posted by camo on Tue 12th Feb 2008 04:03
Conversations Having a good think last night about this very question. Apart from the obvious 'money spending answers', what would you change about their software (Windows especially), licensing issues, etc, and would you open source it?

Personally, the first thing I would do was to get rid of windows activation (grrrr..) and relax the license to allow for use on more than one computer, but only on computers that the licensed user owns (or maybe family owned computers), and only for non-commercial-use.

Would I open source Windows? Not at first, but I would open source Windows after seeing the pitchforks and torches of the shareholders as they break down my fence chanting <insert profanity here> as my last dying wish.
Previous ConversationNext Conversation
Comments:
Comment by cypress
by cypress on Tue 12th Feb 2008 04:37 UTC
cypress
Member since:
2005-07-11

Microsoft is a business, not an ideology. If it runs OK, why change it. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Linux user and haven't booted up Windows in months. But from a business point of view, they're making money. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by cypress
by Xaero_Vincent on Tue 12th Feb 2008 05:33 in reply to "Comment by cypress"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

Microsoft probably couldn't open source Windows even if they wanted to.

There is likely tons of licensed technology in Windows that cannot be exposed without violating NDAs.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by cypress
by Coxy on Tue 12th Feb 2008 17:44 in reply to "RE: Comment by cypress"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

Plus all the backdoors for, FBI, CIA, NSA etc.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Soulbender
by Soulbender on Tue 12th Feb 2008 06:57 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

I would forbid Ballmer to ever speak in public again. Other than that? Publish protocol specifications. Open standards are more important than open source.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by Laurence on Tue 12th Feb 2008 12:33 in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I would forbid Ballmer to ever speak in public again. Other than that? Publish protocol specifications. Open standards are more important than open source.


Good answer (and another classic example of why I look forward to reading your replies)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by camo on Wed 13th Feb 2008 02:11 in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
camo Member since:
2007-10-08

I would forbid Ballmer to ever speak in public again.


Same here. But like you (I think), I would not sack him. Instead he would have to say "developers developers developers" every time he entered my office as well as leaving, and also he would have to say it whenever anyone asked him to, cleaners, visitors, whoever .

Thinking about maybe having a "developers developers developers" day or something (like funny hat day). Don't know about it though, might get a tad bit annoying buy lunchtime if everyone is saying it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by sbergman27 on Wed 13th Feb 2008 14:36 in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I would forbid Ballmer to ever speak in public again.

Ahh, come on. At least let him go on The Gong Show!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Soulbender
by camo on Thu 14th Feb 2008 03:53 in reply to "RE: Comment by Soulbender"
camo Member since:
2007-10-08

Well then, maybe, but he has to finish his chores first. Like installing Ubuntu on all of his work pc's!

Reply Score: 1

AnXa
Member since:
2008-02-10

In simple shot sentence, I would make people at Microsoft rewrite their software as long as they are good enought to use by my standards.

I would broke all legacy things from Windows. And remove weight from sources.

Giving kick to Steve Ballmer's ass and throwing him out from the company is pretty high on my list. That's because of ruining company's reputation and making it laughtable thing. And for speaking things he doesn't understand a one bit.

Windows Marketplace would be make it's way into software piece. Zune software would be renamed to Media Player 12. Next generation Media Center would take it's design approach from Xbox360 UI.

I would rename lots of products by dropping name "Windows" from them which don't have any reason to have it.

I would make APIs much stronger and thighter and make it so that writing so called "annoyance UIs" would be impossible since there would be simple to understand guidelines and stuff like that.

I would f--k off the windows software installation system and make it more like Apple's own drag and drop and RPM/APT alike. That way it would be much simplier to install stuff without first clicking million times "next" and then once "finnish without rebooting computer"

I would drop DOS support from windows once and for good. I'd put for three editions out of my next gen windows: Home, Professional, Server.

Differences would be that home costs 50 euros at RETAIL, OEM would be much much cheaper, Professional 100 euros and server would follow this price cut with it's fancy lisencing policies too.

Home wouldn't support any backward compability, but Pro and Server would have virtualization engines of XP for running legacy software.

In another words, my Windows would be much limited in sence of freedom to program what ever you want but it would work like Amiga OS and would be as fast with Vista alike Ui exept that it would finally drop the main UI element and if doing black ui it also would be full black. No ugly windows 2000 drop menus or boxes would be seen since there wouldn't be any.

