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Microsoft: Surface Tablet May Alienate OEM Partners

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the damn-the-torpedoes dept.

Microsoft 164

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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164 comments

They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (5, Insightful)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797193)

Bro, no one is looking at Linux for consumer apps. Linux is shit.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (4, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40797447)

Consumers can run Linux and not even be aware of it.

It's step onto this side of the 90s timewarp you appear to be posting from.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#40797655)

Until they buy Office and say "Why the fuck won't this just work?"

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40797853)

Until they buy Office and say "Why the fuck won't this just work?"

How many consumers buy Office? And why would they when LibreOffice comes with their Linux install?

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#40799547)

Tell that to my grandma

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40798119)

It's called managing expectations. How well does Office run on the iPad?

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40798421)

If Google ported the Android environment to generic Linux instead of ChromeOS, they might have a shot. The ability to run phone and tablet apps on your old PC and share all the stuff from mobile App Stores would be the angle to play.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#40798471)

While I'd be first in line to try this out, isn't it a bit like what Microsoft and Windows 8 are getting railed for?

Google would be taking a tablet OS and trying to make it a desktop OS, which is a radically different paradigm. Windows 8 being the same thing in the opposite direction.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799783)

Hahahahahahahaha, what? Just for fun, read MSFT's earnings last quarter. Hint, there won't be an " Office doesn't work" entry."

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40800083)

Link or its a lie.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#40800095)

Why would they buy msoffice?
Put it this way, how many users buy msoffice and then complain it wont run on their ipad?

This old "users will buy boxed software and be annoyed when it doesn't work" fud is ridiculous, as such a model is simply rendered obsolete by a repository / app store model. Why would anyone waste their time going to a store when they can just select what they want from a menu and have it installed and updated automatically?

Buying software on physical media is not what the average consumer wants, at best it will end up as a small niche occupied by an ever decreasing pool of people who can't get a fast enough internet connection.

nigerfaget grammer nazis will be trolled by this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797223)

Hey look its another nigerfaget trying to promote his shitty Loonix bullshit. They're tablet is going to rock the pants off those faget ass OEMs who think its there right to to not compete with Microsoft. They should of been prepared for this already.

Re:nigerfaget grammer nazis will be trolled by thi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797439)

No, don't mod these guys down. This is great! I mean, if people learn to associate this type of person with either Apple and or MS we win.

Re:nigerfaget grammer nazis will be trolled by thi (2)

redback (15527) | about 2 years ago | (#40800007)

Their.

They're is they are

There is a place.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (4, Interesting)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797471)

> But who controls the UEFI restrictions?

What are you talking about?

> What club do hardware and OEM manufacturers have to belong to now to conform?

None.

> 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.

That's if you want to sign with MS certificates. So no, they don't. If it costs too much (takes too long is included there), simply disable UEFI.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | about 2 years ago | (#40799423)

Doesn't getting an OEM price for Windows 8 require UEFI?

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (4, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 2 years ago | (#40797249)

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

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1, Insightful)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#40797317)

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..

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#40797387)

Like when you ask "what version of windows are you using?".
I mean, that answer is brilliant!

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 years ago | (#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:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797579)

Wrong, you will get an "answer".

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (4, Funny)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40798367)

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

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

dingen (958134) | about 2 years ago | (#40799985)

Most people say they use "Google", although most are also easy to admit they do not know what a browser is, according to this little investigation by Google: http://youtu.be/o4MwTvtyrUQ [youtu.be]

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#40800089)

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% dependent on MS is very dangerous... Similarly Valve, if a few big names get behind linux and actively promote it you should see a big change.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2, Informative)

Jaktar (975138) | about 2 years ago | (#40797749)

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 your Linux, everyone else will still be clueless, no matter what platform their phone runs.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798465)

"I don't think many people realize that Android is Linux..."

