, both with some of its new offerings and internally:

  • First and foremost, get the people reading this column to write apps for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Nothing is more important than creating a thriving app ecosystem for Windows 8/Windows RT/Windows Phone 8. The mobile revolution is built on the foundation of apps, and more is better. Both iOS and Android are approaching a million apps for their smartphones and tablets. Obviously, Microsoft won't match those figures anytime soon, but the stated goal from one executive of 100,000 apps in the Windows Store by the end of January would be a fabulous start.
  • Convince the public and enterprise that laptops and desktops aren't even close to dead. Tablets and smartphones have all the momentum right now and, because of that, the majority of press coverage. But there's still a lot you can't do with them. Microsoft needs to stay strong in this crucial space, and not just accept Steve Jobs' oft-repeated mantra that we're in the post-PC era. There's room for everyone at this party.
  • Retain employees. This is overlooked, but crucial. Too many big-time executives have left (headed by Steven Sinofsky), creating a leadership vacuum. Microsoft needs to recruit or promote great replacements, and do everything it can to keep them around to provide consistent, innovative vision.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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