Not content with dominating the desktop environment, Microsoft says it now wants to be a force to be reckoned with in hardware too. Could this mean more Microsoft hardware? It may make games consoles and peripherals, but it seems the Redmond giant wants a larger slice of the hardware pie.

Since the launch of the Microsoft Surface, the company has proven that it can deliver a quality product to market. From the Surface 2 to the current Surface 4, the hardware has shown significant improvements, including taking some of the biggest user gripes on board and addressing them in later models.

But will Microsoft hardware have anything to offer business? We don’t yet know.

The case for Microsoft making more hardware

Apple have proven that having tight control over both the hardware and software, you can streamline the two to work very well together. Many of the challenges any Windows product faces is ensuring compatibility with the dizzying array of hardware configurations that are possible. By controlling the hardware environment, the Windows version that is used on those devices can be optimised for it.

As mentioned, the release of the Surface has demonstrated quite well that the company is capable of delivering a solid Microsoft hardware product when it wants to. The Surface has proven that solid hardware running full version OS and applications can deliver benefit to businesses and consumers alike.

The case against Microsoft making more hardware

Microsoft have tried making hardware before and didn’t do so well. Arguably the Xbox is a solid product that competes very well in its market, but that’s a single success in a huge industry. Companies demand reliability, transparency and the freedom to use device as their business demands. That’s not something Microsoft has much of a track record of providing.

The second case against Microsoft is one of trust. We know that Windows 10 reports back on users. We also know patches and fixes that mitigate them. Who is going to trust hardware that can do the same thing without being able to patch it out?

All that said, Office 365, Office 2016 and Windows 10 has shown us that Microsoft does listen in its own way. All of these products have taken our biggest complaints about predecessors and built these new versions to address those concerns. If they can translate their new way of working from software to hardware, you never know, they might just surprise us.

This is all moot at the minute as we don’t even know what kind of hardware Microsoft is planning to build. All we have is an interview with Microsoft’s Windows and Surface lead Ryan Asdourian at Channelweb saying that the company has big aspirations for hardware. We shall reserve further judgement until we know what’s coming, Meanwhile we shall continue to enjoy working with our Microsoft Surface 4!


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