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Microsoft's Surface Caught Windows OEMs By Surprise 565

MojoKid writes "Microsoft's Surface isn't just an attempt to take on the iPad or an articulation of MS's independent design philosophy — it's a fundamental threat against the OEMs who've spent decades as Microsoft's partners and collectively destroyed the industry's perception of the PC as a high-value product. The adversarial roots run deep. Microsoft didn't tell its partners about Surface until three days before the event and gave only the most minimal details on the product. Only the largest vendors even got a phone call; Asus and Acer, the 4th and 5th largest PC manufacturers worldwide, have stated that they had no idea anything was coming. For OEMs who have spent decades working in lock-step with Redmond, that's deeply unsettling."
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Microsoft's Surface Caught Windows OEMs By Surprise

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 22, 2012 @10:45AM (#40411429)

    Anybody with more than 2 brain cells to bang together knows that Google bought Moto for the patents. And Google's upcoming devices are going to be from multiple manufacturers or have you not heard the news that the new Nexus tablet coming out next month will be from Asus. Lol. What a moron.

  • Re:Apple (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @10:46AM (#40411447)
    Apple is antitrust-proof because they don't control upwards of ninety percent of a market like MS do with desktop OSs. The biggest concern of antitrust is using market dominance in one area to forcibly dominate in another - the textbook (literally, used in textbooks) example being Microsoft using their dominance of desktop OSs to promote their web browser so effectively they they all but destroyed any competition. The iPhone may be the single most popular smartphone, but it still makes up less than half of smartphones in use - and if they don't have a dominant position, they can't be accused of abusing it.
  • by ljw1004 ( 764174 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @10:54AM (#40411567)

    I think xbox360 is the top-selling console both in the US and worldwide: []

  • Re:Lockstep, my ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by hey_popey ( 1285712 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @10:54AM (#40411569)

    On the rare occasion I bow down to necessity and buy a laptop, the first thing I do is buy a new license to Windows, wipe the thing, and start fresh.

    I am surprised by this part: last time I tried with a Win7 Pro laptop, I was able to use my own license number (the one on the sticker on the laptop case) with another Windows setup disc, without having to purchase a new license!

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:12AM (#40411837)

    Innovating? I think many of the partners are just now getting over the royal screwing they got with the Vista.

    Vista was late. MS changed things constantly and at the last minute. One change that hurt the OEMs was the whole Vista Compatible/Ready fiasco where MS included Intel graphics as Vista acceptable very late when they told OEMs that it would not be. HP was thoroughly pissed as they had planned their hardware around this. To put into context why this screwed over HP, let's delve into it. In planning for Vista which would not include Intel graphics at the time (915 chipset I think), HP would have to order the more expensive 945 from Intel or go with discrete. That would be more expensive but HP had planned for that maybe a year in advance. All the sudden, MS changes direction and allows it but only as "Vista Ready" meaning it couldn't run Aero. That meant all the low cost OEMs suddenly could put out "Vista" PCs at a lower cost even though they could only run the basic version. That didn't matter to these OEMs as long as they got sales.

  • Re:Apple (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:24AM (#40412033)

    Apple does get anti-trust attention. Remember the publisher suit? Why Apple doesn't get any anti-trust attention in the iPad area is that having the lock-in does not mean it is worthy of anti-trust scrutiny. There are certain criteria that have to be looked at. One of them is that no suitable alternatives exist. If you want a non-Apple tablet, all you have to do is go down to Best Buy and give them money. Motorola, Samsung, Asus, RIM, HP, etc. have all sold tablets. The fact that they don't sell well is only anti-trust if Apple does things to leverage their monopoly. If Apple went to Best Buy and threatened them not to selling competing tablets, that would be anti-trust. As it stands, few people want other alternatives but they exist.

  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <> on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:28AM (#40412083) Journal []

    Welcome to Android

    Here you can find the information and source code you need to build an Android-compatible device.

    Android is an open-source software stack for mobile devices, and a corresponding open-source project led by Google. We created Android in response to our own experiences launching mobile apps. We wanted to make sure that there was no central point of failure, so that no industry player can restrict or control the innovations of any other. That's why we created Android, and made its source code open.

  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @11:42AM (#40412295)

    MS have much fatter profit margins then Apple...

    No they don't. Both companies have net profit margins around 29.5% with Apple [] slightly higher in the most recent quarter than Microsoft [].

  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Friday June 22, 2012 @12:15PM (#40412755)

    > Apple has always gained value from controlling the software and the hardware.

    Yup, they learnt this lesson back in the late '70's with the Apple ][ floppy disc drive / controller. Summarizing the fascinating read: []

    IBM engineers had invented the 8-inch floppy disk in 1971, and over the next two years gradually increased its capacity from 80K to nearly 240K. Alan Shugart, an IBM manager, left that company and formed his own in 1973. ... The company went on to design and market the SA400 âoeminifloppyâ drive that same year, with a formatted capacity of 90K

    Steve Jobs had been visiting the Shugart offices regularly, insisting that he needed a cheap $100 disk drive. After Wozniak figured out the details of how to control a disk drive, Jobs came back and said that not only did he want a cheap disk drive, he wanted just the mechanism; no read/write electronics, no head load solenoid, no track zero sensor and no index hole sensor.

    Following the Consumer Electronics Show, Wozniak set out to complete the design of the Disk II. His original task on the disk controller was to reduce the chip count from the 40 chips used on the controllers for S-100 machines. ... Beyond that, he made additional design changes that reduced the total chip count to only nine. This eventually reduced further to eight, since two 555 timers were replaced by a single 556 timer.

    The Disk II was finally available in July 1978 with the first full version of DOS, 3.1. It had an introductory price of $495 (including the controller card) if you ordered them before Apple had them in stock; otherwise, the price would be $595. Even at that price, however, it was the least expensive floppy disk drive ever sold by a computer company. ... Because of the custom hardware and software Apple created to manage and access the disks, they had a formatted capacity of 113K, 23K more than the capacity offered by Shugart.

    The resulting product, the Disk II, was almost obscenely profitable: For about $140 in parts ($80 after the shift to Alps) [not counting labor costs], Apple could package a disk drive and a disk controller in a single box that sold at retail for upwards of $495.

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