Microsoft is in a bit of a funk these days, having put out its tablet-laptop hybrid device, the Surface Pro 2, which failed to compete successfully with the MacBook Air or iPad Air tablet. Additionally, Windows 8 and 8.1 continue to lag behind Windows 7 in terms of market share, making it less enticing of a platform for developers.
Things are going to change at the company in 2014 no matter what, as longtime CEO Steve Ballmer will be stepping down from his position and replaced by a successor. Having said that, the new Chief Executive will have quite a full plate on his hands if he wants to reverse the company's fortunes.
What will he need to do? PCWorld.com has a few "resolutions" that Microsoft will need to undertake in the new year if it hopes to make a comeback and compete successfully with Apple and Google:
- Add to Office 365 user base: One of the company's biggest products of the year was offering Office as a service similar to Google Docs, rather than continuing to sell it as a piece of software to install. Developing this service further will help Microsoft shore up its popularity with business users.
- Continue to develop Nokia's products: Microsoft bought the hardware manufacturer for $7.2 billion, and although Nokia's Windows 8 Phones have received positive reviews from critics, they've failed to catch on with the public.
- Increase Windows 8 app offerings: The biggest reason that users aren't flocking to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 is that the number of app offerings is much lower than it is for iOS and Android.
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