Could the Microsoft Surface Hurt the PC Industry?
Microsoft is truly going all mobile with their release of Windows 8. The operating system sports tiles and a new interface that is made for touch devices. This was clear when the first consumer preview was released, but Microsoft made it even more clear by manufacturing their own personally branded tablet with their own operating system. Never in the history of Microsoft have they developed their own hardware for their operating system to run on. Could Microsoft be making a big mistake? Windows 8 sure isn’t that friendly to power users on desktops. Switching back and forth between the two different user-interfaces isn’t exactly easy either. According to a blog post from Mashable, Acer is warning that Microsoft could be hurting the PC industry by releasing their own tablet.
Think about it this way (and I’ve said this before on Tech Roundup Weekly), Microsoft has always been the company who developed the operating system. Partners such as Dell and HP were responsible for designing and manufacturing the computers that would run that operating system. Now, Microsoft is creating the operating system as usual, but they are making their own device to run it. Sure, other manufacturers can still make their own Windows 8 devices (which they probably will), but they will be competing with the company that makes the operating system that is on their device and that can get complicated, especially when you are partners.
Could Microsoft be on their way to becoming an independent company that makes the hardware and the operating system? If that became the case so many things could happen. A big worry for me would be whether or not people could still buy hardware to build their own computers for the operating system. That probably wouldn’t be possible any more. We could end up with long-time Microsoft partners developing their own operating systems, but the chances of getting a large number of people to try yet another operating system when they already have Mac OS, Windows, and Linux to choose from would be nearly impossible.
We will have to see how this one plays out. Microsoft has made a big statement by manufacturing their own computer. They have always had their own accessories, but that’s not a big deal. Almost anyone can find a way to make an accessory no matter what unless the device they want to make an accessory for is super proprietary. I just hope Windows 8 doesn’t go down the dumps like Windows Vista did. Windows 8 is such a capable OS, Microsoft just needs to listen to what bloggers like me have been saying. They still need a full-blown desktop OS for the many power users that use Windows. Save Windows 8 for the mobile-only platform that runs on phones and tablets. It’s too soon for Microsoft to try to vanish from their full-blown desktop experience.