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What if Santa was also a tech CEO?

What if Santa moonlighted as a tech CEO for the rest of the year? I'm pretty sure these cutthroat titans of tech feel that jolly old St. Nick is missing a trick or two by giving people the gifts they want as opposed to using his position to gain dominance and market share.

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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 7 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Introduction

Have you been naughty this year, or were you nice? It's answering this question which Santa's massive PRISM-like database spends 364 days of the year doing. If you've been good, you get what you've wished for (within reason), and if you've been bad, well, I'm not sure what happens then because – ahem – I've always managed to squeeze into Santa's good books.

But what if Santa moonlighted as a tech CEO for the rest of the year? Then I think things would be different. I'm pretty sure these cutthroat titans of tech feel that jolly old St Nick is missing a trick of two and being an idiot by giving people the gifts they want as opposed to using his position to gain dominance and market share.

The gifts under the tree would be very different if Santa was a tech CEO.

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Tim Cook – Apple CEO

Santa Cook would be canny and wise, and wouldn't bat an eye at spending money if that meant gaining market share. Recent changes in iOS and OS X make it clear that Apple wants us to see these two separate platforms as a single ecosystem. This is why Santa Cook would be putting iPhone and MacBook Airs under the tree.

Sure, it would be expensive, but Apple has the money to bankroll this, and after a few years this cutting edge hardware will be obsolete and need upgrading.

A cheaper way for Santa Cook to leverage his position would be to give away serious amounts of iCloud storage space to not only make iCloud a better deal for iOS and OS X users and give them one less excuse to embrace it, but also to help to compete against all the other cloud storage vendors out there (there is, after all, little differentiation).

Then you're the one who's going to have to dig deep.

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Satya Nadella – Microsoft CEO

Santa Nadella wouldn't be scared of change. In his short time at the helm of Microsoft he's proven that he has no problem shaking things up.

So what would be under the tree? PCs are the obvious choice, but PCs are nowadays overshadowed by newer and shinier devices such as smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Given this, I'd expect to see Surface Pro 3 and Bands under the tree, along with a coupon for a free upgrade to Windows 10. This is where Microsoft's future lies, and it's here that Microsoft desperately needs to grab market share.

There would be a Windows Phone there among the gifts too but for the fact that it looks like this platform might be headed for a revamp soon. Maybe these would come next year.

If Santa Nadella isn't feeling generous enough to bankroll hardware, then Windows 10 upgrade coupons for all might work. After all, no other company expects their users to buy operating systems any more.

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Larry Page – Google CEO

What Santa Page wants more than anything is to get people using – and ultimately, relying – on Google services. Everything from search to storage, email to telephony. The whole smash.

Santa Page wouldn't so much gift you stuff as change everything in your life. Your browser would be Chrome, your smartphone and tablet would run Android, and your PC or Mac would be replaced by a Chromebook.

And if you happened to be running Firefox, your default search engine would probably be magically switched back to Google.

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Jeff Bezos – Amazon CEO

Given how much inventory Amazon shifts over the holiday period, you might be forgiven for thinking that Santa Bezos really is the genuine article. But I get the feeling that if he were Kris Kringle in disguise he would have done away with the sleigh and reindeer a long time ago and transitioned to more drone delivery. While that might be more efficient, I don't think we'll be seeing drones on Christmas cards any time soon.

I also think that presents left under the tree by Santa Bezos would be a lot less diverse, and this year I think his gift of choice would be the Fire Phone. Amazon has enjoyed success with the Kindle ebook reader and the Kindle Fire and HDX range of tablets, but the Fire Phone tripped on its own shoelaces on the starting line and fell flat on its face.

One way for Amazon to get a foothold in the highly competitive smartphone market would be to give the handset away, perhaps limiting it only to good girls and boys who are Prime members.

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Brian Krzanich – Intel CEO

The biggest hurdle facing Intel is convincing people that the once PC giant has got what it takes to be a big player in the mobile space. While Intel is strong in the desktop and notebook markets, in the mobile space the company is weak.

Santa Krzanich needs to convince people to have Intel inside their phones and tablets, and so I'd be expecting to see Asus PadFone X minis under trees. It is, after all, the first Intel-powered smartphone to go on widespread sale in the US.

Intel needs to increase its exposure in the mobile space and get its silicon into more smartphones and tablets. One way to do this is to get people looking for Intel Inside when they buy smartphones and tablets. And to do that, people need to know that Intel Inside is still a thing.

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Mark Zuckerberg – Facebook CEO

Santa Zuckerberg already knows what he'd give people – free, or at the very least affordable, Internet. It's one way for him to grow Facebook's user base.

That, and a handful of extra Candy Crush moves.

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