And even more people don't realize that its actually Dalvik/Linux and doesn't give users the 4 Freedoms [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Freedoms_(Free_software)] which is the most essential part of what GNU/Linux provides.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#40800109)

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 people share information (anyone else sick of getting word documents that just contain a picture?).

At least with Apple (and I'm no fan of them), you can be reasonably sure that a website will work properly with their browsers. The important thing is that people can use different devices and not care what's under the hood.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797293)

>This is another reason OEM's and deveopers are giving Linux another serious look.

Let's see here: OEMs have failed pathetically at making appealing hardware for Windows and, now that MS has finally taken matters into their own hands, would probably going to fail miserably at making appealing hardware for Linux if they try. And somehow you think this is a win for Linux?

Maybe you should be begging OEMs *NOT* to look at Linux.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40797475)

What a pathetic little Microsoft shill you are.

OEMs have done a great job of making appealing hardware for Windows. That's the only reason Windows even exists today. Otherwise MS-DOS would just be some obscure thing from the 80's that you never heard about.

Tablets are a sticky wicket because consumer price points require using a microprocessor architecture that Windows doesn't support. Even if you do port Windows to ARM, you will have nothing to run on it.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about 2 years ago | (#40797621)

OEMs have the unfortunate habit of bundling bloatware and crapware with their PCs. I for one think that M$ tightening the reigns a bit will actually force OEMs to change their ways.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40797881)

If OEMs can't bundle crapware to offset the price of Windows, either Windows systems cost more or Microsoft will have to cut the cost of Windows to the OEMs.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40798379)

I see the price of Windows coming down. I can't ever remember Microsoft offering a new OS for $40, yet it is happening, and it will spur adoption.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798485)

For what its worth, the licensing cost of embedded versions of Windows usually max out at about $40 per device and you have to deal with a third party reseller rather than buying direct from MS. DISCLAIMER: I last worked on a product that shipped an embedded version of Windows XP four years ago, pricing may have changed.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798145)

>OEMs have done a great job of making appealing hardware for Windows.

Mmmhmm. Then why are Microsoft and Windows OEMs staring longingly at the margins and loyalty that that the iPad and Macs have and chasing Apple's tail lights every chance they get?

You obviously bought that low /. ID off of someone else 'cause you sure don't have enough of a clue to have come by it honestly.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1, Interesting)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#40798227)

Microsoft should invest in getting a small form tablet which can run an x86 architecture. This is the only way they will compete with anyone else on the market, especially those that use their (normal) Windows OSes with ease on their tablet/convertible laptops.

What the hell are you thinking, Microsoft? Nobody wants Windows 8, with your goofy-ass MetroUI boxes on some obscure(even if it's ARM) architecture. Please, just make a NORMAL WINDOWS TABLET if you are going to trip into that market. When I start my tablet, I want to see Windows 7, or better yet XP with the rolling hills and fluffy little clouds, and that friendly little START button right where I expect it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want a Windows laptop that I don't have to open and close...is that so hard?

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799007)

FYI, Microsoft did announce an x86 tablet which looks pretty nice & runs all regular windows applications. That's why nobody really cares about this crippled ARM POS.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2)

Bert64 (520050) | about 2 years ago | (#40800133)

There have been windows tablets for many years...

They are expensive, bulky, and generally slow compared to full size laptops, and the speed is directly comparable because they run the same software.

The interface of windows is simply not suited to use on a tablet... They are trying to address this with metro, albeit in a stupid way... Touchscreens and mouse/keyboard are totally different, and therefore should have different interfaces. Forcing a touchscreen interface on keyboard/mouse users is just as bad as forcing the regular windows interfaces on touchscreen users.

Same thing with apps, sure an x86 tablet can run existing windows apps, but interacting with them is painful.

The fact is that despite having been available for years, windows tablets have not taken off. The iPad on the other hand sold massively pretty much as soon as it became available.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 2 years ago | (#40798409)

Why is it that anyone who doesn't hate Microsoft is considered a shill?

