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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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  • aftcomet
    In a way, I can sort of see Microsoft taking from Apple's book.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • leongrado
    ZakTheEviltheconsolegamer 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.
    20+ thumbs down in 3... 2....1....
    Reply
  • 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?
    Reply
  • DryCreamer
    I don't know if this is good or bad for MS? I just don't know if the surface has the legs to sell well, especially the lucrative $1000+ models... I know that I wouldn't mind having a MS phone, but the hardware on most of the ones on my provider are crap. So a tablet has some value to me, but if they really do this, it will contract the supply of MS tablets to just... MS and the people willing to compete with them... I just don't think there's enough money out there to float it like Apple has done, because they had the benefit of being the first one to introduce a popular product. Rarely does a johnny come lately capture back. the only benefit for MS is the fact that Apple product is maturing and consumers might be looking for something new, but who knows... maybe in the business community were MS products are more structural than Mac?

    Dry
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    Asus is the only company still inovating in the PC sector. If the other hardware developers hadn't bought all the hardware innovators, then systematically killed their companies off. Or if they hadn't been sitting on their laurels designing lowest dollar crap-ware pc's then Microsoft would never have had to set the bar.

    Hopefully this will put an end to bloatware ridden pc's of the past.
    Reply
  • anti-painkilla
    'Microsoft Admits Win8 May Alienate Hardware Makers' #FIXED
    Reply
  • husker
    As a tablet user of both a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 (personal) and an iPad 3 (work) I feel they both offer a good experience. I think that the tablet interface is better if simplified as much as possible, and I'm not looking for a full Windows OS experience on this type of device. That leaves me with the question: Is Windows 8 going to be oversimplified for a PC OS, or over complicated for a tablet OS, or meet somewhere in the middle and be a little of both? I just don't see it really being a good fit, unless you need something that runs windows apps (most likely in a work-related scenario).
    Reply
  • jahmekan
    Good for MS. Now they should have their Xbox division make a PC to their specifications. I am so tired of the HPs and Dells of the world putting out subpar systems and loading them with crapware. No, I do not know what the surface will be like, but MS has a lot riding on this launch, so as a windows user I am going to take the leap and get an RT surface. I will do my real computing on the desktop.
    Reply