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We’ll come to you.

Windows, my dear friend, don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve gotten old, slow and even a little hairy these days. You take too long to boot up, and you’re chock full of programs I never use. It’s time for you to start trying again.

It’s time for you to get your sexy back.

Look, I don’t want to leave you. We’re in this together, but it’s time for a change. Not the kind of change where you go to the tanning bed and throw on a sparkly shirt to distract me, à la Jersey Shore.  I’m talking about a real makeover, inside and out. Get back to the gym, start a healthy diet, and reconnect with what you had so many years ago when you were the only reasonable choice for most computer users.  

Sure, Apple is making you look bad by giving users exactly what they want. It’s why they completely dominate the press coverage. But there’s still plenty of room for you. You cater to people  who aren’t trying to be hipsters, who are just trying to run businesses or surf the web at home. The good news is that this still gives you 89% of the market, despite all of the press coverage Apple generates.

What you need to do is get out there and grab the attention you deserve.  If I can be so bold, I’d like to offer you a 4-step plan to get your sexy back:

1. Build a Desktop App Store
Mobile apps are hot right now, but that’s not the game Windows owns. Windows rules the desktop, so rock it. Become the best desktop app store around!  Right now, the Mac App Store is on top, but it’s not perfect, and historically this is in your wheelhouse — so take it back. App stores are where it’s at right now. Take a look at Evernote, or even my company, OfficeDrop. The Mac App Store has been vital to our success, sure, but we would jump at the chance to give Windows users a similar offering. Just remember this: apps — not preloaded software — drive the market now, because users want the flexibility to choose exactly which features they want.  Which leads me to my next point...

2. Boot up Fast
Enough with the crapware!  You add way too much pre-loaded software. I’ll probably never even touch most of it. But I also can’t just delete it because it might mess up my systems directory or harm my computer somehow. I haven’t done the research, but I would venture to guess that the #1 pain point for your customers is how long it takes Windows to boot up.  Slow boot up is likely driving the heavy use of tablets; who boots their computer to check the news or their email in the morning? It’s 2011, for Pete’s sake! We aren’t mesmerized by the idea of computers anymore. We just want fast and powerful. Lose all the bells and whistles and programs that I didn’t ask for and won’t ever use. Trust me: less is more.

3. Integrate your other Successful Franchises
Microsoft has some really cool products that do some really cool things!  Integrate them together and show off to everyone.  Your Xbox 360 is overwhelmingly the best selling game console worldwide and Ford SYNC is an awesome in-car communications and entertainment system that is powered by Windows (that’s you).  On top of this you have a cloud offering called Azure.  iCloud lets Apple’s users send their pictures and music to the cloud.  Why can’t Azure be like an iCloud for Windows?  Let users have their pictures and songs in the car, on their Xbox and when they boot up their PC!  Make it easier for your Windows developers to distribute their apps in all of these places. And facilitate the flow of data for consumers between all of these awesome Microsoft franchises and Windows.

4. Launch the iPhone 6
Just kidding!  Seriously, though, stay away from Windows Mobile. It’s like a really old pair of acid-washed skinny jeans: it just doesn’t flatter you and not worth your fixation.  Walk away!

Listen, I know you’ve let yourself go. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can get your sexy back. There’s a market for what you do, if you’ll just move into the future where you belong. You still have the power to excite and please your customers. You just have to try a little harder. So c’mon, Windows! Get your sexy on!