I wouldn't open windows sources exept for those really really legacy parts including os/2 and bob and stuff like that. Dos would be open sourced. Also Xenix.

I would also make them think out new open protocol for networking. "Workgroups" would be no more.

These are just small bit of things I would do. I have been thinging these like for years and I still can make something more everyday. Microsoft just plain sucks at writing software which works.

Reply Score: 1

AnXa Member since:
2008-02-10

Let me add that I would change work enviroment at Microsoft something close to japanese companies with respect for company, it's employees would be one big family and competition inside the company would increase. This would lead to better innovation and team members would work harder. But althought I'm not sure if this would apply to american company which is being held together by force.

My changes would propably make microsoft go bankcrupt. You know what happened in Soviet Union? When you gave freedom they broke free from it and when there was only one member nation left even it abadoned it and it ceaced to exists.

Soviet Union exists still on paper but it doesn't have any member nations. If one nation would join it it would be resurected at that instant.

Reply Score: 1

Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

I would broke all legacy things from Windows.


So, you'd run it into the ground?

Reply Score: 2

Hmm...
by Almafeta on Tue 12th Feb 2008 13:33 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Myself, the only major change I'd make would be to make basic Windows dirt cheap or freeware. Lower the bar to entry of Windows even further and do away with piracy worries in one fell swoop.

Office? Profitable, industry leaders, don't need my meddling.

Visual Studio? Profitable, industry leaders, don't need my meddling.

XBox/Microsoft Game Studios? Profitable, talented, don't need my meddling (I might boost them).

ERP taken as a whole? Profitable, talented, don't need my meddling.

Windows Mobile? Profitable, talented, don't need my meddling.

Research? Profitable (in an intellectual sense, I know it's a money pit), crazy gifted, don't need my meddling (if anything I'd give them insane boosts).

Live? Not leading but alive, self-sustaining, don't need my meddling.

Mac Office? Still makes more money off of Macs than Apple. Why would I change a thing?

(I might start an ad campaign pointing out the silliness and hypocracy of Apple/Linux FUD. But then again, why outshout them when you can outdo them?)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmm...
by Laurence on Tue 12th Feb 2008 13:46 in reply to "Hmm..."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

So basically you're already working for Microsoft ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hmm...
by righard on Tue 12th Feb 2008 15:42 in reply to "Hmm..."
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

You are/might be boosting two parts of Microsoft, so at least one part needs to be "deboosted" what would you choice. I'd choice Live. Actually I'd withdraw entirely from it and concentrated more on actual OS's.

To bad opensourcing is not possible, not without mass layoffs and rebuilding Microsoft from the ground up. It would be better then to give Balmer absolute power, watch Microsoft collapse will starting an own company on there bad reputation.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmm...
by edwdig on Wed 13th Feb 2008 02:01 in reply to "Hmm..."
edwdig Member since:
2005-08-22

XBox/Microsoft Game Studios? Profitable, talented, don't need my meddling (I might boost them).

FYI, the XBox division isn't at all profitable. It makes a profit in quarters that a Halo sequel are released, but otherwise bleeds money really badly (typically ~$500 million per quarter).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Hmm...
by camo on Wed 13th Feb 2008 02:22 in reply to "Hmm..."
camo Member since:
2007-10-08

Myself, the only major change I'd make would be to make basic Windows dirt cheap or freeware. Lower the bar to entry of Windows even further and do away with piracy worries in one fell swoop.


Dirt cheap would do away with piracy (mostly) me thinks. I find that most ppl are willing to pay for a good product but as long as it doesn't cost too much. How does $50 sound?

Reply Score: 1

Let me see...
by Downix on Tue 12th Feb 2008 18:08 UTC
Downix
Member since:
2007-08-21

Seriously pondering this for a bit. Microsoft might look strong on paper, but there is an under-reporting of corporate issues, too many dead-end R&D, not enough bug correction.

First thing I would do is do a flash freeze on new API development. Instead I would focus efforts on fixing the current software, tightening it up, increasing it's strength and robustness, and where possible, reducing it's size to enable better performance. In addition, I would drop the DRM system currently in place, as what that does is open up the company to liability in the future.

