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Microsoft Businesses Handhelds Portables

Microsoft: Surface Tablet May Alienate OEM Partners 164

Posted by Soulskill
from the damn-the-torpedoes dept.
HangingChad sends this excerpt from PCMag: "Microsoft this week admitted that its upcoming Surface tablet might hurt its relationships with PC maker partners. As first noted by the New York Times, Redmond said in a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that 'our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform.'" The filing also made note of the difficulties in building up another app marketplace: "In order to compete, we must successfully enlist developers to write applications for our marketplace and ensure that these applications have high quality, customer appeal and value. Efforts to compete with these application marketplaces may increase our cost of revenue and lower our operating margins."
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Microsoft: Surface Tablet May Alienate OEM Partners

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  • by RudyHartmann (1032120) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:15PM (#40797147)
    Not only the Surface, but the Xbox can be a full blown PC with an interface just like Win8. What about the Microsoft Store? Sounds like the Apple store doesn't it? Just wait till Microsoft comes out with their own phone. This is another reason OEM's and deveopers are giving Linux another serious look. There is no viable alternative for them.
    • by jhoegl (638955) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:28PM (#40797239)
      Your logic is pretty flawed on the matter.
      What is at issue is the hardware, not the OS.
      Microsoft wants to develop their own hardware, that is fine. But who controls the UEFI restrictions? What club do hardware and OEM manufacturers have to belong to now to conform?
      With Windows 8's added requirement to conform to this standard, hardware will have to go through testing with MS, which historically has not been that great.
      Well now, MS holds the reigns on competitor hardware as well as its own. So... where does that lead the industry?
      They can either conform and deal with what is dealt, or find alternatives.
      We already see that Apples Developers are leaving due to this "controlled" approach, so what will happen to hardware?
      Personally, i think the next 10 years of computing will be very interesting or very depressing.
    • by masternerdguy (2468142) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:28PM (#40797249)
      Linux has already won. It has won the server and the mobile market.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by RudyHartmann (1032120)

        Linux has already won. It has won the server and the mobile market.

        I agree with you in a way. But a full blown win will be when you can ask any guy on the street what Linux is and get an answer..

        • by jhoegl (638955) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:44PM (#40797387)
          Like when you ask "what version of windows are you using?".
          I mean, that answer is brilliant!
        • by sexconker (1179573) on Friday July 27, 2012 @07:01PM (#40797517)

          Linux has already won. It has won the server and the mobile market.

          I agree with you in a way. But a full blown win will be when you can ask any guy on the street what Linux is and get an answer..

          You can't ask any guy on the street what electricity is and get an answer.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Wrong, you will get an "answer".
        • by datavirtue (1104259) on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:55PM (#40798367)

          Man, I ask people what browser they are using and I get panicked, confused looks.

        • by Bert64 (520050)

          The average guy on the street will almost certainly be using linux regularly in one capacity or another, and simply doesn't realise it... Phones, routers, televisions, set top boxes etc, many of these things run linux. Even those who do, usually don't realise that linux can be installed on regular computers.

          What's really needed is a marketing campaign to raise awareness and promote the advantages and differences linux has. OEMs should really get in on this, as their current business model being 100% depende

          • by Kalriath (849904)

            I discovered my router ran Linux when I discovered it had an SSH server running - on the WAN interface - with no way to disable it. Strangely no SSH service on the LAN interface though.

        • Linux has already won. It has won the server and the mobile market.

          I agree with you in a way. But a full blown win will be when you can ask any guy on the street what Linux is and get an answer..

          No. A full-blown win would be when Linux-based systems take an overwhelming share of the computing device market (mobile and otherwise) without significant fragmentation, and with a uniform user experience (uniform not necessarily being the best), and with people transparently using them without giving a shit what OS/software stack runs on them.

          The important thing is not whether it is Linux or whatever that takes over, but the consumer's experience.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jaktar (975138)

        Hooray for Pyrrhic victories!

        I don't think many people realize that Android is Linux. Not one of the people I work with could tell you what version they have on their phones. The only thing they can tell you is which applications they can or can't get compared to the iPhone. Of the people that have the iPhone that I work with, one of them is a fanboi and the others can barely operate their own computers.

        If MS can get their store in order and have decent hardware, they'll do just fine. You'll still have

      • It's not so much about Linux winning, it's more about open standards and choice winning. I'm a huge Linux fan, but the important thing is that I should be able to run whichever OS works best for me and not be prevented from using documents/websites etc.

