Why The Microsoft Surface Just Died Last Week

Mar 31 2014, 11:37am CDT | by

Why The Microsoft Surface Just Died Last Week
Photo Credit: Forbes Apple

Would I purchase the Microsoft Surface? Not anymore. And I’m not sure that you should either.

I’m looking for a new laptop and the Surface has been one of the top contenders. I like it a lot. And although a slow seller for Microsoft it’s been gaining in popularity and many reviewers have given it high marks. It’s a powerful little laptop, lightweight with a Windows 8 touchscreen and a long battery life. Sure, it’s a little pricier than some of its competitors. But it’s also both tablet and laptop and integrates tightly with other Microsoft applications (like Office) so for a business user like me it seems worth it. It was on the top of my list. Until last week.

That was when the company’s new CEO, Satya Nadella, announced the launch of Office for the iPad. He emphasized the company’s focus on cloud and mobile for the future. “We think about users both as individuals and organizations spanning across all devices,” Nadella said during the launch event. And what he said effectively killed the Microsoft Surface. At least for me. And probably for you too.

Nadella represents a new, better age for the company. He is a decade younger than his predecessor and looks young for his age. He has a different, laid back style. He’s nerdy. He’s technical. He’s cool. He’s the future. And with last week’s announcement he has pointed the company in a direction that will likely leave the Microsoft Surface behind. Why? Two reasons.

For starters, the company has officially abandoned its “Windows First” policy. This is not just a strategy. It’s a complete change in perception and branding. No offense on Bill Gates, but he’s the old guard. And so is Steve Ballmer. They represent all that was wonderful about Microsoft two decades ago – the arrogance, the confidence, the ruthlessness, the brilliance. But they are from another age. They are from the age of DOS, OS/2, Lotus, Netscape, Borland, WordPerfect and other brands that are mostly unrecognizable to the 25 year old person working today. They don’t remember the excitement of the “Start” button or the first time you could transfer a file over a dial up connection. They were babies when Windows dominated the earth, Apple was facing bankruptcy and Google was just a mathematical term. But that’s ancient history now.

And Nadella understands that. He is a break from that history. At 47, he’s a hundred years younger than Ballmer and Gates in terms of technology. He remembers those days but has little nostalgia for them. He has no emotional ties to Windows. He looks at a world today where the great majority of devices sold now and in the future will not have Windows installed on them. And he’s OK with that. This is opportunity for a company like Microsoft. And he’s positioning his company to take advantage of that opportunity. A Windows First policy was the reason behind products like the Surface. Not anymore.

Secondly, and most importantly, Nadella is taking Microsoft back to the very root of what the company is: a maker of software. Nadella looks at the world around him and he sees devices. Not only iPads, but phones, tablets and PCs. He sees other operating systems like iOS and Android. And he sees the forthcoming explosion in the Internet of Things: wearable tech, drones, driverless cars, robots, appliances that talk to each other, point of sale systems that text greetings and discounts to customers that walk into a store, self-service kiosks and digestible pills that send signals back to doctors from inside the human body.

The millions of little hardware components that will be talking to each other will not need operating systems like Windows. But they will need software to run them. And Microsoft, at its very core, is a software company. A software company with billions in cash, a mountain of patents and an army of employees and partners who are standing by ready to do what Microsoft does: develop software. Why would Nadella want to waste time making hardware, unless it was something as integrated (and profitable) as the Xbox? He is not in the hardware business. He’s in the software business.

Where does this leave the Microsoft Surface? In the dust. The whole appeal that justified the extra price for the Surface was that it was a Microsoft device running Windows and therefore would be a better device for Windows applications. But that argument was rendered mute by the company’s decision to write software like Office for the iPad and to focus on writing applications for all devices, whether they’re running Windows or not. Which means I don’t have to own Microsoft hardware. And that’s a good thing – I’d rather just use the company’s software to be as productive as possible on whatever device I choose.

Besides Forbes, Gene Marks writes daily for The New York Times and weekly for Inc.com.

Source: Forbes Apple

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Apple Outsmarts Samsung in Terms of Revenue Generation
Apple Outsmarts Samsung in Terms of Revenue Generation
Apple earns $11.2 billion profit in Q3 2014, while Samsung lags far behind with only $3.8 billion
 
 
Apple Declares Not to Remove PCalc iOS Calculator Widget
Apple Declares Not to Remove PCalc iOS Calculator Widget
The PCalc will still remain in the iOS notification center
 
 
Seth Rogen to Act as Steve Wozniak in the Steve Jobs’ Movie
Seth Rogen to Act as Steve Wozniak in the Steve Jobs’ Movie
Rogen has been chosen to play as Steve Wozniak
 
 
Apple Ends The iPod Classic
Apple Ends The iPod Classic
Tim Cook says supply chain problems caused the decision
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Arnold Schwarzenegger 'knew' he'd star in another Terminator movie
Arnold Schwarzenegger ''always knew'' he'd star in another 'Terminator' movie. The 67-year-old actor - the former governor of California - insists he wasn't surprised when he got a call from producers to appear in the...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Anne Hathaway would 'love' a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada
Anne Hathaway would ''love'' to appear in a sequel to 'The Devil Wears Prada'. The Oscar-winning actress starred in the popular 2006 comedy-drama, which also featured Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt, and has revealed she...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Lily Aldridge wearing mother's Playboy costume for Halloween
Lily Aldridge will wear her mother's old Playboy costume for Halloween. The 28-year-old model - who is married to Kings of Leon singer Caleb Followill - found her mum Laura Lyons' raunchy Playboy Bunny flight attendant...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Rochelle Humes' daughter loves Marvin doll
Rochelle Humes is embarrassed by her daughter's obsession with a doll of her husband, Marvin Humes. The 25-year-old singer has admitted she found it ''cringey'' when she was recently photographed holding a doll of her...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Keira Knightley annoyed Chloe Moretz didn't ask her advice
Keira Knightley was annoyed Chloe Grace Moretz didn't want her advice. The 29-year-old actress - who appears alongside the 17-year-old star in her latest movie 'Say When' - was disappointed that the young actress didn'...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Daniel Radcliffe loses everything
Daniel Radcliffe loses everything. The 'Horns' star admits he constantly has to replace his mobile phone and often puts things away and can't ever find them again. The 25-year-old actor said: ''I lose things a lot. At...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Apple Outsmarts Samsung in Terms of Revenue Generation
Samsung can sell more products, but it doesn’t mean that it will earn more profit, as Apple overtakes the Korean giant with respect to the earnings.According to the Cult of Mac, Samsung earned a profit of $3.8 billion...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Apple Declares Not to Remove PCalc iOS Calculator Widget
The PCalc iOs calculator widget is free from the risk of being removed, as Apple decides not to drop it from the App Store.According to Tech Crunch, the officials of Apple have confirmed about the move, stating that it...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Seth Rogen to Act as Steve Wozniak in the Steve Jobs’ Movie
Seth Rogen has got an important role in the biopic of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, as he has been selected to play as Steve Wozniak.According to the Variety, Rogen will be advised directly by Steve Wozniak, the...
Read more on Apple Balla
 
Ponzy schemer cheats residents of $22 mn, gets 15-year jail
Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) If you have been one of those approached by some 'known' person for investing in something with an assurance of 'easy money', you may benefit reading about this Ponzi schemer jailed in the US...
Read more on Politics Balla