I would migrate from the current shrink-box approach to software to a software-leasing program, with the option of purchase. I would also break up applications into necessary bits. Don't do a lot of office work, but do need to type up a letter once in a while, home suite. Busy office with thousands of systems, Professional, and so on. The OS is then identical, the difference becomes what is installed with it. Similar in principle to the XBox Live system, but now applied company wide.

I would also work hard with the OS X and Linux folk to ensure that WINE is fully compatible, and that a version of Microsoft Live was native to both platforms.

but, that is just if I was in charge of Microsoft.... 8)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Let me see...
by camo on Wed 13th Feb 2008 02:44 in reply to "Let me see..."
camo Member since:
2007-10-08

I would also work hard with the OS X and Linux folk to ensure that WINE is fully compatible


Wouldn't that change things hey? Being able to run all windows apps on mac or linux. This in turn would boost sales for application developers. Sweet!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Let me see...
by Downix on Thu 14th Feb 2008 11:25 in reply to "RE: Let me see..."
Downix Member since:
2007-08-21

Precisely, plus would stop the impression as the "big bad monopolist OS vendor" altho I'd expect the beginning of a lawsuit as the big bad monopolist office suite vendor.... 8)

The idea is, make money through certifications. Red Hat wants to rate themselves as Windows compatible, pay a nominal fee for the little sticker on the box. Make my competition do the work for me. And for fun, make sure that my own apps work on the other platforms, therefore giving me a larger customer base through my competing OS' efforts. 8) And charging them for it.

Reply Score: 1

Two more things.....
by camo on Wed 13th Feb 2008 02:53 UTC
camo
Member since:
2007-10-08

Something else I would change is to allow other OS's to clone the Windows desktop. As long as it was made easily identifiable as a clone to protect consumers, there would be no prob's. It might actually help sales of windows.

The other? Change the name of windows to "CAMO OS"!!!!!

Mooharharhar!

Reply Score: 1

Windows Bob
by righard on Wed 13th Feb 2008 10:49 UTC
righard
Member since:
2007-12-26

I would give Windows Bob another change, such a same it didn't reach the masses.

Reply Score: 1

Fridays.
by Quag7 on Wed 13th Feb 2008 18:26 UTC
Quag7
Member since:
2005-07-28

I would institute Clownshoes Fridays. Each Friday, it would be mandatory to wear Clownshoes to work, and the size of your clownshoes would be proportional to your place in the management hierarchy, with Ballmer wearing what I can only describe as ludicrously sized clownshoes.

So that's the first thing.

The second thing I'd do is abolish all focus stealing from all versions of Windows. All of it. Having thought about it, I have to say that an OS should never - EVER - I don't care if it is on FIRE, or Mr. Furley is overhearing a conversation it's having and mistaking it for something sexual - WHATEVER - NEVER EVER EVER steal my focus.

Next, during installation, I'd offer two modes:

(1) I'm a big dumb animal wearing a helmet 24/7 mode. I don't want to see file extensions and OMG do not let me browse the contents of the Windows folder and don't even bother giving me any details in error boxes except "OMG IT DONE BROKE."

and the other mode:

(2) Turn all file extensions on, give me detailed, specific error messages, and let me browse ANY DAMN FOLDER I CHOOSE because I have opposable thumbs and walk erect. Well, more, sit, sort of. A lot.

Next, I'd *resurrect the command line*. I'm not going to get ridiculous. Yes I wish Windows had a bash shell and GNU tools, something like Cygwin. I'm willing to live with Powershell, but this would be available in *all* versions of Windows and come with - perhaps as downloadables or an add-on disk, GNU or GNU equivalents to all of the basic command line apps, along with, if possible, an alias mode to interpret and translate UNIX commands. (I have not used Powershell yet so if it does any of these things, groovy.)

Lastly, from a corporate image perspective, I'd give up any pretense of being consumer focus and instead go with the "Dicketry is our business, and business is good" angle. The marketing angle for the next Windows would be:

"This is what you're getting, and you'll like it, and you'll pay us for the privilege of using it whether you like it or not."

Don't mod me down. Hear me out. I know one of you is out there, about to do that. You misunderstand the above for Linux or Mac zealotry, but you could not be more wrong.

I would leverage this strategy not for any hatred of Microsoft, but because it will increase shareholder value. I've noticed watching the political scene here in the US for the last few years that people, treasure any opportunity to be patronized, lied to, and abused by powerful institutions (the 2004 election is proof alone).