        It shouldn't make any difference to me if someone else wants to run a different OS as long as we can both conform to open standards. The big issue with Microsoft is their abuse of closed standards to deliberately disadvantage other OSes and poison how peopl
    • by RudyHartmann (1032120) on Friday July 27, 2012 @07:15PM (#40797631)

      I just read this article on Forbes. It looks like they've come to the same conclusion I have.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2012/06/21/microsoft-first-branded-tablets-next-their-own-cell-phone/ [forbes.com]

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I just read this article on Forbes. It looks like they've come to the same conclusion I have.

        If they're going to continue their tradition of trying to do what Apple is doing, then it's pretty much the only logical step.

    • by aztektum (170569) on Friday July 27, 2012 @08:04PM (#40797985)

      Just wait till Microsoft comes out with their own phone.

      They pretty much are. They've effectively turned Nokia into their "Windows Phone division".

      • By now you must know that Nokia can never be turned...

      • The vast majority of the phones that Nokia is actually selling isn't based on Windows Phone. The windows phones aren't selling, since they are already announced to be a dead platform before the end of the year. Nobody wants to buy a phone that doesn't get updates, there are no users for the phone so nobody develops apps for it, so it's not the Windows Phone Devision but the Windows Phone house of morning.
      • by ignavus (213578)

        Just wait till Microsoft comes out with their own phone.

        They pretty much are. They've effectively turned Nokia into their "Windows Phone division".

        Or possibly their "Windows Boat Anchor division" , judging from the way that Nokia's sales are sinking.

    • by Mabhatter (126906)

      If Google would button up Chrome or throw behind Red Hat or Ubuntu brands they might gain something. Personally, Google should put together an Android environment that runs on a regular Linux in a sandbox. That way phone and tablet devs could port to that environment and media like Amazon could slip their media stuff (books, video, music, etc) in too. it would allow the normal distros to keep all the core Linux Desktop Apps in their repos too.

      Of course it's everything the OSS gurus freak and dread, but wit

      • by Omestes (471991)

        And how would that make them, or anyone else, money?

        Most of the non-nerds I know are inherently biased against Linux (if they have even heard of it in the first place). It's hard to use. Its overly nerdy. Nothing runs on it. Its ugly and intuitive. "Hackers" use it. I can't learn it. I don't want to use command lines for everything. Etc... I'm sure we're all familiar with these statements or preconceptions. If Google made the best Android/desktop killer app in the world, it probably wouldn't get

    • by bondsbw (888959)

      Google has its own phone and tablet. They haven't driven OEMs away... Microsoft need not either, so long as they are careful.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Not only the Surface, but the Xbox can be a full blown PC with an interface just like Win8. What about the Microsoft Store? Sounds like the Apple store doesn't it? Just wait till Microsoft comes out with their own phone. This is another reason OEM's and deveopers are giving Linux another serious look. There is no viable alternative for them.

      What about Google? I mean Google has created a bunch of hardware they call as "reference" which can disrupt the market. You think any of the 7" tablet makers are happy w

    • But they can't be Apple. If Microsoft's plan is to simply copy everything Apple does it will fail. Microsoft has never really been much of an innovator. Now before everyone jumps all over me, Apple has copied a fair amount of stuff as well. The difference is that Apple knows how to design hardware and, more importantly, they know how to market it. MS is so used to just selling stuff to corporate clients they forgot how to sell things to consumers. Remember those disastrous Seinfeld ads? Compare that to the
      • by jbolden (176878)

        Compare that to the "I'm a PC and I'm a Mac" ads.

        The Lauren ad [youtube.com] was quite successful. Microsoft has tremendous brand awareness. The problem is people used lockdown or poorly maintained windows machines at work and associated their work machine with what Windows is capable of. To get out of that they would need to do something that would alienate corporate customers, like the Dude you're getting a Dell [youtube.com].

        Windows Phone is good,

        The Windows Phone is good, what it is not is compelling. To get someone to swi

        • Couldn't agree with you more, jbolden. Certainly Windows PC's can be locked down sufficiently but the average user has no idea how to do it. In the office, often the PC is very locked down...to the point that it's not enjoyable to use. The Dell ads were very good but were pulled unfortunately. Dell, like Microsoft, seems content to sell most of their stuff to corporate customers. Your point about Windows Phone is well taken. Apple and Android have a tremendous amount of momentum which is going to be really
          • by jbolden (176878)

            Glad you agree.

            But at least Microsoft has shown that it can design good hardware. Their mice and keyboards are terrific so maybe the Slate has a chance. Time will tell.

