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Steve Ballmer hints Microsoft plans to build more hardware

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has signaled that his company will likely build more devices following the release of the Surface tablet, in an Apple-like manner of designing both the hardware and software.

Ballmer's comments, as quoted by Reuters, have helped to fuel speculation that Microsoft could build its own smartphone hardware to promote its Windows Phone platform and better compete with Apple's iPhone. Recent reports have claimed that Microsoft is exploring the possibility of designing and selling its own handset with a screen size between four and five inches.

Ballmer, speaking at a tech industry event in Santa Clara, Calif., this week, said he anticipates that Microsoft's partners will "build the lion's share of Windows devices over the next five years." But he also believes his company will build more devices like the Surface.

"It is absolutely clear there is an innovation opportunity on the scene between hardware and software," he said, "and that is a scene that must not go unexploited at all by Microsoft."

Windows Phone 8


Microsoft has built its own Xbox game consoles and the Zune media player, but the Surface tablet released last month represents Microsoft's first attempt at building its own hardware designed for the personal computing market. It's also a direct response to Apple's iPad, which has eaten away at sales of Windows PCs.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's Windows Phone platform has floundered against Apple's iPhone and devices running Google Android. The idea is a Microsoft-built handset running Windows Phone 8 could help to spur sales and give the company a greater share of the booming smartphone market.
post #2 of 54

Should be fun to watch.

post #3 of 54
They should be able to buy Nokia soon, bring their executive back after his successful mission and make excellent phones.

All in all, well played Microsoft well played.
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post #4 of 54
Quote:
The idea is a Microsoft-build handset running Windows Phone 8 could help to spur sales and give the company a greater share of the booming smartphone market.

Good luck with that.

post #5 of 54
This doesn't bode well for Nokia, unless msft is looking to buy them out.
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer... said he anticipates that Microsoft's partners will "build the lion's share of Windows devices over the next five years." 

 

The lions's share of Windows devices in what market?  I suppose that a lion's share of Windows devices isn't that same as a lion's share of the market.

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #7 of 54

As the CEO don't you think he should know not believe, Either how know or does not know, obviously he had no clue or no faith in what his engineers are doing. He has no balls, either come out and say M$ is going to screw the partners or not. 

Quote:
Ballmer, speaking at a tech industry event in Santa Clara, Calif., this week, said he anticipates that Microsoft's partners will "build the lion's share of Windows devices over the next five years." But he also believes his company will build more devices like the Surface.
post #8 of 54

Microsoft continues to slowly turn the knife in their "partners" backs. What is <insert generic clone maker> going to do as Microsoft competes with them and eats their lunch?  Nothing they can do.  too funny these Microsoft "partners" are meeting their fate and there is nothing they can do since they sold their soul to Microsoft years ago.  Why any company would ever do anything with Microsoft is beyond me.

post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Microsoft continues to slowly turn the knife in their "partners" backs. What is going to do as Microsoft competes with them and eats their lunch?  Nothing they can do.  too funny these Microsoft "partners" are meeting their fate and there is nothing they can do since they sold their soul to Microsoft years ago.  Why any company would ever do anything with Microsoft is beyond me.

Exactly. Microsoft's 'partners' are in a deep bind.

People licensing from Google/Motorola are likely to find themselves in the same boat.
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Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #10 of 54
Hey Ballmer, you must be extremely out of breath due to all that running to catch up! Take it easy big boy, we want you around steering that behemoth Microsoft ship for a long, long time...

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #11 of 54

yeah, like they have multi decades of experience in manufacturing hardware to call upon.

 

Having had several MB's going back to G3 days when they were just creaky old black plastic, I have witnessed how slow it is for a company to finesse the design. 

post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

 
Not necessarily. Notice that the Google Nexus is never the flagship Android phone, more of a reference design. Maybe that's the MSFT plan?!
 

 

HTC, Samsung, and others can make considerable changes to the Android interface and features, while I bet win8 on any phone will be about the same. I don't think Nokia wants to compete with Microsoft on phones with nearly identical software.

post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Exactly. Microsoft's 'partners' are in a deep bind.
People licensing from Google/Motorola are likely to find themselves in the same boat.

 

Samsung is licensing from Google and is profiting from Android far more than Google. I'd say Microsoft and Google are in a deep bind because the Apple model of integration is succeeding better. Samsung's success is also informing them that the software only model may not work as effectively or profitably as it once did.

 

So, while I agree that some of MS and Google's partners are in a deep bind, it is not because of what MS and Google are doing. It is because Apple and Samsung have found their respective ways of succeeding. MS and Google, in fact, are increasingly troubled and their hands are being forced.

