What do you do when you’ve fallen from being the most important desktop-computer software company in the world to an also-ran with nothing new of any importance for over a decade?

You try a bunch of things; business change happens to large companies as well as small. Microsoft has tried for years to extend Windows to as many platforms as possible and made good in many, but the big prize, SmartPhones, has eluded them.

  • Windows Mobile has been supplanted by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, fragmented, and put into devices like the Kin phone (dead after just weeks on the market).
  • Don’t get me started on Office Online. Google Docs owns. Next Subject
  • Umm . . . there is no number three

Well, maybe that’s wrong. It sounds relatively unimportant, but Microsoft has invented something that I’ll bet you’d like to have: a battery that can be inserted any way instead of with the correct polarity determined.

I’m not going to gush about the invention; we’ve all survived until now turning batteries to face the correct way to get them to work. But it’s cool, and just about everyone who makes batteries will be licensing the new technology from Microsoft; in fact, many already have.

Not the business change we were looking for from Microsoft, and over all I still have to see the company as a has-been. But as the press release reveals, it’s . . . kind of cool.

And maybe that—passion—is the place where your next business change should come from.

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