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I’ll let you guys into a little secret, as long as you promise not to tell… some of the writers at MakeUseOf hate Microsoft with a passion. There, I said it. I know it’s unfathomable and unpalatable, but it’s true. I won’t name names, but please remember to check out the Technophilia podcast every Wednesday.

It’s very easy to hate Microsoft, a lumbering corporate giant that built a monopoly and then sat on it raking in the money. But Microsoft is still capable of creating great things — Windows 7, Xbox 360, Kinect, Office, etc. — and is still one of the most important companies in the world.

However, Microsoft is undoubtedly facing some serious challenges in the future, both in the short-term and the longterm. And how it should go about tackling these challenges forms the basis for this week’s We Ask You column.

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Where Should Microsoft Go From Here? Steve Ballmer recently announced his retirement in the near-future, an event which Yaara is already polling your opinions on Are You Sad About Steve Ballmer Retiring? [MakeUseOf Poll] Are You Sad About Steve Ballmer Retiring? [MakeUseOf Poll] Steve Ballmer has been an icon of this company for more years than I care to remember, and one of the most controversial figures in the tech world throughout. Is his retirement good for Microsoft?... Read More . Ballmer’s retirement will be happening at a time when Microsoft is seeking to change the company structure and focus to be, arguably, more like Apple.

This suggests Microsoft is at an important crossroads. Depending on the way the company heads, both with the choice of new CEO and decisions made about the culture at Redmond, then Microsoft could either become a dominant force Is Microsoft on the Verge of Greatness Again? [You Told Us] Is Microsoft on the Verge of Greatness Again? [You Told Us] In recent years Microsoft, as great a company as it may be, has given off a turgid stench suggesting its best years are behind it. But with Windows 8, Windows Phone, the Surface tablets, the... Read More once more or keep losing ground to its competitors.

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So, we want to hear your thoughts on the current situation at Microsoft and what the company should do going forward. What kind of CEO should Microsoft hire or promote? Should they keep doing what they have been doing or actively seek to break out into other product lines and areas of business?

Should the company stay as one huge corporation or should it instead be broken up into more specialized companies? Should Microsoft set its own course for the future or continue reacting to moves made by Apple and Google? Should hardware play a bigger role in the future or is software where Microsoft flourishes?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told UsOne reader will even win Comment Of The Week, which will be included in the follow-up post! What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: ToddABishop

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