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1Windows Phone 7

Windows Phone 7 has been a downright nightmare for Microsoft so far. The operating system hasn’t been appealing to consumers, and there have been issues with the update process. If Bill Gates came back to Microsoft, he’d work closely with the mobile division to address those issues. If Gates is known for anything, it’s leaning on employees to get things done the right way.

2Revamping Tablets

One of the biggest issues Microsoft faces right now is its inability to break into the tablet market. And Windows 7 doesn’t seem like it will cut it. If Gates were to come back to Microsoft, revamping Microsoft’s tablet strategy would undoubtedly top his list of things that he would need to address.

3Focusing Heavily On Windows 8

Windows 8 will be an exceedingly important release for Microsoft. The operating system, which is scheduled to be made available next year, will need to build upon the success of Windows 7. Considering how important Windows has been to Gates throughout his career, he would undoubtedly focus much of his time on ensuring Windows 8 would build upon Windows 7, and not become another Windows Vista.

4Pushing Windows 7

At the same time, Bill Gates was always good at selling the current version of Windows while another option was on its way. He realized that if he showed off a new version too soon, sales of the current option would not be as high as they could be. Unfortunately, Ballmer didn’t get that memo, and he’s already talking too much about Windows 8. If Bill Gates came back to Microsoft, he would focus Microsoft efforts on Windows 7 until the time was right to talk about its follow-up.

5The Online Software Push

If Bill Gates can be characterized by anything, it’s his passion for software. He knows what works, and he knows where the future in that business is going. Realizing that, he would likely invest Microsoft’s efforts in the cloud to ensure the company doesn’t get left behind by other cloud-based software providers.

6Google Focus

If Bill Gates is anything, he’s competitive. He doesn’t like to see his company get beaten by any other firm. The only issue is, he’s watching that right now with Google easily besting Microsoft online and in the mobile market. If Bill Gates came back to Microsoft, he would rally his employees’ efforts around matching, and eventually beating, Google.

7Apple Focus

Over the years, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs haven’t necessarily gotten along. But in recent years, Jobs has received the kind of respect and adoration that Gates could only have hoped for as his years as CEO of Microsoft. If he came back to Microsoft, Gates would almost undoubtedly try to target Apple and try to put himself in a position to achieve the same level of adoration as Steve Jobs.

8A RIM Acquisition?

If Bill Gates cares about any market over another, it’s the enterprise. Over the years, Microsoft’s success was due mainly to the corporate world, and Gates knows that. He also knows that Microsoft isn’t performing well in the mobile market. Combine those two factors and the fact that Microsoft has billions of cash on-hand, and it might not be a stretch to think that he might just buy RIM. After all, what better solution to Microsoft’s issues than buying RIM?

9Hello, Enterprise

As mentioned, Bill Gates is quite fond of the enterprise, and he’s fully aware that it’s the main reason Microsoft has been so successful over the years. However, under Ballmer’s leadership, Microsoft has been focusing more on consumers than Gates likely would. If he came back to Microsoft, he would spend considerable time rebuilding Microsoft’s enterprise relationship to ensure the company is insulated against any future trouble that might crop up.

10Vendor Relations

After the launch of Windows Vista, Microsoft’s relationships with hardware vendors weren’t so great. Those vendors started offering “downgrade rights” for customers who bought Vista. And along the way, they warmed to the idea of working with other OS providers. It’s becoming even more of an issue today in the tablet market. During his tenure as the head of Microsoft, Gates levered strong relationships with vendors, like HP and Dell. He would do the same if he came back to Microsoft.