Print 36 comment(s) - last by Fritzr.. on Feb 21 at 8:39 PM

  (Source: Bloomberg)
Microsoft CEO defends cross platform approach, jump into tablet market

"Surface is a real business. In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume, but it’s a real business," commented Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer in a recent interview with TechRadar.

The embattled CEO has suffered recent shareholder unrest as Microsoft has struggled in the smartphone and tablet markets.  But Mr. Ballmer is convinced that Microsoft's new unified approach -- which will culminate in the late summer 2013 launch of Windows/Windows Phone "Blue" -- is a solid route to market domination.

He explains, "Increasingly, people access the same content and services from multiple devices or use more than one device at a time. [Having] the same look and feel shortens the learning curve and creates a more seamless user experience."

Microsoft is rumored to be working on a Surface Phone, a device designed to encourage third party OEMs to step up their game.  When it comes to the Surface tablet, Mr. Ballmer says it showed OEMs what could be done with a Windows 8 tablet.  He comments, "I’m super-glad we did Surface. I think it is important—and not just for Microsoft but for the entire Windows ecosystem—to see integrated hardware and software."

Surface RT ($499) has been criticized for its poor resolution (1366x768), while Surface Pro ($899 USD 64 GB; $999 USD 128 GB) has been criticized for offering too little free space to the user. Still, both tablets are very popular for their slick looks and solid hardware; the Surface Pro is currently sold out.

The CEO claims that Microsoft understands very well what consumers wants, but sometimes is just a bit lacking in execution.
He remarks, "So is there a lack of understanding, or in some cases do I wish our execution had been better? I would say the latter. In cases where we’ve embraced end-user needs and really sort of dived in, like the things that we’ve done with Kinect and the Xbox, I think we’ve done a heck of a job."

While no official announcements have been made Microsoft has come under fire for reportedly locking out used games from its next generation gaming console, the Xbox 720.  The console, which is expected to launch later this year, is also criticized as being harder to develop for and less popular than Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) upcoming PlayStation 4, according to industry sources who've worked with early dev kits.

Source: TechRadar

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I won't count MS out of the phone or tablet market
By chizow on 2/20/2013 12:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
Because of this statement:

In cases where we’ve embraced end-user needs and really sort of dived in, like the things that we’ve done with Kinect and the Xbox, I think we’ve done a heck of a job.

MS did manage to turn one of their greatest failures into one of their greatest successes with the XBox, so I won't count them out of either market. I do think they know what the end-user wants and if they don't execute well the first few times, they do tend to get it right in the end (see XBox, Vista/7).

They've got resources and the staying power to give us assurance they're not going anywhere, but the smartphone market will be a tough nut for them to crack. Maybe Surface gives them the foot in the door they are looking for? I won't count them out.

By mcnabney on 2/20/2013 1:27:46 PM , Rating: 3
The success of the X-box 360 was heavily assisted by the colossal failures of Sony.

MS was out a year in advance
360 was significantly cheaper than PS3
MS pillaged PC gaming for titles and exclusives
Sony's use of the Cell architectural made life difficult for developers
Sony screwed up their marketing early on

Even then - Microsoft's adventures in consoleland probably haven't made them a dime after all expenses are factored.

By NellyFromMA on 2/20/2013 1:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
It was a run away success because of Sony's failures but also beccause of MS success. To deny that is essentially ignoring facts.

Xbox Live is a critical part fo their success and it's executed extremely well for the size of its user base.

Sony didn't even beleive that made sense and was late to the part thereafter, and even then failed in the regard of delivering a smooth online experience.

So, its both.

By dagamer34 on 2/20/2013 1:53:06 PM , Rating: 1
Considering both consoles have sold roughly the same number of units but the PS3 did so in a year less, I don't think MS is on such high ground here. Plus, I think it's impossible to follow up the domineering strength of the PS2.

By NellyFromMA on 2/20/2013 1:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
The first xbox wasn't a failure. It was a first iteration. how many companies do you even know that enter established markets and become first place first gen?

I know of none.

The first Xbox was actually a success in MS eyes and anyone who understands market-penetration in general because it created a following for subsequent products to become succesfuly, even MOST successful (xbox360).

Gotta look at the big picture here...

By jnemesh on 2/20/2013 5:18:21 PM , Rating: 3
Um, the original Nintendo Entertainment System and the PS1. Both of those were first gen consoles that DOMINATED the competition. Try again.

By Nekrik on 2/20/2013 5:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's specious logic at best. They didn't so much dominate, there was much less competition for the market share so they and others (like Sega) all did well for what they were. Back then they also did not sell the hardware under cost just to gain market share, the hardware was profitable or they ceased to exist in the next generation. Part of what contributed to it was that the game development industry was not as competitive and cut-throat then.

The Atari and the Commadore 64 also shared the market in a similar sense.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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