Microsoft has finally gotten into direct competition with Apple with the launch of its Surface tablets. Apple released the first generation version of its iPad two years ago for which large quantities of high quality aluminum was purchased from Australia in order to make the cases for iPad. The extent to which Apple went for iPad made it clear that Apple is very serious in gaining and retaining the market share. Microsoft executives, on the other hand, were not making such bets and hence were slow in progress.
With the recent launch of Microsoft tablet, the company has gotten into the hardware business for the first time in its history. This has also created a rift between Microsoft and its partners who were considering releasing their own tablets running Windows 8. There has been a long history of competition between Microsoft and Intel in the domain of microprocessor manufacturing and besides, Microsoft has also been extracting hefty fees from the manufacturers of hardware who has been running Windows on their devices.
Due to the other priorities and involvements of Microsoft, it has never taken a serious risk, unlike Apple. Apple, with the manufacture of iPad, made it clear that manufacturing your own software and hardware can certainly be a lot more advantageous. It had now become inevitable that either Microsoft entered in the market of tablets or Apple would’ve taken a lead which would’ve been impossible to chase. Former technology analyst, Lou Mazzucchelli, said that: “I believe Microsoft was painted into a corner. If they’ve didn’t move soon, Apple would have so much of a lead, it would be almost impossible to catch them.”
Microsoft has also made it clear that the hardware partners of company are not a factor in Microsoft’s decision regarding the Surface tablets. Microsoft corporate vice president, Steven Guggenheimer, said that Microsoft has immense respect for its partners and looks forward to the wide range of innovative Windows devices that they would bring in the market. Microsoft’s relation with HP also affected the decision of launching a tablet, since even before the launch of iPad, Microsoft was well aware that the days of PCs are almost numbered in favor of touch-control based devices. Microsoft had worked in collaboration with HP on a similar device named HP Slate 500 which, however, could not prove to be successful because of inefficient hardware. Eventually, Microsoft had to part ways with HP and after this partnership broke, Microsoft seriously started considering manufacturing its own tablet. Whether this tablet would be able to compete successfully with iPad or not would only be known after it is released on a wide scale.