Microsofts is entering forbidden terrain
Microsoft is currently surprising friend and foe by producing their own hardware in the form an expensive laptop. The firm is more flexible than everyone expected.
Windows, Office and Outlook, those are the products that we know Microsoft of. These are all software products, but since Microsoft is now manufacturing its own, super fast laptop, the whole business model changes.
Microsoft is from now on a hardware manufacturer with its own game consoles (XBOX), phones, tablets and smart watches. Two weeks ago, a laptop got introduced into the wide array of products that Microsoft produces.
Nobody could’ve seen it coming since the innovational focus was no longer on Microsoft. Microsoft was considered a big and inert company with no ability to innovate in a disruptive way, and therefore, it could develop the Surface Book without the hassle of prying eyes of competitors. Microsoft was considers inert because the corporate software they are developing is considered dull and in the technological revolution that we currently live in, giant players like Apple and Google dominate the market.
However, the Microsoft Surface is not completely new. It got introduced back in 2012 as a substitute for tablets and laptops, since it amalgamated both products’ characteristic into one, ersome tablet with a keyboard that just didn’t work properly. However, it gained some popularity in the corporate sector because of the mobility of the machine.
The Microsoft Surface can cumbbe called some sort of niche, but in 2012, it gained a revenue of roughly 2 billion dollars. This is a revenue that has not been completely unnoticed; Apple is now entering this niche with the iPad pro which has a significantly larger screen, a stylus and an optional keyboard, which is integrated in a cover. When Apple is imitating you, it is a good sign.
Microsoft is now extending its Surface-line with a ‘tabtop’ that is able to lie on your lap, just like a laptop does. However, it remains an amalgamation of a keyboard and a tablet, since both are disconnectable.
The Sufrace Book is entering the market with a very high price. This is an indicator that Microsoft is trying to distinguish itself by delivering high quality products like, for example, Apple. It therefore competes with the MacBook Pro, but also with some cheaper competitors like Lenovo, Acer, HP and Dell. These companies will not be happy that their biggest softwarepartner is now a competitor in the computer hardware side of business.
The traditional divisions between hardware developers, software developers and online services are now diminishing and Microsoft is now increasing its stakes in premium gadgets. Windows is thereby an aid and not a goal in itself. The operating system is now deployed in order to lure users in towards Microsoft’s (online) services, like OneDrive, Office 365 etcetera.
This is from now on the financial substantiation that CEO Satya Nadella is implementing rapidly. However, this did not come without any sacrifice; Microsoft had to layoff over 17000 of its employees in order to habilitate this strategic change.
The overall strategy is to escape the dull image that Microsoft has by showing the world that it is still able to innovate. Therefore, Microsoft’s structure will consist of three pillars from now on: 1) Windows and Hardware (XBOX, Surface, Phones etc.) will be now one entirety under the name: ‘Personal Computing’ 2) ‘Intelligent Cloud’ and 3) ‘Productivity and Business’ (Office and other corporate software).
An overall shift within Microsoft as you can see, but will this be the shift that will enable Microsoft to compete with its biggest rival Apple?
Hijink, M. (2015), Microsoft’s Buigzame Karakter, NRC Next
By the time of this writing it’s been 2 hours since Microsoft announced their new product durring a press event in San Francisco. Everyone was expecting a demo and details about Windows 9. However, Microsoft decided to surpise the public with the announcement of Windows 10.
Yes, you read this right – 10! They decided to skip 9 and jump directly to 10.
Microsoft have stated more than once that they have teams working on the next Windows version even before the previous one is released. The point is to release new versions and upgrade the OS as fast as possible. Despite this, they decided to skip a whole version on which a dedicated team has been working for who knows how long and focus on the one after that. No one gives explanations why they did so but the 10th version is already being called “The best Windows yet”
In the live event when asked about the naming difference they answered:
Q: Can you talk about the name? Seems weird going from Windows 8 toWindows 10.
A: This product, when you see the product in your fullness I think you’ll agree with us that it’s a more appropriate name.
They even released a small introduction video showing some of the changes in the new OS. Windows 10 will reintroduce an enchanced version of the old start menu that we all loved before Windows 8 removed it. They are also distancing the product from the Metro style which was by and large optimised for Mobile devices. However, according to Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive VP of operating systems, the OS is designed to run on even more devices than the previous version.
I am sure in the following days and weeks we’ll get a tone of information about the new Windows. Meanwhile, I found this interesting article dating from 1st of April last year. The author, Pete Babb, jokes about Microsoft skipping a version of Windows and goind directly to 10. Is this a an inside information that no one saw comming or is it just a very lucky guess? 🙂
What do you, dear readers think? Is reintroducing old features going a step backwards or is it just a clever marketing strategy? Express your feelings in the comments below!
As Steve Balmer wrote in the annual shareholder letter: “There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface,“
David Zax, journalist for the MIT Technology Review, is pointing out that Microsoft is going Apple. We are also seeing that Google is going Apple, although still licensing other manufacturers to build the Nexus 7 tablet. Is the way Apple is doing it the right way? Does the customer benefit from a closed ecosystem? The user experience might be better, but the user is “locked-in” by the manufacturer.
What are your opinions on this move in the industry?