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798691)

>Why is it that anyone who doesn't hate Microsoft is considered a shill?

Because /. is the nerd equivalent of Fox News.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40798487)

Rather, OEMs are stuck in a race to the Bottom fueled by Microsoft and Intel themselves. If any OEM like say, Apple, gets a design too popular, One of those tries to make it "cheaper for everybody". It's right there in the OEM license agreements that Intel/Microsoft OEMS basically sign away any really unique ideas to the "herd".

Needless to say, there is no incentive for R&D, they just wait for intel and MS to tell them what to do. OEMs already tried innovating to make netbooks and both Intel and Microsoft teamed up to box the little PCs into a corner of uselessness. Ey COULD have been pushing what they're calling "ultra books" three-four years ago with limited set of functions.. Like win8. Ey even tried using Limix but got backstabbed there too.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (4, Informative)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#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]

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40798787)

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.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797647)

so funny the apple and lisux fanbois. Wow , apple must be up to what 8% of the market and linux is used by who? And now Microsoft has another gigantic hit on their hands - sharepoint - making even mo money. Wonder how long until apple rips it off, rebrands it and claims they invented it like mostly everything else?

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (4, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | about 2 years ago | (#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".

Ballmertine (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#40799349)

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

Ehm, not really (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 2 years ago | (#40799631)

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.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 2 years ago | (#40798385)

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 without the ability to PARTICIPATE in online media commerce, Linux will always be "behind scenes". Win 8 and Mountain Lion are leaving a lot of good software and machines in the dust. The "Android " brand might be enough to get individual people to convert their XP to Linux... Linking with people's phones is a pretty good carrot.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#40798719)

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

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#40799537)

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 with Google releasing the Nexus 7? Considering the price point, the 7" tablets until now pretty much sucked - with crappy low-res screens (600x1024, if you're lucky. Usually 480x800 or so), huge bulkiness, crappy processors, etc. In fact, the Nook Color/Tablet and Kindle Fire were probably one of the best 7" tablets around - decent formfactors, decent processors.

For Linux - I'd be wary. There are enough differences between distributions that you'll probably find each Linux application comes with its own distribution - all the libraries and binaries it needs and uses bundled up as part of the application in order to present a "it works on all Linux" image to users. Of course, it also means having to deal with multiple painful versions of libraries and GUI toolkits and maybe even so far as having said toolkits ignore user settings because the developer pointed to their own configuration file.

Then again, maybe what happens is they just end up being Android apps with an Android runtime - starting up the app starts up the user mode portion of Android just for that app.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799607)

Umm, MSFT just posted their best Quarter ever. I hate to tell you but MSFT is about to start a long, long +EV run. I know it's not popular here on the unemployment board but to blindly hate MSFT is ignorant.

Re:They're Concluding Microsoft Wants to Be Apple (2)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#40799611)

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 "I'm a PC and I'm a Mac" ads. Brilliant and very successful as well. What's sad about it is that MS actually has some pretty good stuff. Windows Phone is good, XBox is good, the Zune was really good, the Slate looks promising. But when it comes time to actually sell anything to consumers MS falls flat on it's face. Android is cool, Apple is hip, Microsoft is stodgy and yesterday's news. MS will still be able to sell things to corporations for a long, long time but their consumer strategy is doomed. Balmer has to go.

Of course it will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797149)

When you compete with your partners it makes it tough for them Microsoft!

Re:Of course it will... (1, Insightful)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#40797159)

It is about time, so far the oem's have failed misserably for MS. Perhaps this will spur them on to come up with some unique and innovative designs, it seems at the moment the only one that even tries is ASUS.

OEMs key to Microsoft success story (5, Insightful)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#40797289)

Failed? OEMs were the key to Microsoft's success! Much more than developers, developers, developers. That's why Microsoft was a bigger company than Apple for most of its history. For OEMs Microsoft was a benevolent dictator. Now Microsoft is a desperate despot willing to sacrifice its allies just to maintain its position as an influential tech company.

