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Microsoft Bets Future On Hardware

In what some see as a very Apple-like strategy, Microsoft is officially betting its future on hardware and online services. In an annual letter to shareholders published Tuesday, CEO Steve Ballmer suggested that Microsoft may make its own phones to build on its forthcoming Surface tablet PC and Xbox gaming console.

“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,” Ballmer said.

“Whether that hints at Microsoft making its own branded Windows Phone -- as has been rumored recently -- is anyone's guess,” according to The Seattle Times.

If you translate Ballmer’s corporate-speak -- as Gizmodo was kind enough to do -- he’s clearly telling the world: “We make our own shit now because other companies were really stinking it up for us.”

“Ballmer has hinted at Microsoft's shift toward a devices and services company previously, but this year's letter to shareholders spells it out very clearly,” reports The Verge.

“The new approach mimics Apple Inc, whose massively successful iPhone and iPad demonstrated tight integration of high-quality software and hardware and made Windows devices feel clunky in comparison,” Reuters writes.

“Unfortunately, devices and services can be lower margin endeavors,” ZDNet cautions. “The bottom line is software makes more dough. Devices are hit or miss.”


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