My thinking here is that customers will enthusiastically pay to be treated this way by Microsoft since they tend to, well, thrive on it. We'll call it the New Jersey Special Sauce - just as you can run some engines on biodiesel, you can run the human body and mind by contempt. It's sort of a Turbo Boost or Nitrous Oxide burst.

I think this will increase shareholder value in the long run, and you can bet if I was in a position to influence Microsoft, I'd be concerned with that. It's not that people like abusive institutions, it's that people are cynical enough these days that at least when they're being openly victimized, they appreciate the *honesty* of that, and in being openly screwed, they feel like the universe is at least understandable and operates by a set of reliable, consistent rules.

I believe that Microsoft's "This is what you're getting, and you'll like it, and you'll pay us for the privilege of using it whether you like it or not." campaign is a winner, from a PR and financial perspective.

Also I would put at least 10 people on the payroll to troll osnews.com and other tech sites with company funded "studies" on how much more secure Windows is than everything else. I feel that these have been winners in the past, in terms of stirring up a lot of chatter and discussion on the street, and they have been beneficial to all parties:

(1) Microsoft, for keeping them in the news and keeping people talking about them.

(2) For people who believe the studies and have their consumer choices confirmed.

(3) For people who think Microsoft is the antichrist and point to these "studies" as proof that Microsoft is the work of the devil and unclean spirits. It gives them something to point at as proof.

(4) For the people who make money doing these studies.

(5) For keeping the technical communities on the WWW buzzing with activity, including bringing foaming at the mouth anti-Microsoft types out of the woodwork, adding a much needed emotional element to discussion of what amounts to, basically, a bunch of ones and zeroes.

In general, those studies have benefitted, essentially, everyone, as far as I can tell, so I think it would be both a public service, as well as cost effective publicity, to release more of them.

And those are the changes I would make.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by autumnlover
by autumnlover on Thu 14th Feb 2008 00:33 UTC
autumnlover
Member since:
2007-04-12

About open sourcing Windows - no, because it will turn that (more or less) standardised Windows environment into chaos we all know from Linux world.

First of all, I would consider removing all WGA and activation procedures from Windows. Microsoft came to power without it (I mean pre-XP era) and certainly could manage now without it. It is widely known that such procedures hurt legitimate users in the first place. Crackers still can bypass that procedures, so it is endless mouse-and-cat game. Maintain that procedures is certainly very costly and resource-consuming process and dropping it would be great relief and cost-saving for Microsoft. And - more importantly - huge and very positive marketing and PR surge. And also terrible blow for their competitors. (Linux and Apple mainly). People know activation and WGA well and certainly hate it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by autumnlover
by appel on Thu 14th Feb 2008 17:56 in reply to "Comment by autumnlover"
appel Member since:
2007-12-29

I'll use *NIX to base the Windows GUI and API's on, like Apple has with OS X. I'll open up my protocols specs, and all my API's.

Reply Score: 1

Split it into Microsoft and Windows Inc.
by MollyC on Thu 14th Feb 2008 22:58 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

Since Windows is the one and only legally declared "monopoly" product of Microsoft, I'd dump it by spinning the Windows division off into its own company, Windows Inc. Unencumbered by having any monopoly products, the Feds and EU get off my back and I can proceed as I please (at least as much as any other non-monopoly company would be able to).

Microsoft retains everything except Windows itself (i.e. Office, Xbox, Zune, MacBU, dev tools, server software), including .NET, which Microsoft would license to Windows Inc. and have the option of porting it to other OSes, if there is a valid business plan for such action.

As for Windows Inc itself, I'd base that company in Europe, give away a "core" version for free (it would have only a command line UI or a very simple GUI), and sell the frills as a plus pack (which would include Explorer, accessory apps, etc).

Shareholders would get shares in both Microsoft and Windows INC, of course.

Reply Score: 2

If I owned Microsoft
by WereCatf on Fri 15th Feb 2008 23:13 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I would just sell it to someone who knows more about running a huge multinational business, and then retire somewhere to enjoy my billions ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: If I owned Microsoft
by Sabz on Sun 17th Feb 2008 03:45 in reply to "If I owned Microsoft"
Sabz Member since:
2005-07-07

if i owned it, i would sack steve ballmer, then i would sell off the Windows Division then i would sell off the Game Console Division then i would retire an spend my days on some tropical island an build a new Resort on it with the money i had,

Reply Score: 1