My background: I am a Microsoft Professional Techonolgist. I write .Net code and manage a small business network along with provide support to family, friends and associates. I have a MSDN license, a WP7 phone, my company uses Office 365, SQL Server, Hyper V and other Microsoft technology. I therefore have a vested interest in seeing Microsoft succeed.
Microsoft has huge problems on the consumer front, they just don’t make appliances and that’s what we want. They need to just work. Microsoft has a amazing business product suite but they don’t get consumers.
They need employees to push consumer simplicity. They need employees to push for consumer standards. They need employees to push for completion of products (they frequently go 90% or 95% but never finish the last few % before moving onto the next thing).
One example of the lack of easiness
I was listening to music on headphones from my WP7 phone and I wanted to switch to my entertainment system, if I was using an iPhone it would just work. There are appliances like the Apple TV and now speakers and receivers that support AirPlay directly. Microsoft should have started pushed for a standard for this 10 years ago.
I know Microsoft is solving the much more complicated problem then Apple but please get with the program.
In my opinion, Microsoft took a business tool and stuck it in the home. It worked in the 80s and 90s because Apple was too expensive but that is no longer the case. While Apple is more expensive they are not that much more for certain products. When a computer is $2000 or $5000 then most consumers will buy the $2000 and deal with it. When it’s $500 or $1000 a lot of people will buy the $1000 if the benefits are significant.