Neowin: Despite the write-down, Microsoft's Surface strategy makes sense

By Neowin · 5 replies
Oct 11, 2013
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  1. When Microsoft announced it would write-down $900 million in Surface RT inventory, many thought it could signal Microsoft’s exit from the market and that the company would return to its old model of leaving its hardware partners to build Windows...

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  2. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,423   +350

    What the strategy to make more products than you know you can sell strategy? their strategy doesn't make sense they could easily get a foothold in the market but they dont want to instead they want to act all big and do stuff the big boys do instead of starting off small then going big.

    Makes 100million tablets only sells 10million, calls that a good strategy good job!
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,873   +1,291

    Yes, selling an overpriced, mass-market product that almost nobody likes is pure genius. Its worked so well for other companies.
  4. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I can fully understand what Microsoft is going for here, and while I absolutely hated Windows8 on my multi-monitor workstations (both at work and home), I found the user experience to be amazing on the Surface products. Actually using a Surface RT (and previously a Windows Phone) made me appreciate what they were going for. So, as I said, I understand the underlying motive and ultimate goals...

    But, I just can't seem to get behind the strategy. It's like there is something missing in the equation. RT feels too much like a forced stop-gap measure to try to unify user interfaces across the full phone to computer spectrum, and then that stop-gap took on a mind of its own. It feels like somewhere in the near future, there will be another sweeping change, and RT will end up being an orphaned dead end.

    I really think that MS would have been much better off putting some extra time into Windows 8 and making it truly cross-platform (ARM and x86), rather than fragmenting it into RT and Pro. That would have made the Surface products a much more interesting product to dive into, and much less confusing to the average consumer. The direction Ubuntu is moving, with the goal of being fully cross-platform and having all Ubuntu software work wherever you need it (phone through PC) is where it's at. And, I think (or hope?) that is where Microsoft is shooting long-term. This in-between part is when things suck and get messy.
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I dont know about this. The surface would have been successful if tablet OS and the Surface were released to compete with the early iPads (1,2, and 3).
  6. I find it telling that Microsoft can only claim a 3% market share of mobile, after how many years of Windows CE/mobile/5/2003/6/7, and now 8. There was a time when Microsoft had better numbers, I believe around the WinMo5/2003/6 mark. Back in 2008 the phone everyone was hanging out for was the HTC Diamond/Touch/Touch Pro that ran Windows Mobile 6.

    So what happened? Microsoft's insane policy of abandoning customers happened. Now, there is never going to be great compatibility between generations, the Android fragmentation and aggressive IOS update schedule is testament to that. However Apple at least pays lip-service to it and Google tries to make updates feasible in spite of carrier shenanigans. We're not talking about support for 5 year old phones here, we're talking support for <6month old premium phones like what Nokia were releasing for WinMo7 that then got promptly abandoned by Microsoft upon Windows8.

    Microsoft had a grand tradition of backwards compatibility at all costs throughout the history of Win16 and Win32 on x86 and did well because they didn't insist their customers throw away all hardware and software investments every generation. In every other software market they have had the exact opposite policy, with predictable results.

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