Microsoft Corporation has got a lot of positive attention over its latest Surface Book device. The product appeals to consumers by pushing itself as a laptop which doubles as a tablet. The firm’s new hybrid devices target a greater audience by offering something new and innovative. But while many consumers are thrilled about Microsoft’s upcoming hardware, the firm’s partnered manufacturers are not as excited.
Microsoft has kept its original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) close in its aim to promote Windows 10. Partners such as Dell , HP , Lenovo and Samsung are essential to the cause. It is these entities that are allowed flaunt the Windows 10 operating system on their hardware after all.
But what if Microsoft started producing its own devices, much like it does now? Where does a shift like that leave the firm’s OEM partners?
Microsoft Upsets PC-making Partners
Buying out Nokia’s phone arm was a relatively harmless venture. Smartphones pose no formidable threat to the most of the Microsoft’s PC-making allies. However, the Surface Book and Surface Pro series tread deeply into PC territory.
Most PC OEMs have never had to compete with Microsoft on the device front before. But since the software giant has a booming OS and a new passion for hardware, PC-making partners could be forgiven reserving a bit of concern about their stake in the firm’s vision. Considering its new stance on hardware, it is not unlikely for Microsoft to drastically reduce or entirely do away with it OEMs in the future.
“The introduction of the Surface Book may start a chain reaction,” analysts report. OEMs may suddenly find “that Microsoft has quietly maneuvered itself into a commanding position when it comes to hardware.”
Win-win for Microsoft
Combining laptop and tablet features into a hybrid device is a great move. Such devices, like the Surface Pro line, are growing in popularity. They also cater to a larger market. This sits well with Microsoft’s Windows 10 agenda.
The firm aims to have its flagship OS on 10 billion devices within the next three years. Windows 10 has been installed in over 100 million devices so far. The likes of Lenovo and Toshiba have also released their own hybrid products, but it is Microsoft which owns the OS on which these products run. The Redmond firm seems to have cleverly weaved itself into a win-win situation.
Microsoft has assured, though, that its approach will be beneficial to all of its partners. The software giant insists that it has no hidden agenda. It offers OEM partners “transparent communication on [its] vision for Microsoft devices.”
This may be, but the firm is still only breaking into the hardware market, analysts say. The company might rethink its stance once it has had a chance to settle in.
“This optimistic view – that Microsoft is only focused on the high end – may well be true,” reports the Business Insider, “but just a few years ago the company was not even making hardware. Times change.”
Microsoft Partners with Russia’s Yandex
Microsoft is reported to have a offered Yandex – Russia’s largest search engine – the chance to pose as the region’s default homepage across the windows 10 platform. Yandex released a statement announcing that it will be placed as the primary search tool in Russia and several other countries. The deal will see Yandex feature on Windows 10 Internet browsers across Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.