The likes of Apple Inc., Google and Amazon.com, could soon be forced to step aside and let Microsoft take the lead. The maker of Windows 10 operating system is widely considered to be the next major company to conquer the tech industry. Microsoft is making smart moves with its Azure, Surface, and Cognitive Services. These efforts will see the U.S. software major dominate the realms of cloud, AI and consumer technology.
But hardware is where Microsoft now truly makes waves. The company’s Surface lineup is redefining the norms set by rival tech giants. The product line-up is reported to have a lot more in store for the coming year.
Microsoft hasn’t always been winning in the hardware department. However, this hasn’t changed its stance on offering the best technology out there. “We recognize that we will have some hits and misses,” explains CEO Satya Nadella. “In cricket they would say that what matters is your batting average, and to be able to have a good average, over 50, but you might score a couple ducks along the way.”
For Microsoft, keeping momentum means being bold, even if there is chance that some bold moves won’t turn out as planned. These were Nadella sentiments as he alluded to the poor performance of the Lumia smartphones. Microsoft adopted Nokia’s smartphone business for $7.6 billion back in 2014. The move was meant to kickstart the firm’s venture into mobile hardware. However, the re-branded handset failed to pull in sales once it hit the market. Numerous experts recognize the Nokia purchase as an $8 billion write-off.
Microsoft Surface Phone
Until recently, Microsoft Corp. was expected to abandon the smartphone scene. However, Nadella made it official that the firm has no intention to leave the market. Speaking the Australian Financial Review, he spoke of his company’s aim to produce the “ultimate device”. Nadella said it became clear that Microsoft was not going to produce unique gadgets by aligning them with the trends of other premium smartphones.
“We will continue to be in the phone market,” Nadella assured, “not as defined by today’s market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device. We don’t want to be driven buy just envy of what others have. What can we bring? That’s where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI.”
The rumor mill has a lot to say about the Surface Phone, although the claims are supported by no official comments. Microsoft Corp.’s all new smartphone promises to be a unique, multi-use device with desktop-level processing power. The device could revive the QWERTY keyboard, picking up where BlackBerry left off, or house some kind of fold-out typing pad as in most renderings. Also worthy to note is that BlackBerry Ltd. is releasing its final ever device around the same time as the Surface Phone. It should be interesting to see how these too products fair against each other.
Microsoft is still buzzing from the public’s excitement about its latest piece of hardware — the Surface Studio. The machine was revealed several weeks ago and adds to the hype regarding the ompany’s increased revenues this year. It comes with a distinct 28-inch monitor can be leveled to act as digital drafting desk or set to any convenient angle.
Reports that came after the Studio’s showcasing suggest Microsoft has a good chance of raking in new creative PC users. That market is currently dominated by Apple and its Mac computers. However, the iPhone maker’s lack of any significant updates to its PCs has left its own fan base with a craving for relevant, high-performance machines.
“Either they’re brewing something up, or maybe it’s time for someone like Microsoft to start coming in and take some of their market.” The comment came from Nick Cronan, founding partner of Branch Creative. “They’re long overdue to blow us away.”
Surface Pro 5
Rumors claim Microsoft could release an upgrade to the Surface Pro 4. The device range has raked in a lot of attention in the premium tablet market. Nadella believes the product’s success lies in the company’s decision to forge its own way through the tablet segment despite the risk of failure.
“I mean, take even Surface,” Nadella said. “Two years ago, the two-in-one as a form factor was questioned. Does anybody need one? And now guess what? Even our competition has decided that it’s not a refrigerator and a toaster but it’s actually a two-in-one.”
Now a new edition of the Surface Pro is said to be on the way. The device could be released sometime in January 2017. Online reports claim the Surface Pro 5 will house 16GB of RAM, support 4K imagery and the Surface Pen. It is expected maket use of Intel’s upcoming Kaby Lake processors.