 

This a long-winded (and not most articulate) way of saying that everyone is on shaky ground except for Apple and Samsung.

post #14 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

All in all, well played Microsoft well played.

Played indeed. As in past tense.
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post #15 of 54
"Apple should get rid of its hardware business and license Mac OS to clone makers."

That was the prevailing wisdom of the tech industry during the 1990s, when Windows ruled the world. When copying Microsoft's play book was the template for success. Even Steve Jobs believed it after NeXT failed and turned itself into a software only company, selling NeXTSTEP for Windows (OPENSTEP for Enterprise). He clearly reversed course when he returned to Apple.
Edited by Suddenly Newton - 11/15/12 at 7:06am

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #16 of 54

Sure, why not pile on the fail. Just make more of slow, kludgey, and expensive, running bad software (Surface.)

post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

 

HTC, Samsung, and others can make considerable changes to the Android interface and features, while I bet win8 on any phone will be about the same. I don't think Nokia wants to compete with Microsoft on phones with nearly identical software.

 

I think Nokia would do fine competing against MS simply on hardware. If I was looking for a Windows phone I'd go Nokia over MS every time.

 

MS reputation for building their own hardware still suffers from the XBox 360 red ring of death fiasco. Lots of burnt fingers still smouldering.

post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Bonner View Post

Should be fun to watch.

http://youtu.be/wvsboPUjrGc

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

As the CEO don't you think he should know not believe, Either how know or does not know, obviously he had no clue or no faith in what his engineers are doing. He has no balls, either come out and say M$ is going to screw the partners or not. 

 

He's floating a trial balloon... If the market goes 'meh,' he'll not commit.   He's a CEO of a 'legacy' company... all his balls are used to scare off competition, not seek new markets.  (think bull in a herd vs a 'rogue bull'  yeah, I'm a farm kid.)

post #20 of 54
After decades of screwing consumers microsoft turns to screwing OEMs. Looks like cival war in PC land. OEMs built bad hardware. Microsoft built bad software. Here is to their long awaited demise.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

"Apple should get rid of its hardware business and license Mac OS to clone makers."
That was the prevailing wisdom of the tech industry during the 1990s, when Windows ruled the world. When copying Microsoft's play book was the template for success. Even Steve Jobs believed it after NeXT failed and turned itself into a software only company, selling NeXTSTEP for Windows (OPENSTEP for Enterprise). He clearly reversed course when he returned to Apple.

 

It was the market he was selling into (professional/corporate workstations where procurement was seeking one HW vendor), and the price of building a computationally intense piece of hardware to run his state of the art software experience (even then, a NeXTstation was pretty price comparable to it's niche competition).  'White' Hardware could run MSOffice, and OPENSTEP,  'Black' hardware could not (at least not very well).

 

He didn't so much reverse course, but stopped sailing to the same port as everyone else.  Consumer electronics was all about experience at a 'don't need finance committee approval' price point.  

post #22 of 54
Did he also send an email to Nokia, Dell, Asus, HP, etc of his middle finger saying "F-you you're on your own!!" Since they plan to get into making phones and computers (etc) if true, not good for partner relations.
post #23 of 54

As long as MS has to write it's software for multiple OEM's they will never bo able to tune their software and hardware together. It will always be a bloated mess of code.

post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Exactly. Microsoft's 'partners' are in a deep bind.

People licensing from Google/Motorola are likely to find themselves in the same boat.

At least it is a level playing field with Android since there is no cost for the OS. If MS charges a license fee for each Windows OS, the OEMs will find it difficult to compete on price with MS hardware.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #25 of 54
When a company takes 30 years to figure out the obvious, I don't have much faith in their future.
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

"Apple should get rid of its hardware business and license Mac OS to clone makers."

Apple took the first step in that, by selling MacOS to clone makers.   It didn't work out.

 

Now M$ is following that same path in reverse;  to survive MS needs to control the hardware like Apple.

Apple should get a business plan royalty from MS !

post #27 of 54
Royalty? Sue due to copying!

Seriously, they don't have it in their DNA. If they did, they would've tried out their own software, found it to be poorly designed, and decided they needed to get that right first before starting to produce their own hardware as well.
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post #28 of 54

Glad I'm not the only one who is amused by the irony of all this.

 

I remember back in the 90s and the early 2000s when Apple was constantly criticized for making both the hardware and the software. Steve Jobs gave a quick but memorable interview to MacAddict Magazine shortly after he returned to Apple (during his iCEO days) where he insisted that the best approach to computers and tech products was to make the "whole widget" and he was confident that this would become apparent to the rest of the industry soon enough. Amazing how indisputably that point has been made now.

