Microsoft sees the future of the PC. It sees the dwindling numbers. It sees the unimportance of having a general purpose pc in your house. The good ol’days of Windows needed to run everything in one’s digital life is over. Microsoft knows this. So what do you do? Keep in the Windows machine chugging along cause the Enterprise market can keep them afloat for god knows how long? Or do they give the general purpose PC a specific purpose for your need.
No longer do you get a laptop because that’s just what you need to get onto the internet. You get the device that suits your need. If you are a digital artist get the PC that fits your need, if you are a photographer get the PC that fits your need, if you are a student get the PC that fits your need, if you are a teacher get the PC that fits your need, and etc. I will not touch the cloud investments and awesome work Microsoft does, because I only want to focus on Windows. Sorry if I seem to ramble.
1) Specialize, Specialize, Specialize!
I find it interesting that Microsoft has said that Windows is for “Do’ers” that it’s for creatives, and most importantly that it’s for people who create! That’s important. Why? People who create want to make money (hopefully). They are willing to pay money help them reach their end. Microsoft pushing away from the commoditization of the PC. They are pushing away from what Walt Mossberg said the pc has become, Furniture. They want Windows to become the platform that hardware makers can mold their hardware to let “do’ers” do. “Do’ers” spend money, they get s#1t done and will pay for products that help them reach their goals.
2) ASP (Sky’s the ceiling)
Commoditization of the digital age has moved from the PC to the phone. In general, companies don’t make money from making phone hardware. Apple is that special case because they own the software. Look at Android. It doesn’t get to having close to 90% marketshare while taking home 10% of the profits by selling $700 Samsung Galaxys or Google Pixels. It does it by selling $50 Samsungs, LGs, and such. I bet PC manufactures are salivating at selling $1000+ PCs though. Sure they sell less, but margins are much larger, and this allows to get rid of huge overhead. Expect many job cuts in this area as manufactures get lean, mean, high-margin makin’ machines. Why do you think the gaming PC Market is exploding these past few years. Gamers are willing to spend crazy money that gives them those few precious FPS, milliseconds, and precision to excel.
3) Input (VR, AR, Touch, Pen, Knobs, Game Controllers, voice, etc
Microsoft knows that it can’t let hardware manufactures do this on their own ::cough:: laptop trackpads ::cough::. They will provide the support for whatever input “do’ers” may need to get the job done. Hardware manufactures are just left to have the hardware support for the specific input somebody might need. If HP wants to build an AR device to sell to manufacturing plants, Windows already provides the software support for the inputs they need. No need to invent something new to support the hardware. Nothing new to add onto or muck up Windows. Think up of your need, build the hardware, and Microsoft has your back on the input support.
4) The Future of Windows if filling every niche
Microsoft doesn’t just want you to go get a laptop with Windows anymore. They know you will most likely get a PC and it will most likely have Windows on it already. So how do you get people to love their PC again, as Satya wants you to do? Give customers the PC that fits their specific purpose. Design to the needs of the “do’er”. Whatever the “Do’er” needs give it to them. This is just the start to the specialization of the PC. I can see the specialization to various careers, jobs, etc. Once the PC Manufactures get on board, they will start making more money, easier, and faster. The “do’er” will be happier because their PC fulfills their need.