Microsoft the Hardware Company

Warning: I sound like a gushing fanboy on this post. Oh well.

I have used Microsoft hardware for a long time – from the original optical mouse and Natural Keyboards to pretty much every version of the Zune.

My friends and I often said “If only Microsoft would make X” where X has been everything from laptops to phones. One of the devices that has had these attention the most was actually the Zune HD. Many people have said to me “just imagine if it was a phone” – and while Windows Phone has exceeded this dream in terms of software, I’m still running a Samsung phone rather than a Microsoft phone*.

Simply because I thought it was the best at the time.

Back when Microsoft were trying to push manufacturers into producing high end Tablet PCs – they were recommending the Toshiba R400 as the best Windows Vista laptop (it had Wacom pen digitizer, sideshow, and much more) but I soon ended up replacing it with an Apple MacBook because their hardware was better.

Running Windows on a Apple machine because that’s the best PC I could get at the time. Yay for Apple, Boo for Microsoft.

So here is why the Microsoft Surface is different – it’s PC hardware. Not an accessory, not a games or entertainment machine, it’s an actual general purpose computer. And it’s designed and built by Microsoft, not some old OEM that can produce 100s of crappy plastic laptop designs and live in mediocrity. They’re only producing the very best equipment they can with the resources they have. And boy what resources.

The Microsoft Surface PCs dare other hardware manufacturers to do better, and as a consumer – I want to invest the best I can. For me that’s going to be Microsoft software on Microsoft hardware.

In this way my view is fairly selfish – I don’t care what it means for HP or Dell, the thing I care most about is the software and hardware tools I use every day. I believe that by taking this step into producing PCs, Microsoft is doing the right thing – giving Windows 8 a platform for it to perform exactly the way it was designed to.

* Actually a Nokia would do just fine!