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Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
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AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/23/2012 | 1:45:16 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
I think the difference between Google and Microsoft is that Google was not upsetting their OEM channel or taking sales from their OEM channel, because it largely didn't exist when Chromebooks and Nexus were released. Microsoft's long suffering OEMs were counting on the big Win8 to restore sales. Now Microsoft is stealing their thunder/sales. Also, in order to sell these tablets to businesses, Microsoft needs to provide some sort of assurance that they are not going to drop the line a year after Win8 is released. If business and, to a much lesser extent, consumers think this is just a promotional, they will wait for the real deal to come out.
AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 10:16:59 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
The OEMs can't sit on the slide line much longer. They are losing their client side business to Amazon, Nook and, obviously, Apple. If Microsoft doesn't give them something they can sell in mass with Win8, they will need to start working on their own Linux tablets. I am surprised Red Hat, the enterprise Linux company, has not come out with a tablet OS... Android for the enterprise.
AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 10:13:55 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
Agree, the Microsoft OEMs already make basically nothing selling Microsoft PCs. Now Microsoft is going to compete with them in the tablet space. MS is really giving the OEMs no reason not to start making their own Android tablets. It could backfire.
AS71
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AS71,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 10:10:02 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
Man, who came up with the teal keyboard?

Anyway, I would think that is MS's awareness that if they continue to make no in-roads into mobile or tablet, eventually Apple, Android, yet to be named or some combination will start to overtake their PC dominance. It is clear that the OEM partnership strategy, which I am sure MS would prefer, is not working as MS does not give the OEMs, such as HP or Nokia, enough margin to create an Apple beater or even Apple competitor. The OEMs are not going to lose money investing in new concepts to sell them at 2% commodity margins. If MS wants to be a threat, they are going to have to do the whole thing themselves. About time. I imagine they will wait for Nokia to fall a little lower and then buy the whole thing.
espresso_luvr
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espresso_luvr,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2012 | 9:41:36 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
that is a good point/analogy ... however, the difference here is they are not "seeding" (creating) the windows tablet market -- a fairly crowded, albeit not very successful, field ... it does apply if your point is specifically focused at WINDOWS 8 ... the "delicate" partner ecosystem might be well served if MSFT is willing to make its tablet available as an OEM box that others could source from them(?) -- but i don't believe that their "software daddy" is that benevolent ... just sayin' ...
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2012 | 9:19:55 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
Is this analogous to Google's efforts with the Chromebooks? Are they seeding the market with *an* implementation, but not *the* implementation? Then, later, one of the HW OEMs puts out a Chromebook to sell. A key difference would be that Google called its Chrombooks "beta" systems .... but then, that's what it called Gmail for awhile, too.

Similarly, Google tried to sell its own smartphone (Nexus One), but couldn't sustain it. It fell to other phone OEMs to dramatically improve and innovate with Android smartphones.

It might be a bad move, but I'm not sure that it is catastrophic.
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2012 | 9:15:09 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
I'm not so sure about #4; Apple's historic closed-mindedness may preclude such an arrangement. Nice idea though.

First 3 points make a lot of sense. I don't think that one can overstate the fragility of the OEM chain at this point: Two dud OSes in a row with major security weaknesses have deeply undermined the PC market. Apple and Android haven't helped the picture and the recession made even more people stand pat rather than upgrade or fill in with tablets.

The OEM partners have waited and waited for a winner OS that would allow them to compete the tablet market, the next new thing and importantly less of a commodity market. Now that a capable OS arrives, Microsoft pre-empts them without warning??? Because they didn't produce tablets to expected standards fast enough??? That's hard to fathom.

Microsoft has every right to produce its own tablets and the lower end one in particular has the potential to be winners. But the traditional OEM partners, having been spurned, have the right and maybe the incentive to start dating others--for tablets today and maybe for PCs tomorrow.

Microsoft's limited distribution channel for the Surface is probably intended to send a message to OEMs tthat they are not being pre-empted; that this is just a lob to consumers. Well consumers won't buy without trying and how can they try on the web or in Microsoft's 20 (count 'em) stores?

And the OEMs who can get devices into every distro channel and into the hands of corporate evaluators may just take a pass at this point. Android is a known quantity with quite a cool factor. . .

espresso_luvr
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espresso_luvr,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2012 | 8:04:10 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
one way to assess the potential level/degree of impact caused by MSFT now becoming a hardware vendor/competitor to its OEM partners is to look a the dynamic of what happened to GOOGLE's OEM base for ANDROID when they bought MOTOROLA and became a major player against the other phone cos. ... surely INFOWEEK or other market research firms have some data on that(?) ...

honestly, i would really like to see the whole paradigm be upset by APPLE licensing the updated version of its AQUA GUI and APIs/drivers (SDK) to the LINUX vendors and make LINUX/UNIX a cohesive and real competitor on the desktop (as well as the x/LINUX server market) to WINDOWS ...

when mr. ballmer (MSFT) talks so glibly about hardware and software pushing/pulling one another along, what they really mean is that WINDOWS is such a pig OS (lacking a true kernel architecture) that with every iteration it REQUIRES major processor, disk and memory upgrades just to load it ... in that regard, OSX (BSD/Mach UNIX) and all of the LINUXes are much more reliable, efficient and high performance -- and they DON'T obsolete the HW evertime there is an update(!) ...
jroane
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jroane,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/20/2012 | 3:22:11 PM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
Surface is a STRATEGIC BLUNDER OF HUGE MAGNITUDE! Here's why:
1. Surface inflicts serious injury to already embattled OEMs--the PC OEMs are struggling to make a profit as the PC business is under attack from Apple driven consumerization. OEMs looked to Win8 tablets and ultrabooks to restore profitability. Those hopes are now dashed as MSFT takes one of the most profitable slices.
2. This can't be a move to motivate OEMs to do better against Apple, as MSFT is to blame--the OEMs are singularly dependent on MSFT for a true tablet OS. Last I checked, MSFT still doesn't have one in production (it's June 2012. tic, toc, tic, toc). MSFT is the prom date that took forever to get dressed, and now shows up with another date complaining about how late the awkward threesome is.
3. OEMs will strike back: OEMs have always strived to "hedge their bets" by working with others: Android, Linux, AMD, ARM. The alarms must now be at DEFCON 1 as it's mission critical that OEMs sever the dependency with MSFT, there new competitor.
4. Apple will almost certainly exploit this blunder by forming back-office partnerships with Dell, HP, and IBM to sell Apple based servers. The HW OEMs will bite becuase "my enemies enemy is my friend."

A better alternative would have been for MSFT to specify a minimally acceptable design (similar to what Intel did with Ultrabooks). Then let the OEMs compete to improve it. Simple, leverages, rather than weakens, the power of the ecosystem.
Fill
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Fill,
User Rank: Strategist
6/20/2012 | 5:07:04 AM
re: Microsoft Tablet Surfaces A New Strategy
Is it me or did they convert the laptop to a tablet... and back again? Not yet for sale, no price and only runs Windows RT. This can only end well...
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