Microsoft’s new stunt of plunging into the hardware business has opened a whole new array of Pandora’s boxes from all sides. Experts tout that the new Surface tablets are doomed to fail and now Microsoft’s hardware partners are expressing mixed feeling about the new devices.

The Windows-makers kept its dozens of hardware partners, the likes of Dell, HP, Lenovo and Acer, in the dark and now an outburst of apparent hatred has taken the company into its crosshairs.

Acer’s senior Vice President and President of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Oliver Arhens, stated the new Surface tablets to be a complete failure. There are many reasons to speculate such a threatening consequence to the company’s new endeavour, but the mere following of Apple strategy is ample to do it.

“I don’t think it will be successful because you cannot be a hardware player with two products,” he said to the media. “Microsoft is working with two dozen PC vendors worldwide, including the local guys, whereas Apple is alone, it can more or less do what it wants. Microsoft is a component of a PC system, a very important component but still a component.”

Waging war against the biggest technology competitor that has an entirely different marketing, manufacturing and conceptual strategy does not reflect business acumen. Microsoft has worked on a different strategy to date.

For starters, MS has never been in the hardware business, this is the first time that the company is jumping into the finished product business with the launch of the Surface tablets. To date, its sole business has been developing software like Windows and Office Suite. Although its product portfolio is quite diverse, spanning from consumer to enterprise markets, but it has always been the intangible products. Hardware selling calls for a completely different marketing strategy and probably no one can top Apple’s who have been in the business for well over three decades.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “MS has never been in the hardware business”…except for the Xbox and Xbox360, Microsoft’s most successful product and rabidly adored brand.

    MS is shifting away from name-brand, bloated-price OEM to high quality, less costly ODM partners (in the same way Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc have also dumped OEM hardware in favor of custom-built ODM parts for their datacenters). The surface will be a huge success because few businesses are willing to integrate Apple technology into their Windows server and Unix mainframe environments, and the OEMs have been caught with their pants down to step in and fill that desire. Microsoft was furious with HP over the courier tablet debacle and the surface is their way of reiterating that they no longer care if HP lives or dies.

  2. Dear Ms. Bower,
    I apologize for using generic expression. By hardware business I meant PC industry. However, it appears though they tried to pull off a couple of their own tablets in the history. However, this is a different game now. As I mentioned in another post that Windows 8 is a different animal.
    By the way Courier is not a product, it was a tablet from Microsoft not HP and its a brand name with a capital C.
    However, thank you for reading through.
    Usman.

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