 

Even I was doubtful of Apple's approach back then. It seemed unwise given Microsoft's dominance. The entire tech industry was in such a rut at the time and it seemed the inevitable approach to any new product was to follow Microsoft's example of making one part of the whole thing and letting others handle the rest. In retrospect, it's obvious how that really only worked for the circumstances of the time and was necessary then. But needlessly holding on to that single obsession probably did more harm to the advance of personal computing than anything else in the industry's entire history. 

 

And so here we are. The tech world seems to have done a very slow 180, and now people are starting to recognize that Microsoft's past example may not be the best one to follow and not one word about how foolish it is to "build the whole widget." Crazy how things change.

post #29 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshA View Post

Apple took the first step in that, by selling MacOS to clone makers.   It didn't work out.

 

Now M$ is following that same path in reverse;  to survive MS needs to control the hardware like Apple.

Apple should get a business plan royalty from MS !

 

The MacOS licensing history is much more complex than "It didn't work out" and going back there will not make any sense for Apple business where value is in its products and ecosystem around it and not only the software. 

 

Problem is because of Google's free Android OS, Microsoft business plan of making money with the OS doesn't work anymore. So Microsoft is going plan B: coping someone else success.

post #30 of 54
Quote:
"It is absolutely clear there is an innovation opportunity on the scene between hardware and software," [Ballmer] said

 

What the hell is that even supposed to mean? The "scene between hardware and software"? Scene?

post #31 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

 
Not necessarily. Notice that the Google Nexus is never the flagship Android phone, more of a reference design. Maybe that's the MSFT plan?!
 

 

Well that works for Google because the Android market can sustain multiple devices as it's so large. Windows 8 has a tiny slice of the market and it could be devastating to partners who aren't making any money as it is.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #32 of 54

If they continue to build hardware for another 20 years or so they will *almost* be up to the same level of skill at it as Apple has today (of course by that time Apple will have a further 20 years of experience itself).  

 

I don't see this plan working out for Microsoft at all. 

post #33 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

 

What the hell is that even supposed to mean? The "scene between hardware and software"? Scene?

 

Balmer speaks in that empty, baffle-gab, business-speak, buzz-word style.  

It is rare to find a single sentence from an interview with him that actually makes grammatical or logical sense.  

He is also the King of BS.  

post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullhead View Post

Microsoft continues to slowly turn the knife in their "partners" backs. What is <insert generic clone maker> going to do as Microsoft competes with them and eats their lunch?  Nothing they can do.  too funny these Microsoft "partners" are meeting their fate and there is nothing they can do since they sold their soul to Microsoft years ago.  Why any company would ever do anything with Microsoft is beyond me.

 

No knife!  No back-stabbing!  Rather... Each of the partners is responsible for bending over and shoving the MS umbrella up his own ass...  All that's happening now is that Microsoft is opening the umbrella!

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post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

As the CEO don't you think he should know not believe, Either how know or does not know, obviously he had no clue or no faith in what his engineers are doing. He has no balls, either come out and say M$ is going to screw the partners or not. 

 

He's floating a trial balloon... If the market goes 'meh,' he'll not commit.   He's a CEO of a 'legacy' company... all his balls are used to scare off competition, not seek new markets.  (think bull in a herd vs a 'rogue bull'  yeah, I'm a farm kid.)

 

Mmmm... Farm kid, eh... Speaking of balls and bulls... Did you ever hear of a device called the AG60?


Edited by Dick Applebaum - 11/15/12 at 10:54am
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #36 of 54

There goes Ballmer, making threats again.  Please Ballmer, another Zune isn't a wise decision.  The Surface RT is another Zune, and you want to make more Zunes?  

 

Next thing we know, they'll be putting a kickstand on a smartphone and calling it a serious computer.

post #37 of 54
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
Next thing we know, they'll be putting a kickstand on a smartphone and calling it a serious computer.

 

1000

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #38 of 54
If they think that the lack of success of WP8 is because of bad hardware, then they'll be trying to solve the wrong problem.

As yet, the OS hasn't proven to be a big draw, its UI is a derivative of the Zune HD, I don't think it really helped.

It seems to be mostly that their brand is damaged, and that's harder to fix than building your own hardware. I don't think competing against your own OEM customers is a good idea.
Edited by JeffDM - 11/15/12 at 12:19pm
post #39 of 54
Originally Posted by igriv View Post
Ooh, Ooh, I want one, no make it two!

 

They also have this one, which I guess is newer.

 

1000

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
post #40 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


http://youtu.be/wvsboPUjrGc

Steve Bomber, I have one word for you: "Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers! Developers!Developers!"

 

Did I say "Developers!"?

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