Ballmer Reveals Four Things Microsoft Must Do Right

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer recently appeared before Wall Street investors to outline the four things his firm must do right if it wants to stay in business.

Previously, Microsoft executives have outlined several key areas in which Microsoft needs to grow. Those areas include cloud storage, social media, mobile hardware and software, and "Big Data".

But Ballmer went into greater detail during this most recent investors meeting.

First, Ballmer says Microsoft must ensure that consumer cloud services like Office 365 -- the version of Office that is closely integrated with Microsoft cloud service SkyDrive -- and Azure both succeed. Ballmer insisted that these services need to be a "touchdown".

Ballmer's confident that that can happen. "It's quite clear to me by this time next year, we will overwhelmingly have the most popular paid service in the enterprise, bar none," Ballmer said. (Source:

Microsoft Must Keep Windows PCs Alive

Second, Ballmer says Windows PCs must remain a viable option for consumers. He said Microsoft needs to ensure that consumers are fully aware of the functionality differences between a tablet computer and a personal computer.

"We have to make absolutely clear to people what the value proposition is," Ballmer said.

Third, the Windows Phone platform must do better. Right now the mobile operating system owns only a tiny portion of the immense smartphone market, which continues to be dominated by iOS and Android.

"I'm an optimistic guy," Ballmer said. "Anything we have low market share [in] sounds like upside opportunity to me."

Finally, Ballmer says Microsoft must do better in selling cloud and hybrid products. That means getting consumers to trust that their data is being managed better by Microsoft than any of its competitors.

Microsoft Must Be Ready for the "Next Big Thing"

Above all, Ballmer says Microsoft must be ready for "the next big thing." That means not being behind the curve, as it has been in the smartphone and tablet markets. (Source:

"I think that the next big thing that will create value in this industry will probably require companies that have certain capabilities," Ballmer said.

"They'll have to understand natural user interface and hardware. Hardware and software will need to kind of evolve together." (Source:

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