Microsoft Surface: A Big Game-Changer but a Big Gamble
Microsoft also decided to enter the tablet market to counter the success of the Ipad. Last week, the company announced the release of its own product called the "Surface". Beyond the technical characteristics, the real revolution is within the firm itself which is changing its business model by by going up against the hardware companies with which it has traditionally partnered.
Microsoft's founding business model was unique in that it focused on selling software to all sorts of hardware makers, as opposed to trying to make its own PCs. So, this seems very different.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tried to reinforce Microsoft's long-standing alliances with hardware companies. "Those partnerships are essential to the reimagination of Windows,"and Microsoft hopes its tablets will jump start the market.
It may be that Microsoft just wants to enter the parts of the market where its partners weren't going to compete and will leave the standard notebook and Ultrabook market to its partners. This appears to be a big gamble: If Surface fails, that hurts the Windows 8 brand in the market; if Surface is successful, Microsoft's traditional OEM customers are bound to see it as a competitor.
Is this move a deep business model revamp or just an attack against the Ipad? Can Microsoft be successful by competing against its own clients?