Learned of it just days ahead of launch
played out the Surface tablet rollout with a lot of fanfare and even more secrecy. It reminded us of Samsung’s Galaxy S III launch, which reminded us of Apple’s launch events. No leaks, not much to go on until the last couple of days, a job well done.
However, Microsoft partners did not take too kindly to being cut out of the loop. Reuters is reporting that the secrecy risks alienating Microsoft’s hardware partners. Partners usually cooperate with Microsoft in development, but this time around the only learned of Microsoft’s plans a few days ahead of the launch. One of the sources claims hardware partners were basically forced to follow the news to learn more about the tablet, which is funny since the press expected the partners to leak some juicy details.
Acer told Reuters that it was “quite surprised” by the launch and that it first got whiff of Microsoft’s plans last week. An Acer exec also downplayed the Surface as a sales ploy and argued that Microsoft will leave the hardware arena as soon as it establishes itself as a player in the tablet market. Another source claims there is a “sense of betrayal” in the industry. HP and Dell declined to say whether they had advance knowledge of the launch.
The move marks a significant shift for Microsoft, as the company has a long standing tradition of working closely on new products with OEMs rather than dabbling in hardware itself. We can’t stop wondering whether Redmond could design a phone of its own sometime in the future. Given Nokia’s woes, anything could happen.