Why do we feel that Microsoft has to everything?

8

To expand on the title I am wondering why Microsoft fans, including myself, feel that Microsoft should compete in every facet of computer hardware? They are not a hardware company.

This question springs from the multiple comments that Microsoft needs to make an Echo competitor, the “Cortana Cube” as Mr. Sams has dubbed it. But why? What’s wrong with the Echo? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Microsoft to work with Amazon to bring Microsoft skills sets to that platform then try to design, build and sell their own? Or work with Apple and Google on their AI? Could we not ask Alexa, Siri, or OK Google (they really need a name) to do something like set a reminder then have Cortana remind you of that item if you happen to be on your PC or out with your phone.

We don’t need a Cortana Cube we need Cortana to work with all and any of our devices. I am dubbing this the Netflix approach. They have apps everywhere. By 2020 you will be able to catch up on House of Cards on your stove and wake up to Orange is the New Black playing on your alarm clock. 

Give me access to Cortana anywhere and everywhere (this means outside the US for f@$k sakes). Have able to work with any email platform, stream music from any music streaming provider, set a reminder in any to do app / platform, set an event in any calendar and so on. Have her on my TV, my phone, my tablet, my Kindle, my PC, my car, my smart fridge, my whatever.

Limiting Cortana to Microsoft platforms and devices will not work. 

But then again what do I know.

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8 Comments
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  1. Paul Thurrott
    0 | Reply
    Paul Thurrott Alpha Member #1 - 1 week ago

    So, Microsoft is a hardware company. They make Lumia phones, Surface tablets, Surface Studio PCs, collaborative PCs (Surface Hub), Xbox consoles and peripherals, keyboards, mice, and more. They are primarily a software + services company, but there are also in hardware.

    And that sort of answers your question: It's because Microsoft too often just dabbles and then that product line never goes anywhere (Microsoft Band, for example). It's because Cortana specifically will never take off and matter broadly unless it is used by millions---billions---of people. Because Google Assistant and Apple Siri will be that popular, and Cortana will just be another also-ran.

    The thinking here is that Microsoft needs to go all-in or just do other stuff. Why would you support a technology that was only half-assessed by its maker?

    1. 0 | Reply
      Finley Alpha Member #1029 - 1 week ago
      In reply to Paul Thurrott:

      You are right, Microsoft is a hardware maker. I didn't put a lot of thought into that statement. What I think I was trying to say was that Microsoft end goal is not the hardware. Xbox is a medium for Xbox Live and entertainment consumption. The Surface devices are a medium for Windows 10 and it's use cases which for the most part is being productive is various scenarios. 

      And your Band reference is key here. I would argue that the motive for this device was not to sell a fitness tracker but a starting point for their Health platform. A platform they tried to bring other fitness tracker manufacturers onto. This platform did not take off and other manufacturers did not embrace it so they stepped away from the Band.

      This brings use back to Cortana and the Cube. As hrlngrv pointed out Microsoft is primarily a B2B company with other non business related branches like XBox. I may be wrong but I feel as though this has always been the case. Then products like windows and office become popular to consumer because of the success in the business side.

      So my question now has evolved to - In what, if any, use case would a business NEED a Cortana Cube? As I can't see Microsoft take the XBox route with it.

    2. 0 | Reply
      hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 1 week ago

      In reply to Paul Thurrott:

      Is there ever likely to be much Cortana use in the workplace?

      Home use: Amazon brought the Echo to Europe in September, so presumably it had some European infrastructure already in place for Echo. How's MSFT's support for Cortana outside the US?

  2. 0 | Reply
    ozaz - 1 week ago

    I don't feel they need to compete in every facet of hardware.

    But I do think their recent products have provided stimuli that's having positive effects on driving the computer hardware business collectively forward. This has happened with Surface / Surface Pro, and I think it will also happen with Surface Studio.

    So when Microsoft introduce new lines of hardware, as long they are innovative and shake things up a bit, I appreciate their contribution.  

  3. 0 | Reply
    hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 1 week ago

    Maybe just angst that MSFT will become more of a B2B company and pay less and less attention to consumers. That may have already begun. Look at MSFT's financial results for their new operating divisions.

    Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes grew 6%

    Revenue in Intelligent Cloud grew 8%

    Revenue in More Personal Computing declined 2% [emphasis added]

    The last is the division which handles MSFT's consumer products other than noncommercial Office licenses.

    MSFT fans want MSFT to become as interesting, even exciting, as Apple, but it seems to be tending towards becoming more like IBM.

    1. 0 | Reply
      MutualCore - 1 week ago
      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Is being a "MSFT fan" a thing really? People are Apple fans, or fans of Tesla AFAIK. But there is no substantial MS fan base out there to justify doing all this different hardware. Frankly even Surface seems like a flop as Microsoft has never told us if it's even profitable.

    2. 0 | Reply
      Finley Alpha Member #1029 - 1 week ago
      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Good point. Though I feel as though Microsoft has always been mostly B2B. Their popular business products like windows and office overflowed into the consumer side due to the business side success.

    3. 0 | Reply
      hrlngrv Alpha Member #100 - 1 week ago

      In reply to Finley:

      MSFT had more consumer software offerings in the 1980s and 1990s. Flight Simulator, QuickBASIC and the other hobbyist programming packages, Entertainment Packs, the short-lived Bob, Works (though mostly on new PCs where the buyer hadn't sprung for OEM Office), Encarta, various other titles.