Re:OEMs key to Microsoft success story (2, Insightful)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#40797359)

Yes. Have you not seen the long sting of crappy tablets coming from the OEMs the past decade?

You forgot that the OS and apps for them sucked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798251)

And continue to suck. Sucky tablets was (and is) a Microsoft, OEM and third party developer fiasco. That Apple and to an extent Android have succeeded is a testimony to them getting what tablets are useful for.

Re:OEMs key to Microsoft success story (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about 2 years ago | (#40799053)

They may have been the key to MS's success in the distant past, but they are also the key to there demise. OEM's ship boxes, that's all they care about, in the past they have simply been able to slap bigger drivers, faster CPU's and more memory in and that was enough to sell their bland boxes. the market has changed considerably over the past 5 years or so where more power isn't really needed by the vast majority and the OEM's have failed to take the lead from Apple who have realised it takes more than just more power to ship to consumers nowadays. OEM's either have to get more creative and innovative or they will start to die off regardless of their glory days, MS seem to have realised this and are at least attempting to get the ball rolling, either the OEM's follow suit or both OEM's and MS are are doomed to spiral down together.

Re:OEMs key to Microsoft success story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799101)

It was rally Intel which was the key to Microsoft's success - they constantly pushed PC technology forward to the point where it outperformed everyone else's custom architecture.

PC OEMs are mostly just logistics firms that twist some screws and ship goods from point A to point B. Now that companies can go right to the source (Foxconn etc), they are unnecessary.

Re:OEMs key to Microsoft success story (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 2 years ago | (#40799373)

Hardly. OEMs are leaches. They put together a product that any tech savvy 12 year old can do for less. What they offered was tech support, warranties and speed.

Microsoft, Intel, AMD, Nvidia and others were the real innovators. All of the OEMs just put it in a box and labeled it.

What's replaceable is the OEM, not Microsoft. What's replaceable is the OEM not Intel. If HP were to evaporate--another would simply take its place in a day. IBM was smart enough to see this--and took a swift exit.

We're about to enter a phase I think in the PC world where the traditional desktop is going to be such a commodity that unless you offer a premium experience somehow you'll be put out of business. It's all about the experience now, not the technology. Microsoft sees that--Apple sees that, I'm sure Dell, HP and all the rest see that. HP even threatened to drop the market all together. They aren't jumping ship because the market for an OEM machine is going to evaporate. They are jumping ship because everybody and their grandmother is going to be a competitive OEM--and there is no room for a high profit margin company any longer. It's getting too easy.

Re:Of course it will... (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40797745)

In the entire history of IBM PC clones, none have innovated. They usually copied the innovations from the Atari and Commodore machines..... and then the PC makers caught-up 5-10 years later to turn a boring business machine into one with sound/graphic cards. Or into integrated one-piece units like the iMac. THIS model has worked for them since the mid-80s so it's doubtful they'll suddenly change. It's cheaper to just copy.

Re:Of course it will... (2)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40798205)

In what way have the OEMs "failed"? There was no Windows for ARM so they couldn't go toe to toe with the iPad and Windows 7 is unsuitable for a touch screen tablet. If anything Microsoft failed the OEMs.

Re:Of course it will... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#40798273)

As Microsoft doesn't make any of their own hardware for PCs, I fail to see how OEMs have failed them, since their entire Windows line rests exclusively on OEM hardware, running on a third-party architecture. Without OEMs, there probably wouldn't even be Microsoft, or they'd probably be a 50-employee banking software company in rural Michigan.

I agree, though, that ASUS is the only company pushing the boundaries of conventional 'laptop shaped computer' design. There are a few nice leaps from Lenovo as well, but they seem to be on to rehashing the same designs now with different guts, over and over and over.

