Microsoft's 2005 'to do' list: What the analysts say

Microsoft's 2005 'to do' list: What the analysts say

Summary: If the issues aren't addressed, Directions on Microsoft says, the door is open for competitors to move in

Specialist analysis house Directions on Microsoft has released a list of what it considers the top 10 challenges for the software giant in 2005.

In its customary end-of-year research note issued late on Wednesday, the analyst house wrote: "Left unattended, each [challenge] could ultimately interrupt Microsoft's 25+ year run of growth and profits and leave the door open for younger, smaller and more nimble competitors."

In the order they were published, the 10 challenges are:

• Better detailed, multi-year roadmaps for major products such as Windows XP, Office and Exchange.

• Acquisitions that are revenue generating. The analyst house criticises the Great Plains, Navision and GeCAD buys as not delivering enough fast enough.

• Better security - "despite laudable efforts by Microsoft, such as drop-everything-else code review, security is still a problem… In fact, the bad guys seem to be winning."

• Making the PC a home entertainment hub, not trailing integrated digital lifestyle approaches at the moment led by others, notably Apple.

• Doing a better job of convincing customers they can get more out of their software by deploying newer versions.

• Fending off open source software. This is about server software but now increasingly also about the desktop, in the form of the Linux OS, the Firefox browser and and its commercial variants.

• Convincing developers upcoming OS Longhorn is the way forward.

• Making Xbox 2 the profitable, well-supported games console the first Xbox has struggled to become.

• Shipping a 64-bit version of Windows that encourages PC upgrades.

• "Playing well with others." On the day that the software company received no slack from a European court, Directions on Microsoft's last point notes: "Microsoft needs cautious, clearly written and tightly enforced rules of engagement for employees working with customers, partners and competitors, particularly cases involving any exchange of intellectual property or trade secrets. Otherwise, it will be planting the seeds of tomorrow's multibillion-dollar settlements."

Topic: Operating Systems

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  • Get a Mac, geez
  • If there's one thing I'd seriously like to see out of Microsoft, it's a standards compliant browser. I'm a web designer and nothing makes me angrier than having to put hacks in my code just for IE. The general public just doesn't understand how truly awful their products are. They're a joke, not to mention insulting to professionals like myself. They should be ashamed of themselves for making software that is so vulnerable and doesn't even work.

    Go Firefox!
  • GO FIREFOX! is right.

    I refuse to use IE. Since I switched 6 months ago, I've not had one virus, only a few spots of spyware (mainly tracking cookies that Adware disposed of quickly) and no crashes caused by a browser!

    I feel a tiny bit safer to doing the few online transactions that I do each month.

    However, I still can't do much of anything at using FireFox. Therefore, when I am forced to visit the Microsoft site, I "slum" and use IE.

    Those of us converting to FireFox aren't swimming against the current either!
  • But keep us under 9.5% of the market!
  • Be serious. Microsoft has NEVER played fair, they are not going to start now...

    As for targetting open-source software, they have been doing just that for the past 2 years, with the only result of making Linux notorious.

    And since nobody trust Microsoft, people tend to check their claims, and find the counter-claims...

    The bottom line is that the reserve of TRUST in Microsoft from users AND IT pros has long expired, by their own fault, and that is a commodity which would take too long to regain.
  • The issue of certifications:

    Being an IT professional, I had to get through Microsoft certification.

    One thing which upsets me about them is that to pass the tests, you have to give the "party line" answer, not the one you know (have actually verified) to be true.

    In many cases they are the same, but there are exceptions, most notably regarding features which DO NOT work, or do not behave the way Microsoft claims that they do.

    Rings any bells, people?