            I think with the Slate it is going to come down to pricing. How aggressively do they want to price these devices? If they lose $50 each and move 100m units then they start to change the culture and but they are only out $5b. If they only sell a few million they may not have any impact. On the ARM side, the use of the term "Windows RT"

            • Right. They used the same strategy with the XBox to great effect. Remember that Sony and Nintendo basically owned the gaming market before MS came out with the XBox. It took them a while, and they lost a lot of money before they made any, but now it's a great success. I think that with the Slate they're simply going to have to sell it for less than the iPad. What MS needs to do it to get it in as many hands as possible even if it means taking a loss in the short term. They are also going to have to do somet
              • by jbolden (176878)

                I bought an HP 7510 as my secondary printer they threw a mini touchpad in as the UI. :) Its fallen, though I do like it.

                Wooing developers is going to very hard. Give them 100% cut of the app store and that won't matter. Heck make it 110% it still won't matter. If Microsoft moves tens or hundreds of millions the customer base will do the wooing, a tablet is all about software. If Microsoft moves a few million nothing will work

  • Really? (Score:4, Informative)

    by geoffrobinson (109879) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:19PM (#40797165) Homepage

    You have to mention everything that could be a potential threat to your business in SEC filings. Not particularly interesting since this is "may do this, may do that."

  • Bears (Score:5, Funny)

    by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:34PM (#40797303)
    As first noted by the NYT, they shit in the woods.
  • by pbjones (315127) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:35PM (#40797315)

    It'll be second rate and fail. It's not because MS is bad at this sort of thing, it's because it can't concentrate of the user, and UI consistency, it doesn't need to be distracted by hardware design. There are still stupid differences in the way the parts of the Office suit work, and the UI should work the same way. An MS made tablet will be second rate because it isn't new, it isn't wanted. Just supply the software and let people who know how to build hardware do their job, MS has been doing it this way from the beginning, why change now?

  • Market Caps (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RudyHartmann (1032120) on Friday July 27, 2012 @06:49PM (#40797417)

    Microsoft's Market Cap
    http://ycharts.com/companies/MSFT/market_cap [ycharts.com]

    Apple's Market Cap
    http://ycharts.com/companies/AAPL/market_cap [ycharts.com]

    At one time Microsoft could have eaten Apple's lunch. They even bailed them out with a loan. Now look how things have changed. Microsft can clearly see where Apple has been a success and they think they can emulate it. A little envy?

    If the DOJ now gives Apple a pass on this business model, why wouldn't they do the same for Microsoft?

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Not the first time Microsoft emulated Apple. First time I laid hands on Windows 95, I had to doublecheck that I wasn't sitting at a Mac. With the trashcan, "create shortcut to desktop", shutdown procedure, and "it is now safe to turn off" screen..... it all felt like the Mac Finder.

      Oh and Bill Gates is probably thinking that Apple loan was the best thing he did. Jobs says he was only 60 days from bankruptcy. With the failure of MS competitors Atari, Commodore, and Apple in the span of just five years,

    • The downfall of America will be its corporations and their influence on politics. The downfall of corporations will be the government's over regulation of their business. The public suffers from both.

      The only one winning in America right now is the fucking politicians. Think it's time for a change...

      • by jbolden (176878)

        The public has much more control over government than it does over business. And while there is some over regulation right now, I'd say you are screaming fire during a flood.

  • you should worry about everything microsoft does, sooner or later they'll do something mean that actually succeeds
  • Here is an apocalypse. First Microsoft kills all the other OEM's that were buying Intel CPU's to make PCs, notebooks and tablets. Then they buy AMD. What do they get? Radeon graphics and control of their CPU destiny. Then Apple buys Intel and Nvidia. Then many of the surviving OEM's buy ARM and Via processors to run Linux. I know it sounds unlikely. But it could happen.

    • With a market cap of ~$130B, I don't think Apple will be buying intel any time soon.
      • If the OEM's making stuff with Intel CPU's are killed, Intel's market will decline. Thnn they would be ripe for the picking.

        • You're forgetting that one of those OEM's making stuff with Intel CPU's is Apple itself. If the market collapses to the point where Intel, with it's war-chest, and all it's R&D muscle, can't survive... Then Apple is probably hurting as well and would not be in a position to "rescue" Intel.
  • I believe Microsoft's stance on the topic is "So." It's not like the OEMs have anywhere else to go, with any significant product sales that compare to Windows based sales.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      It's not like the OEMs have anywhere else to go, with any significant product sales that compare to Windows based sales.

      True. Windows tablet sales are massively outpacing Android sales.

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