5 things Microsoft should do right now to stay relevant

4. Bundling phones with tablets or PCs

Now that Microsoft is producing its own hardware it would make sense that it bundles a Windows Phone with tablets or wearables (more on that below).

Samsung has taken this strategy with its Galaxy Gear devices, bundling them with the incredibly popular Galaxy smartphone range and shifting millions upon millions. Microsoft has the distribution channels to bundle phones and tablets together in this manner.

Consumers are much more likely to buy a Windows Phone once they seen it works seamlessly with Windows 8.1 both in function and the way it looks.

Microsoft also has leverage with OEMs that Nokia simply did not have and could convince them to bundle a "Microsoft Mobile" (read: Nokia) tablet or phone with a PC in order to boost sales numbers and brand recognition.

The tablet market is, by all analyst accounts, peaking and so bundling could drive sales to Microsoft's tablet range which will be boosted by the design influence of Nokia's Lumia 2520.

5. Wearables

Microsoft managed to miss both the smartphone and tablet explosions, but the wearables market is just hotting up and could be just what Microsoft needs to regain relevancy with consumers. Apple has been long rumoured to at least be testing a wearable device, with CEO Tim Cook hinting at "new product categories" soon in his second quarter earnings call.

Google is also working on a watch, revealing a version of Android specifically designed for such devices, named Android Wear. Motorola, LG and Samsung are all also working on smart watches, with Motorola's offering, the 360, looking the most compelling as of yet.

Redmond has been quiet about whether it has plans for a smart watch but the "modern UI" of Windows Phone is screaming to be translated to a screen on your wrist. With their new hardware arm from Nokia, Microsoft is in as strong a position as all of the other tech giants when it comes to this new category and could swoop in making up for the time they lost in smartphones and tablets.

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.