Microsoft’s Change of Plan

Monday 06-18-12. Today should be the mark of a new time for Microsoft. The tablet, Microsoft’s own should be released today. That is the expectation from many observers because they will be making an announcement Monday afternoon to introduce a tablet computer of its own design that runs on a new version of its Windows 8 operating system. In fact, it is the first time in the company’s 37-year history that it will offer a computer of its own creation. Why now? Well maybe because the device is aimed purposely at Apple’s successful iPad, which has begun to threaten Microsoft’s hegemony in the computer business.

Now or Never

The old ways may be the dead ways. What ways? In Microsoft’s world, they licensed their OS to PC manufacturers. They let the PC manufacturers do their thing, as long as the Microsoft OS ran without a glitch. But that’s not how Apple did it.

Apple has demonstrated that the most effective way to create easy-to-use consumer gadgets is by building the whole package from start to finish, undoing the longstanding practice in the technology industry of companies’ devoting their energies to either hardware or software. This goes the same for Google, which also has made a concession to Apple’s approach. This was done last year with its acquisition of Motorola Mobility so that it will also design its own devices.

The incredible success of Apple has shown its rivals that they can no longer rely entirely on the business models that were so successful during an earlier era of the tech industry. So the time to change is now or never.

So only time will tell if their new tablet will be the beginning of a new technology model for Microsoft. If it is successful, what will the future bring in the area of hardware? How will Dell, Hewlett Packard, and other PC manufacturers deal with the prospect they their independent PC manufacturing days may be over?


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