Microsoft Shareholder Note Points To A New, More Apple-Like Position On Hardware

Microsoft Shareholder Note Points To A New, More Apple-Like Position On Hardware

Why is this girl so happy? That isn’t a Mac.

In a letter to shareholders posted today on the Microsoft Investor website, Steve Ballmer, current CEO of Microsoft, said something surprising.

His comments in the annual letter suggest that Microsoft may take a page out of the Apple playbook and start building its own phones based on the upcoming Surface tablet PCs, similarly to the other hardware made by the Redmond-based tech giant, the XBox 360.

Ballmer does of course cover all the bases, making sure that current hardware partners don’t get too angry. “We will continue to work with a vast ecosystem of partners to deliver a broad spectrum of Windows PCs, tablets and phones,” he wrote. “We do this because our customers want great choices and we believe there is no way one size suits over 1.3 billion Windows users around the world.” Sounds like a pretty obvious jab at the iPhone, but maybe I’m just biased.

“There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface,” continued Ballmer in his letter. He also notes that the future of Windows devices will be in how they are connected, perhaps with cloud-based technologies.

“In all our work with partners and on our own devices, we will focus relentlessly on delivering delightful, seamless experiences across hardware, software and services,” he wrote. “…So right out of the box, a customer will get a stunning device that is connected to unique communications, productivity and entertainment services from Microsoft as well as access to great services and applications from our partners and developers around the world.”

This new approach really matches that of Apple’s, obviously. Microsoft isn’t run by ignorant or stupid people; they have some of the best brains in the industry working with and for them. Apple is extremely successful with their current approach, making their own hardware and connecting it to their own software.

It looks like the CEO of Microsoft sees this as well, and realizes that his company must change with the times, as well.

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  • toy79111

    Because the girl can use the money they paid for the picture to buy a Mac, so she is very happy. Make sense huh!

  • bdkennedy

    Microsoft just doesn’t get it. Being in control of your own hardware and software is just common sense and it took them over 10 years to figure it out. The less people you have involved in product development, the faster you can push out products. Microsoft listens to what everyone wants before making a decision which leaves them in the dust. The XBox division needs to be the new Microsoft.

  • Gareth Edwards

    Did Balmer deliver this insightful gem whilst doing his usual balding gorilla rant dance? That’s the only way you can tell if he believes in what he says.

  • Joe Barnickel

    Let Microblob make phones. And when you try to use that phone in an emergency you get the blue-screen of death! :-)

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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