Microsoft’s Surface tablets provokes ‘sense of betrayal’ among Windows PC assemblers

“Microsoft Corp kept its personal computer partners largely in the dark about its plans to launch a competing tablet computer, with some long-time collaborators learning of the new gadget only days before its unveiling, according to people with knowledge of the matter,” Poornima Gupta and Lee Chyen Yee report for Reuters.

“The secrecy that shrouded the Surface tablet risks alienating Microsoft’s hardware partners, and marks a departure from the software company’s tradition of working closely with hardware companies to test and fine-tune every new product,” Gupta and Yee report. “It also underscores how Microsoft is starting to take pages from Apple Inc’s playbook…”

MacDailyNews Take: Starting? Are they forking kidding? Reuters’ amnestic duo should investigate what Microsoft has been doing for the last 25+ years. “Starting.” Sheesh.

“The earliest that Microsoft’s personal computing partners were told about the tablet was last Friday, just three days before it was shown to the media at an event in Los Angeles, according to sources in the U.S. and Taiwan technology industry who spoke on condition of anonymity,” Gupta and Yee report. “Windows chief Steven Sinofsky made a round of telephone calls but gave only the barest details on Friday, neither revealing the name of the gadget nor its specifications, two people close to Microsoft’s partners told Reuters.”

Gupta and Yee report, “That some of Microsoft’s partners were not told beforehand about the Surface has led to a ‘sense of betrayal’ in the industry, according to one source. ‘This has always been a point of contention between OEMs and Microsoft — Microsoft getting into the hardware space,’ a second source said… Analysts pointed to similar concerns in the Android smartphone world surrounding Google Inc’s decision to buy Motorola… Driving Microsoft’s shift, say analysts, is the growing clout of Apple, whose iPad is threatening the market for notebook computers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Dear crappy Windows PC assemblers, you’ve just been PlayedForSure™. Thank you so much for your work in helping to consign the world to The Dark Age of Personal Computing just recently obliterated by Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. Your contributions to stagnation and frustration were immeasurable. Your ability to negatively impact productivity was unmatched. Good luck in your future endeavors and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way to bankruptcy court, suckers!

Related articles:
Fox News: Copier Microsoft is doomed to fail with Surface tablet – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet destined to be as successful as the Zune – June 19, 2012
Surface: Why Microsoft’s big mystery turns out to be a big mistake – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Suicide, er… ‘Surface’ – June 19, 2012
ZDNet Sr. Tech Editor Perlow: Microsoft’s Surface has catastrophe written all over it – June 19, 2012
Microsoft previews own ‘Surface’ tablet – June 18, 2012
Microsoft touts ‘major’ June 18 event said to showcase Windows RT tablets – June 15, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. Who cares about the “Windows Assemblers” – Microsoft certainly doesn’t. Where are they going to go? Apple isn’t about to license OSX. Windows is all they have. They will KowTow to Redmond until they quietly go out of business.

    1. They could try Linux, x86 WebOS, or Android. Who knows?

      I’d like to see some of them actually try to sell Ubuntu boxes, but they (read: Dell) have never handled Linux well before. It’s always been an afterthought, at least for the desktop. Plus, they’d be asking people to throw away any software they’ve bought for Windows. So, they probably will just stick to MS as long as possible.

      1. They can *try* to sell Linux boxes, but it won’t do them much good. The only people who would understand how to use them already build their own. Out of many, many, friends and acquaintances, I know only one person who uses Linux, and he has a cellphone with a version on.

        1. Not quite–building their own works for desktops, but you can’t custom-build a laptop with off-the-shelf cases and components.

          I know a few people with Linux laptops, and installed it onto a friend’s laptop which was suffering terribly under Vista.

  2. I just loved the take and wanted to read it again.

    MacDailyNews Take: Dear crappy Windows PC assemblers, you’ve just been PlayedForSure™. Thank you so much for your work in helping to consign the world to The Dark Age of Personal Computing just recently obliterated by Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. Your contributions to stagnation and frustration were immeasurable. Your ability to negatively impact productivity was unmatched. Good luck in your future endeavors and don’t let the door hit you on the ass on your way to bankruptcy court, suckers!

  3. Until a major PC manufacturer comes out with a public dress down of MSFT’s stately, “a sense of betrayal” is just another link baiting media buzzword.

    Oh, and Surface will fail because there is no unifying marketing measure to show how a specific product has any competitive advantage in the marketplace. IT has no interest in supporting this device any more than they of the iPad. We have many of our Windows IT professionals here toting around iPads and seeing the advantages of such a device. Integrating them into our enterprise is trivial. Support need is minimal. I’ve run mine since day 1 and it’s just like any other device on the network.

  4. They all make android tablets, so why should they care? Probably Microsoft felt betrayal when they were shopping around windows 8 for the tablet and they probably said no thanks, I’ll stay with android.

