There have been a few articles on here pro Microsoft building their own phones and tablets.
This article is going to take the other stance – why I think Microsoft is going to go more the Google way and not the Apple way of building devices.
I think Microsoft’s intentions are simple, to draw a line in the sand to say “make something as cool as this”.
Microsoft doesn’t want rehashed hardware, they’ve seen enough of that with current Windows Phones. Microsoft used Nokia to do this with the Lumia brand of Windows Phone and we’ll probably see that again with Windows 8.
Microsoft only said that Surface will be sold either online or in a Microsoft store, so its not going to be sold at brick and mortar stores. I think if they were really trying to compete with their partners they would sell Surface everywhere.
I’m not saying they won’t do a Google who sold their first Nexus phone just in stores and now they’re sold all over. This could be a way to test the waters and see how much interest there is for a Microsoft branded tablet.
I just think for now its just as I said, a line in the sand.
I don’t think Microsoft is going to go full Apple by developing their own hardware and having a company like Foxconn assemble it.
Instead I believe they’d do it more like Google does and picks one partner to make their tablet and phone with their specs and let other developers keep doing what they’re doing.
Sure some may drop out, but even the Nexus isn’t the top selling Android phone. Google doesn’t make the Nexus, they have an idea what they want to go into it (processor, graphics…etc) and they have another company build it with their hardware (for instance Samsung, who uses their own screen, and parts).
Nokia is the #1 partner in Windows Phones. I think the Microsoft Surface tablet that was shown was built by Nokia (Editors Note – I disagree). They didn’t say it was, but I’m guessing it was.
The colors of the tablets they showed were the same colors that you can get in the Lumia 900 phone. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The design was pure Microsoft, but Nokia built it,with their parts.
Maybe they came to an agreement with Nokia that Surface will be marketed as a Microsoft tablet and will never have the Nokia name put on it (like some phones from carriers that don’t have the brand on them, just the carrier name, like the MyTouch which Is made by HTC)?
Maybe they just came into agreement not to mention Nokia right away because they wanted to keep the spotlight on Microsoft and the Surface hardware itself and not to have any on Nokia at the moment. This is Microsoft’s spotlight and if Microsoft looks cool again in the eyes of consumers it could only mean good things for Windows 8 and Windows phone 8. (Editors Note – wild speculation)
If other hardware developers make some really nice designs, Microsoft did their job right. If not and Surface sells well then maybe they’ll consider making their own phones as well, but I think they’ll use a partner and I think that partner will be Nokia.
There have also been rumors that Microsoft could buy Nokia, but why should they buy a company that they already work closely with, plus if Nokia depends on Microsoft they’re going to work their butts off to make the best Windows Phones out there.
Now if Nokia wants to be sold like Motorola wanted to sell their phone division then Microsoft will snatch them up but until then I don’t think they will.
If I’m wrong and Microsoft did decide to make their own hardware the tech industry would change a little. Google would be the only company using other developers to make their handsets and tablets so I don’t think things would change that much. Now if Google decided to dump all their partners and make all their hardware with Motorola then companies would be in trouble.
I think companies like Samsung, LG and Sony would be OK. They make TV’s, washers and dryers and other products.
Companies like HTC would be in trouble, they’d either have to innovate more, maybe make their own OS to try and make it in the phone/tablet world, make some other compelling technology, sell or just go out of business and vanish.
It will be interesting to see what happens.
If I’m right things won’t change much. If I’m wrong then there could be massive changes in the tech industry in the years to come.
What do you think?