Microsoft is a pretty amazing company. Its roots are in operating systems with its second version (Windows) transforming personal computing. Blah blah, I know. But the real invention was taking very complicated technology instructions and creating a user interface that enabled regular people to navigate it, using the open and closed window as a metaphor.
(Their new mobile operating system should be called Tiles, but that’s a story for another day.)
In the 90s, Microsoft only hired the smartest people on earth. It gave Mensa style logic quizzes to all prospects, figuring if you populated your company with Harvards, how could you lose. And it worked for a while.
But as the company evolved the Harvards — and please, I love Harvard, no offense meant — began to develop more and more products, the products became hugely over-built and complicated. Microsoft’s second most famous product “Word” has 88 features, or there about, with most people using only 12. And that was okay because what you didn’t know didn’t hurt you. But as the company moved into communications servers, SharePoint and other software ditties in the productivity world, usability became quite a chore. And a major impediment. If it didn’t come with corporate training it wasn’t intuitive enough to pass the mass appeal test.
Microsoft’s new cloud product called Office 365 is quite robust and has the ability to change the business world. It’s the best of all MSFT products for the enterprise. The kind of stuff small businesses only dream about. But it’s overly complicated. It needs a beginner slope. A beginner product for small business that, like crack, will create addiction. If they crack the code on a usable version of Office 365, a big if, Microsoft may just double its revenue. Peace!