Microsoft’s Surface Book Laptop is Designed to Earn your Love, but it may Anger Windows’ Partners

by Matt Klassen on October 7, 2015

For years the vast majority of Microsoft customers used the company’s products not out of desire, but out of necessity, as the company had all but cornered the computer OS and productivity tools markets. But today’s Microsoft is something quite different, a company no longer satisfied with customers needing to use its products, looking instead to transform users into those who want to use its products.

To that end, Microsoft did what every other company trying to compete in the ultra-competitive mobile and computer technology space has done in recent history, copy Apple but make it look like they’re not.

So with that, Microsoft unveiled its first laptop this week, the Surface Book, along with a new Surface Pro 4 tablet and a new line of Lumia smartphones, all running Windows 10 and all designed to entice users, instead of compelling them, to embrace Microsoft products.

But as Microsoft focuses intently on making people love its products, it has seemingly ignored the only loyal friends it has ever had: its hardware partners.

In all this Microsoft’s focus is clearly on creating the kind of consumer ethos we see surrounding Apple, the sort that excites people’s passions and interests, instead of compelling them to choose Windows products because there simply aren’t any other options.

“We’re moving people from needing to choosing to loving Windows, and these devices promise to fuel even more enthusiasm and opportunity for the entire Windows ecosystem,” Chief Executive Satya Nadella said at the release event.

In order to do this Microsoft was lean heavily on Windows 10 to help win a bigger piece of the mobile market, attempting to wrest space in the smartphone and tablet sectors away from the likes of Apple and Samsung. The Redmond Company has so far failed to make any noticeable impression in any of the mobile sectors, although its Surface Pro tablet series has remained a stalwart competitor to Apple’s more popular iPad line.

But even with a modicum of success, Microsoft did something it likely never intended to do with its Surface Pro tablet series that it will now inadvertently do again with its Surface Book laptop, disrupt the Windows ecosystem.

In fact, I have to wonder if in designing its first ever laptop, if Microsoft ever stopped to wonder why it had never done this before, because the answer, as we’ve seen from both Microsoft  and Google, is fairly obvious. For companies like Microsoft and Google, who both deploy widely used software systems, wading into the hardware game can be a tricky endeavour, for both companies already have, by necessity, a bevy of hardware partners.

Sure it might sound nice to have the new Surface Book blow Apple’s MacBook Pro out of the water, but the collateral damage of such action will be angry and frustrated Microsoft partners (like ASUS, Acer among many others) who now see their own respective Windows products beaten as well.

By creating the perfect MacBook killer, Microsoft has, in fact, created the perfect Windows killer as well, and as we’ve seen with Google’s own hardware attempts in the past, things never end well when partners feel defeated by the very company that promised them a bright technological future with Windows or, in Google’s case, Android.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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