Re:Of course it will... (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40798443)

ASUS doesn't get it and probably never will. They make some cool stuff, but the execution is lacking in ways I can't quite put my finger on (haven't made a big study of it). Maybe their marketing staff is tuned to the OEM side, therefor lacking the vision of creating a comprehensive product for delivery straight to customers. Definitely something to do with the distribution and segmentation strategies.

Re:Of course it will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799203)

Both the Asus Nexus 7 and the Asus z77 mini-itx board i have are incredibly well engineered, straight-to-consumer products. Microsoft restrictions and market realities keep Asus from innovating on the 'OEM ' front of Win 7 laptops.

Really? (4, Informative)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 2 years ago | (#40797165)

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."

I dont want an "App" store at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797231)

appstores are a fucking pox on the web, no good will come of them, you got stuff to sell ? put it on your WEBSITE!

these curator companies are nothing but 30% parasites, all trying to put their own little drm enforced tax on the computing ecosystem, filthy middlemen who hold in bondage your applications and thoughts, and god forbid if something happens to them or you dont pay the tax?, well chumps you have an illuminated paperweight, enjoy your fucking appstore

Re:I dont want an "App" store at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797391)

these curator companies are nothing but 30% parasites, all trying to put their own little drm enforced tax on the computing ecosystem, filthy middlemen who hold in bondage your applications and thoughts

Put them on the 'B' Ark [geoffwilkins.net] , I say!

Re:I dont want an "App" store at all (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797467)

dude, you're stupid. the appstore model is actually a copy of debian's "apt-get". apt-get is basically a "free appstore". you know the convenience of "apt-get install xyzapp" and it works automagically? well that's the convenience the appstore brings. also since the appstore takes care of your bandwidth costs and hosts promotional content and puts you in a place where costumers can actually find you i don't think 30% is very expensive at all. that's the problem with geeks, they have no clue about how to run a business. now get back to work before you boss sees you browsing slashdot again and chews you out, peon.

Re:I dont want an "App" store at all (2)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 2 years ago | (#40799211)

appstore takes care of your bandwidth costs and hosts promotional content and puts you in a place where costumers can actually find you

And deals with payment processing and identification and fraud. Those are an extraordinary burden on the small developer. A 30% fixed and predictable cost is a big win.

Re:I dont want an "App" store at all (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40798765)

Any time you shave off the woolly parts the market slaps your hand. It is not the 30% that is the problem, it is the restrictions placed on the developer and the consumer that tame the potential for wild success. In those cases we have traded potential danger and great gain for safety and stifled innovation. Any time you regulate something, you get LESS of it. The app stores have tons of toys (fart apps and games), but I can't see a serious business application vendor risking their business on an app store.

Bears (4, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | about 2 years ago | (#40797303)

As first noted by the NYT, they shit in the woods.

doing what MS does best (4, Insightful)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:doing what MS does best (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797767)

Because Ballmer is an idiot.

Nothing a lawsuit can't cure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797385)

If the OEMS don't like it, then we'll see how a patent suit strikes their fancy....

Market Caps (2, Interesting)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#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?

Re:Market Caps (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40797689)

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, Microsoft would have been the only company left, and the anti-trust trial would have ended very badly for them.

Re:Market Caps (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#40798289)

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...

Re:Market Caps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799637)

They (Microsoft) even bailed them (Apple) out with a loan.

The $150 million wasn't a loan. It was for a stock purchase, at a time when Apple had much more cash than that in the bank. Microsoft later resold the stock at a profit.

Far more important than the $150 million was Microsoft promising to keep selling new versions of Microsoft Office for the Macintosh for the next five years. From a purely "Office business" standpoint, this made sense then, and continues to make sense now, because Mac users provided Microsoft with a nice stream of revenue and profits from Office sales. But the promise allayed fears that Microsoft might lose interest in the Mac, or pull Office as a way to gain an upper hand in the OS wars.

yeah, (1)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 2 years ago | (#40797523)

you should worry about everything microsoft does, sooner or later they'll do something mean that actually succeeds

What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#40797543)

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.

