Microsoft and hardware go a long while back now. The company has been in the PC peripherals business for quite some time now, and has created a line of successful products.
But it was last year that Redmond got serious about hardware, and made public its hardware ambitions. Other partner hardware companies saw this new strategy as a sign that Microsoft was turning into a fierce rival, one that will fight them for the same user base.
In fact, Meg Whitman, CEO of HP was pretty direct some one month back, when she said that Microsoft’s newfound focus on devices and services means that it fast becoming an outright competitor.
And now Microsoft has responded to these comments. The company says that it does not sees itself as a rival for its existing partners. Not just that, but the company pledges to continue working with its partners on many new projects.
Phil Sorgen, Microsoft channel chief talking to ChannelNomics said:
“Meg Whitman called us a competitor, but we will work closely with HP, Dell and Lenovo in bringing products to market. Now with Surface 2, we have a distribution strategy; its phase 1 and not as broad as it could be. We got into this new product one year ago.
We’re going to be very careful as we look forward. We are evaluating the plans for forward as we extend further. When we do, we’re able to execute and be a world-class partner for those that make the investment to sell and support that product.”
Microsoft, more than other direct competitors like Apple and Google, has had very close relationships with its various hardware partners. If anything they have been vital to its success.
And while the company is aware that the first-generation Surface failed to overly impress, it continues its investment, in the mobile market at least with tablets and smartphones. How other Microsoft partner react to these changing dynamics, will be evident in another four to six months.