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Microsoft's Biggest Mistake

Stocks in this article: MSFT AAPL RIMM FB

That sounds outlandish. I'll get ripped for even suggesting it. I will be called an idiot for the insinuation that Microsoft can link Xbox the gaming suite to Xbox the streaming entertainment player to Xbox the productivity center.

That's often our first reaction in this society. To brand seemingly incongruent ideas -- things we have never conceived of before -- as dumb ideas, as inane. We teach our kids to color between the lines. To blindly respect authority. Don't do as I do just do as I say. That provides an almost certain route to a much less creative life than one might otherwise enjoy.

This limiting sentiment should not prevail in tech. Guys like Ballmer need to think like sci-fi authors and Hollywood producers. Let your imagine run wild, pull it back to reality, let it go again and make sense of that vision nobody else sees.

If you told most people 10, 15, 20 years ago that we would listen to music the way we do, pay for coffee on our mobile phones and spend hours a day sharing anything and everything on Twitter and Facebook (FB) one day, you would have met more than a pair of rolling eyes.

Microsoft should be hard at work in small, secret teams right now. These visionaries should be spending every minute of every day thinking of how they can make the logical connection -- from logistics, user experience, utilitarian and marketing standpoints -- between xBox as the gaming, entertainment and productivity ecosystem.

It should be a device that extends across activities and environments.

Yes, that should be the strategy going forward. And, you're correct, Steve Ballmer is absolutely not the guy to lead such a big, bold revolution.

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola's daily contributions to TheStreet frequently appear on CNBC and at various top online properties, such as Forbes.
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