Microsoft Admits Surface May Alienate Hardware Makers

There are cautionary statements in documents that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but this particular example is remarkable. The most recent 10-K (annual) filing confirms that Surface tablets will be on sale at the time when Windows 8 will be launched on October 26.

Microsoft's strategy with Surface has largely been speculation with some suggesting that Surface is simply a way for Microsoft to encourage its partners to get their creativity going and leverage what Windows 8 is capable of, while others believe that Microsoft wants to be much more like Apple and sell a product that gives Microsoft control of both hardware and software. While Microsoft was obviously proud and enthusiastic about Surface during its presentation, there has been no true information how committed Microsoft is to Surface, even if we learned that it is important enough for the company to strip the Surface brand from Microsoft touchscreen desks.

The 10-K filing includes the following sentence:

"In addition, our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform."

While general, this statement implies that Microsoft sees a calculated risk that some of its partners may not particularly like the idea that they have to compete with a company they rely on as a software supplier. Microsoft does not detail the "platform" that may be affected, but it is reasonable to assume that the company is referring to Windows RT and Android as the alternative. Windows 8 itself should be largely unaffected, even if Surface will test some of Microsoft's best partner relationships.


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  • cirdecus
    theconsolegamerMicrosoft is kind of missing the point here. Apple's success is not because it's closed or anything other than Apple's rabid and blind loyalist that will buy ANYTHING with the apple logo on it.


    Actually, if you spend brain power here rather than just rant, you'd realize that Apple has been successful with both the iPad and iPhone by developing both the hardware and the software in-house.

    The real question is whether Microsoft is trying to do this or not. If it is, will it be successful?
    12
  • theconsolegamer
    Microsoft is kind of missing the point here. Apple's success is not because it's closed or anything other than Apple's rabid and blind loyalist that will buy ANYTHING with the apple logo on it.
    10
  • Other Comments
  • aftcomet
    In a way, I can sort of see Microsoft taking from Apple's book.
    6
  • theconsolegamer
    Microsoft is kind of missing the point here. Apple's success is not because it's closed or anything other than Apple's rabid and blind loyalist that will buy ANYTHING with the apple logo on it.
    10
  • ZakTheEvil
    theconsolegamer is kind of missing the point here. Apple's success is based on the fact that their products are simple, functional, reliable, easy and pleasant to use unlike 90% of the crud being spit out by the rest of industry.
    -18