NYTimes: Microsoft has lost “faith” in their hardware partners

surface

Put yourself in Microsoft’s shoes. You hold a dominate share of the PC market, but that market is no longer growing. In fact, it’s shrinking. You have an army of employees working their ass off on an operating system that has stood the test of time, Windows, only to see it being installed on machines that look like a poor imitation of Apple’s MacBook Air. Talking about Apple, they introduced a tablet device a few years ago that has become a phenomenal success. So much so that people are preferring to spend more of their time “computing” with that 9.7 inch piece of glass than whatever laptop they have sitting on a desk somewhere collecting dust. According to The New York Times, Microsoft had to introduce Surface in order to remain competitive. Several of the company’s top executives, including Steven Sinofsky, the head of the Windows Division, have lost “faith” in hardware makers to innovate and lead.

Now put yourself in the shoes of ASUS, HP, or Lenovo. You pay Intel an obscene amount of money for chips. You pay Microsoft an obscene amount of money for bits. And then you’re tasked with eking out some low single digit margins that you then have to blow on marketing so that consumers think your product is better than everyone else’s. You can’t switch to Linux, because people don’t want that. You can’t switch to ARM, because Android isn’t going to solve your problems, and Windows RT just intensifies your relationship with Microsoft. So what do you do?

Nothing. You don’t have any options.

It’s increasingly starting to look like the choice that Apple made to make not just their own software, but also their own hardware, is the way of the future. That might upset some people who want to see modularity thrive, and for there to be a highly competitive ecosystem, but if that model keeps on delivering boring products then what’s the point?

  • Gregory C Newman

    Great article but did anyone also look at the fact that Microsoft is opening up It’s Physical stores at various locations. A lot of Companies  make an sell their own brand name products in their store as well as other brands. Why shouldn’t Microsoft do the same?  Microsoft cannot trust it’s OEM partners to keep making and selling Windows 8  or RT OS Tablets computers if they do not sell well. it is obvious to me that they will stay in the Tablet Computer field because they know that People and the Enterprise are buying them. Microsoft knows from their experience with Windows 7.5 mango /Tango smart phones that it will take 2 years for it’s Windows 8 “RT” Tablets to get the thousands of Apps that will make it a Tablet People may consider worth buying. Microsoft has the will to keep it alive till it matures. OEM’s may not.  The Windows 8 “RT” tablet does have one 2 things going for it  #1=Great Design  and #2  it has the Microsoft Office Home & Student suite in it Apps suite. thw main reason why OEMs have to pay a high price for a Windows 8 RT license I bet is this Microsoft office suite  A PC Owner or Laptop Owner has to pay “120 Dollars” for this. I don’t think Microsoft would put it on a Tablet Computer for free folks. .A lot of business and regular folks will buy a Windows 8 RT tablet just because it has a Microsft office suite already on it. The Apple Ipad and Android Tablets do not

  • Gregory C Newman

    Great article but did anyone also look at the fact that Microsoft is opening up It’s Physical stores at various locations. A lot of Companies  make an sell their own brand name products in their store as well as other brands. Why shouldn’t Microsoft do the same?  Microsoft cannot trust it’s OEM partners to keep making and selling Windows 8  or RT OS Tablets computers if they do not sell well. it is obvious to me that they will stay in the Tablet Computer field because they know that People and the Enterprise are buying them. Microsoft knows from their experience with Windows 7.5 mango /Tango smart phones that it will take 2 years for it’s Windows 8 “RT” Tablets to get the thousands of Apps that will make it a Tablet People may consider worth buying. Microsoft has the will to keep it alive till it matures. OEM’s may not.  The Windows 8 “RT” tablet does have one 2 things going for it  #1=Great Design  and #2  it has the Microsoft Office Home & Student suite in it Apps suite. thw main reason why OEMs have to pay a high price for a Windows 8 RT license I bet is this Microsoft office suite  A PC Owner or Laptop Owner has to pay “120 Dollars” for this. I don’t think Microsoft would put it on a Tablet Computer for free folks. .A lot of business and regular folks will buy a Windows 8 RT tablet just because it has a Microsft office suite already on it. The Apple Ipad and Android Tablets do not

Back to top ▴