Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Oct 2012 22:01 UTC
Microsoft Steve Ballmer's annual letter to shareholders makes it very clear Microsoft is at a point of no return - and in the middle of a transition into a hardware company. "This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves - as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses." Line. Sand.
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RE[2]: OEMs deserve to suffer
by Brendan on Wed 10th Oct 2012 04:51 UTC in reply to "RE: OEMs deserve to suffer"
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I don't think Microsoft will produce computers themselves but I could see them come down hard on their OEM partners - "here is the standard, either meet it or lose your OEM discounts".

I don't think Microsoft have a reason to be more involved in PC hardware. They already control the most relevant standards (e.g. ACPI) and also have a "Windows Logo Program" to entice hardware manufacturers to do what Microsoft wants.

The "fundamental shift" they're talking about is smart phones, tablets, x-boxes, TV/media centers, etc; with hardware probably manufactured by other companies in partnership with Microsoft (and sold with Microsoft's branding, software, vendor lock-in, etc).

The other part of it is likely to be making consumers pay for "cloud", and tying all these devices into an app store model (where Microsoft get a percentage of all third-party software sales).

Basically, make sure Microsoft get a good percentage of the initial hardware sale, then make sure Microsoft get a good percentage of everything after that, then make sure the devices are useless if consumers realise their wallet is being sucked dry. :-)

- Brendan

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