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Microsoft, Forget Windows and the Defensive Business Strategy

Written by on January 4, 2011

Microsoft is rumored to present a set-top box in direct competition with Apple TV, Google TV (and the other boxes). But instead of doing the painfully obvious, to add it to the XBOX, they are going make a separate box running Windows 7 and Windows Media Center.


Microsoft, you got the biggest, most fantastic, most brilliant opportunity right in front of you. It is called the XBOX. It is an awesome machine, and mixed with the XBOX Kinect, it is the real world implementation of Minority Report.

You have created the freaking future!

What you need to do is to stop trying to force everyone to use Windows. It is bad enough that you have to add the Windows name to every product - like the Windows Phone 7. You don't see Apple calling the iPhone for the "Mac OS X iPhone," or Google calling the Nexus S for the "Google Android Nexus S."

I know that Windows is the product that generates most of your revenue, and I know that it isn't performing as well as it used to. But, the answer is not to defend the desktop platform. That is similar to newspapers trying to defend print, even when they are creating digital apps.

Instead, make the XBOX truly extraordinary!

Here is what you do...

  • Step 1: Turn XBOX into a platform, with an interface that support things to be added, rearranged and organized at will (and with 100% support for Kinect).
  • Step 2: Open up the XBOX app store.
  • Step 3: Stand back and let the magic happen!

It is really that simple.

You can then have one of your software divisions work with TV and movie studies about creating a stunning XBOX app. Along with Netflix, Hulu, Roku, Boxee etc.

Some TV channels might create their own, like e.g., the Discovery Channel XBOX App.

People could create entertainment aggregation apps and propel the XBOX experience even higher. Think Flipboard for TV and movies.

The casual gaming world would explode, because it would be so easy to bring content to the XBOX (not like the limiting XBOX Arcade games of today). Games on Demand would suddenly make sense, because each game is just another app.

Podcast networks, like Revision 3, could create their own app - bringing internet TV to... you know... the TV (it is already wildly popular on the Roku box).

Apple conquered the smartphone market because they create a platform that enabled people to turn imagination into real apps. Google is doing the same with Android (and partly with Google TV, although poorly implemented).

A Windows set-top box, is just another closed device that you switch too. We don't want that. Microsoft, you have already made the right product - the XBOX.

You could dominate the TV world. Apple and Google don't have a chance; they don't have the XBOX. You do!

Use it, dammit!

(End of rant :o) )

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


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