Sunday, June 24, 2012

What OEMs desperately need to learn from Microsoft's Surface

Microsoft is not throwing its OEM partners under the bus. It is pushing them out of the way of an onrushing freight train.

See what I did there? I substituted one violent transportation-based metaphor for another. That was deliberate. So was Microsoft’s unprecedented decision to cross a line it has maintained for three decades.

See also: How the tech press reacted to Microsoft Surface

Why now? What changed? Why did Microsoft decide the time has come to compete directly with its OEMs? Why design its own line of tablet PCs, to be sold in Microsoft stores under the Surface brand?

Back in 2006, Microsoft and the OEM community collectively failed with Windows Vista. Microsoft delivered a messy glop of code that didn’t work well until Service Pack 1, and the OEMs were embarrassingly unprepared with drivers and designs. The OEMs also insisted on packing their products with performance-sapping crapware...

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