Re:What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (1)

confused one (671304) | about 2 years ago | (#40797659)

With a market cap of ~$130B, I don't think Apple will be buying intel any time soon.

Re:What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#40797751)

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.

Re:What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797807)

Apple buying Intel would be like, psh, I don't know... AOL buying Time Warner or something ridiculous like that.

Re:What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (1)

confused one (671304) | about 2 years ago | (#40798377)

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.

Re:What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798981)

Macs are only about 15% of Apple's total revenue.

If both Intel and AMD folded tomorrow, Apple would be doing fine -- in fact they would massively profit from it.

Re:What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799017)

How would they "massively profit" from it? Apple and their competitors both need Intel in the same market space. It's not like Apple is going to suddenly be able to jump to another processor seamlessly. If anything, MS would have the hand up on Apple in a situation like that.
 
I swear, slash-fucking-tards don't think anything through.

Re:What If Microsoft Then Buys AMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40799077)

Have you read any tech news outside of slashdot in the last five years? Because it sounds like you're completely unaware of how unimportant the Mac is relative to iPhone/iPad. You even seem to think that Wintel has a future, how cute.

Understatement. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40797661)

"Alienation" is putting it to lightly.

1. Debut of windows phone 8 effectively obsoletes all current windows phone products, including the weeks-old flagship Lumia. Microsoft made it clear that the current, entire phone7 ecosystem is EOL and NO devices will be upgradable. Anyone who buys a winphone7 is a moron.

2. The surface tablet is zune 2.0. - Years ago, microsoft got a bunch of OEMs on board with the "Plays for sure" framework that lets compatable players and stores buy and sell music. Great idea.. Until Microsoft canned the whole thing, created their own music player along with a it's music store. The Zune was neither able to use plays for sure stores, nor were plays for sure devices able to use the Zune store. Effectively Microsoft duped most of apple's competitors, then intentionally destroyed them in order to reduce competition with their own product. The parallel here is that microsoft has clearly shown that the surface tablet is the "true" windows tablet with exclusive features that only the surface has. 3rd party windows 8 RT tablets are clearly inferior products.

There are only two possible reasons for what we're seeing
1. Microsoft is being Microsoft, and backstabbing their partners to get a leg up on the mobile device market. (As others have speculated, I believe we'll see an official Microsoft branded win8 phone, followed by the complete and final implosion of Nokia)

2. Microsoft as a company has degenerated in to a sloppy and out of control monster where the left hand acts against the right, and the head is too incompetent to reign them both in.

*Note that the above two are not mutually exclusive

The Microsoft Phone (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about 2 years ago | (#40797883)

There already was a Microsoft branded phone. It was a failure called the Kin. I don't know anybody that ever bought one of those. But MS usually does better the second time around. Now they have been putting their hope in Nokia. Nokia has hit an iceberg and is rapidly sinking. But this time Microsoft will swallow them if for no other reason than patents.

Re:Understatement. (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about 2 years ago | (#40798855)

You're right, it is Zune 2.0.

1) Microsoft Debuts play for sure.
2) Everybody makes horrendous, terrible, clunky devices with bad battery life and shit for UI w/o a single good music store.
3) Microsoft attempts to salvage it by releasing Zune, which in both of its generations received glowing reviews and was widely regarded as superior to the iPod.

Unfortunately for Microsoft it was too little too late. But they did create a great product that had the potential to succeed.

Microsoft sees the same thing happening again--if they leave their product in the hands of OEMs they are afraid the OEMs will release such inferior products that their software will be irrelevant. So they're releasing both a platform, but unlike Zune, also letting others compete. If they create a better product, great. If they don't, great. It's a win-win.

OEMs will undoubtedly be alienated but screw'em. I don't see Microsoft offering anything in the Surface that any of them couldn't have (but didn't) offer.