    1. Very astute observation. No tag along fanboy you. Nice. I’d be more interested in the patent they just lost against Samsung. Samsung is more of a threat going forward than MSFT. But I don’t see AAPL slowing down anytime soon. Apple has their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. Hey, it’s a Little Feat reference. Sue me.

  5. Companies like Dell, HP, and so on, should have spent the last decade (or more) working on their own OS’s. It would have been a long hard task (which they probably wouldn’t have been up to) but if they’d committed to it they would at least control their own futures. As it is, they’re reliant on whatever Microsoft puts out, and since that’s garbage they’re screwed. They should have done it from the start really, but the last decade was when Apple really started their big return to form and success. Even with Android they’re basically reliant on Google and they’re doing the same thing as Microsoft.

    Apple are the only company who have their destiny in their own hands.

    1. Microsoft’s 6/2012 announcement is as important to the beige box guys as Apple’s 1/2007 announcement.

      The assembler’s-maker’s only hope is to vertically integrate with Linux or Unix and unite or they will be white bleached bones on the pages of history.

      Apple vertically integrated on its variant & enhanced version of UNIX, but no one noticed what was happening for a long long time in terms of its significance.

    2. SUN had their own OS (and never really flirted with Windows).
      But it’s only for servers. And their servers didn’t offer enough over the servers of other vendors to justify the price-increase that would have been needed to stop them from going broke.
      Anybody remembers the first generation EEE-PC?
      It ran Linux. So there was a chance for them to go their own route.
      But of course, it’s easier to skip all that research and just license Windows. Until installing Windows becomes a burden that negatively impacts sales.

  6. Did anyone watch the Surface presentation video on YouTube?? The POS crashes with the first task they throw at it (web browsing, about 13 minutes in). And they run off stage to get a replacement!!

    My pet theory is that the hardware partners got advanced builds of Windows 8 and realized it’s a train wreck. So, they scaled back their material investment to cover their asses. MS had to step in so that there will be ample product running the new OS.

    But bad software is agnostic. It crashes equally hard no matter who makes the slablet.

    1. Just watched the Surface presentation. WOW.

      OK, Yes it crashed but its beta software so, I cut them some slack…. snicker snicker… lol

      But actually, the Surface is pretty impressive to me. OK, boring styling but nice cover/keyboard and it talks to the surface so it color matches (at least it seems to) to the screen. And its touch pressure sensitive which is really nice cause you rest you fingers on the keys for touch typing.

      Now I see two issues… Its run by Windows 8 and that is still an open question.

      And in the presentation,,, all I kept hearing is WE… WE… WE spent money, spent time, yada yada… We made a great product,,, WE designed it great… See the trend… Microsoft is great so the product is good..

      Compare to Apple presentations,,,,, its an insanely great product and you will love it. You… You… you…. See where the different focus is?

      Just a thought. But I was impressed with a number of hardware issues of the Surface….
      I wonder if it can be hacked to run OSX??? 🙂

  7. Gee, it seems to me Microsoft has done something like this before…back in 1984. I think it involved some company called Apple Computer, and later culminated with Windows 1.0😏 Who would have ever thought Microsoft would try to pull off something like that again?

    A heartfelt “welcome” goes out to Dell, H-P, Sony and other jilted “Microsoft partners”. Those Redmond bastards.

  8. One advantage all Window users will have in the future is there are any problems there is only one number to call and no finger pointing. I hope MS customer support is up to the task.

  9. Microsoft’s old mantra: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. It generally applied to any industry standard. First, embrace it so you can be on par with them upstarts. Then extend the standard because you’ve got something a little bit better (i.e. works specifically for Microsoft), then extinguish that muddling standard by discontinuing your support for it after your extensions have taken hold. But now Microsoft has just extended their OS platform to their own hardware and extinguished the livelihood of all those hardware manufacturers that allowed lower prices to be made up with volume. I think this could signal the extinguishing of the entire ecosystem. My thanks go out to the stalwart members of Microsoft’s board for their continued support of the current management regime.

  10. I just watched the keynote. It was like watching a product announcement by Frank Barone. It didn’t do anything.

    They highlighted hardware while claiming to emphasize software. They highlighted the crevices while claiming that they make it “seamless” (huh?!?). The most important feature is a kickstand, which “if [they] didn’t get it perfect, this device would not work”. (LOL!!) It sounds like a car door, and that “makes it yours”. (LOL!! Hang on, LOL!! *wiping my eyes)

    The keyboard cover is a pretty nice concept, but the aspect ratio DEMANDS two things: 1) it is only comfortable in LANDSCAPE. 2) the narrow height in landscape won’t provide room enough for an onscreen keyboard, so an add-on keyboard is a must. So a detachable keyboard is useless, except to prove that Microsoft can mimic Apple’s innovation, albeit not as well. They even said, “You’ll never want to take it off.”

    iPad’s smart cover self-aligns. Microsoft’s touch cover “forces you to not miss… to give you confidence.”

    It reminds me of Pharaoh’s magicians trying to compete with Moses. It’s just a poor imitation of the real miracle.

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