Steve Jobs is all about hardware, which would make him an unlikely candidate at Microsoft. However, if he were to take over the software giant, Jobs would undoubtedly push his team to develop a smartphone. Currently, Microsoft only offers Windows Phone 7 to vendor partners. For Steve Jobs, that’s not enough.
Jobs wouldn’t just stop at a smartphone. Considering the success that the iPad has been, it likely wouldn’t take long for Jobs to develop a Microsoft-branded tablet running either Windows Phone 7 or Windows. The future of the mobile market resides in tablets. Steve Jobs knows that — and he would make it abundantly clear at Microsoft.
Steve Jobs would drastically change Microsoft’s mobile strategy. But he would do more than that. By developing a smartphone and tablet, he would also likely end the cozy relationship Microsoft has with its vendor partners. Steve Jobs likes to control all aspects of a platform — both hardware and software — and that wouldn’t change at Microsoft.
Windows is the only platform that would make Steve Jobs break from his golden rule of controlling both hardware and software. Microsoft’s operating system is a cash cow for the software giant and an easy way for it to capitalize on potential competitors. Windows is simply too important for even Steve Jobs to change its business model.
If Steve Jobs wouldn’t change Windows, investors can rest assured that he wouldn’t mess with Office either. Like Windows, Office is a major cash cow for Microsoft and a service that no other firm has a good answer for. The company’s online Office service might be built up more under Steve Jobs, but other than that, it’s doubtful that he would do much to change things.
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer has been a thorn in the company’s side for years. The browser has been a security hole, slow compared to other browsers, and generally less appealing. Under Steve Jobs, Internet Explorer would be thrown out and replaced with an entirely new Microsoft browser that delivers an experience customers are after. Granted, the enterprise wouldn’t like such a move, but as Jobs’ history has proven, the enterprise isn’t his first concern.
Security is a major issue in the Windows ecosystem. However, it’s not such a problem with Mac OS X. With Steve Jobs at the helm, Windows security would be vastly improved. Not only does Steve Jobs have no tolerance for poorly protected platforms, but he knows that Microsoft’s security troubles do not reflect well upon the company’s brand. And Steve Jobs cares deeply about a company’s brand.
Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is arguably the best console on the market today. It’s also a fine entertainment platform for those seeking that. But the console can do more. If Steve Jobs were running Microsoft, he would undoubtedly find ways to improve the console and add more functionality. One thing that Jobs would especially bring to the Xbox 360: many more built-in applications.
Steve Jobs is a competitive individual. He realizes that across several different markets in the industry, there’s one winner, and many losers. In the search market, Google is easily beating Microsoft’s Bing platform, and that is proving to be an issue for the company. With Steve Jobs at the helm, Microsoft would focus more of its efforts on Google and do everything it can to take the search giant down. Domination means everything to Steve Jobs.
As the Chief Executive Officer, Steve Jobs would be forced to collaborate with, and to some extent, be at the mercy of, the chairman of the board of directors. Currently, at Microsoft, the chairman is Bill Gates. Given Jobs’ history with Bill Gates, the last thing the Microsoft co-founder should expect is his new CEO to listen to him in any way. Steve Jobs wouldn’t take orders from Bill Gates. And he would make that clear on the first day of his new job.