Microsoft, "So ... ?" (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | about 2 years ago | (#40797759)

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.

Re:Microsoft, "So ... ?" (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 2 years ago | (#40797867)

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.

Re:Microsoft, "So ... ?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798171)

What you did there...I saw it!

mod do38 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798129)

ball0ts. You could demise. You don't

And it should. (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 2 years ago | (#40798353)

Look at MS over the last few years, they've actually put up a pretty damned good product and due to their OEMs, have suffered in reputation heavily. Apple has been able to gain a foothold not because it was so great, but because people really hated Windows PCs. What made them so terrible? Dell. HP. Gateway. And all their fucking crapware.

If you look at what MS is doing with the Surface they are building a device that tells the OEMs, if you build it shittier than this, don't bother selling it. They are trying to raise the bar. Look at Vizio, now coming out with some great looking PCs and -- surprise surprise, have NO crapware installed. It's a simple Windows 7 image with anti-virus. It runs smooth, clean and fast, as Windows 7 really does run. Despite what Linux lovers may say, Windows 7 is a pretty damned good desktop OS.

And why not? Microsoft has more OEMs (Vizio for one, and a few other Chinese ones) to offer their OS, and some opting to go the "Microsoft Signature" route -- no crapware, like Vizio. They don't need every OEM, but every OEM does need them. If Dell's sales drop off because Vizio starts to cannibalize them -- low cost, good looking PCs with no junk -- then you can bet that Dell will start to rethink its way it packages Windows 7. It will NOT at least, push out a tablet that's a piece of crap -- well, I say that by thinking that Dell has a modicum of sense, but I may be wrong. Surface sets the bar pretty high, and I expect that any tablet that comes into the ARM/x86 world with Windows on it will need to exceed that, or cut the price in order to compete against it.

And honestly, we could do with some higher quality hardware anyway. Now that Vizio is out there, and the Surface, I have a little more hope to see some good hardware from the PC centric OEMs. But I may have my faith misplaced in the others, but I am eyeing a new Vizio laptop at some point... after Windows 8 launches probably.

Re:And it should. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798637)

... Vizio ... Vizio ... Vizio ... Vizio ... Vizio ... Vizio ...

Well, there's spam egg sausage and spam, that's not got much spam in it.

The commodity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40798895)

initially hardware was expensive and software cheap often free. One of Bill Gate's initial visions was that PC hardware would become a commodity and software would become ( relatively speaking ) expensive and the lucrative part of the business.

As computer's evolved the comptitors Commodore, Atari, Tandy etc. died and the PC took over.

Now Apple and Android have made the hardwatre a feature as much as the software, and the MS fanboys are all crying that the OEM aere ionnovative. Well where is Microsoft? Since they don't want OEMs to inovate, then they should be doing it themselves. IOf course Microsoft can't innovate. It never could. But it blames the OEMs and tries to go into competition with them by "innovating" what?

A kickstand, a keyboard, and a magnesium case. None of these so called innovations are things that make me want to go out and get a Surface. This is what they risk pissing of their OEMs for. The OEMs who were none too happy with them in the first place.

The worst thing that can happen to MS now is that OEM can suddenly discover how to innovate, and in the process they innovate with Linux, maybe a Desktop/Laptop Android, and even Beos/Haiku.

Microsoft does not have any option (1)

ninjacut (1938862) | about 2 years ago | (#40799317)

Why would any company want success of a very strategic OS dependant on OEM's who have no history of developing competitive hardware (against iPad)? Apple has demonstrated how good hardware, form and function can be addictive. There is no challenger (yet) to iPad. Surface, if priced right could be the first contender to grab share in the market. Why? right form, function and user experience. iPad is quite common in enterprises but the limitations are there, especially lack of true Office, USB, keyboard, etc. Quick reply to emails, browsing is fine but anything more and they open up their laptops.
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