Microsoft Surface as an attempt to lift itself by the hair

Why did we switch to "you"?
For this, it fell to us -
For a penny of love and simplicity,
But something important was lost.
Bulat Okudzhava

Almost 5 years ago in February 2008, I wrote an analytical material entitled “ UMPC - Vista = MID. The formula of diplomacy . " In it, it was said that, announcing a new category of devices - Mobile Internet Device on new processors, now known as Atom, Intel did not say a word about Microsoft's participation in this project. At the same time, I had no doubt that Intel came out with cooperation proposals to its main partner, but was refused.

The first important point: shortly before that, Microsoft solemnly buried its Windows XP and demanded that vendors install Vista on even the weakest machines with an Intel Celeron processor and 512 MB of RAM, on which this Vista did not want to work. Installing Vista on Intel Atom of the first versions was not even suicidal for vendors, but simply unrealistic.

The second important point: the Apple iPad did not exist at that time, it was introduced 2 years later, in January 2010. That is, even after Intel announced the creation of a platform for mobile devices (and I'm sure Microsoft knew about it much earlier) , the software giant had two whole years to finalize Windows under a low-power tablet. I specifically used the term “refinement”, since Intel Atom has the same x86 architecture and command system as the “adult” processors, therefore, it was not necessary to create anything fundamentally new objectively.

The third important point: Google Android was also not present on the market - its first version appeared only in September 2008. Therefore, Intel was forced to seek partners among developers of free software and the choice fell on Ubuntu. I don’t want to say anything bad about enthusiastic programmers, but when it came to such a serious project ...

After some time, Microsoft nevertheless declined to the point that it exhumed Windows XP and allowed it to be installed on new computers, which determined the appearance of netbooks. It turned out as in the song: "I blinded him from what was." And although the advent of cheap and sufficiently functional devices has brought tangible benefits to the spread of IT in general, events have developed more radically on other fronts of mobility. Google launches its Android, focusing primarily on processors architecture ARM, which inflicts a significant blow to Microsoft's position in the smartphone market. Apple in addition to a successful phone launches iPad - the very Mobile Internet Device, which Intel announced. This is by no means a theft of an idea, especially since the idea is not protected by any copyright at all - the time has come.

Intel is trying to make an adequate software platform for the Atom hardware platform. First it was Moblin’s own OS, then MeeGo, and Nokia, a major mobile device manufacturer, acted as a partner for Meego. However, Nokia soon underwent major shifts, Stephen Elop was appointed to the post of General Manager, before that he worked as the head of the business division of Microsoft Corporation, and the software collaboration with Intel was actually terminated. Samsung became an Intel partner, the OS began to be called Tizen, but here, too, something is not visible success.

But it turned out with Android. Since this OS is based on the kernel of cross-platform Linux, then God himself ordered her to be cross-platform. Although smartphones and tablets with Intel Atom processors do not make up the majority, they fit into the Android family quite naturally. At least, users who have experience working with devices based on ARM processors will definitely not be shocked when switching to the Intel Atom platform.

What has Microsoft done over the years on the mobile front? According to the MTS operator

Windows Phone takes the last place immediately before the "others." The tablet market is also no better place: according to Microsoft’s Gartner’s Windows 8 operating system, tablets on which will be released after the platform’s October release, it will be able to occupy 4.1% of the market this year. What is Microsoft doing in an awful situation, despite the fact that its native x86 architecture, in the person of the same Intel Atom, is breaking into this market? Optimizes his products in order to defeat with his long-time partner? No, Microsoft is releasing its own hybrid on an ARM processor! What came of it, wrote in detail Sergei Villanov .

I would like to focus on the main thing in this event.

Device design. Traditions and experience are important in any field of design, both in the process of designing and launching into production, and in evaluating the reaction of the market. Plus marketing, service and other things. Apple, Samsung, Acer, Intel have traditions of computer design (concepts must be done), but they are completely absent from Microsoft. Of course, today you can order any outsourcing, but then it will turn out like in football, when our local team consists entirely of people very different from us. This is me to the fact that any line should consistently develop, become your own. For example, Asus has been consistently developing the idea of ​​transformers and “nesting dolls” (the Russian presentation of PadFone 2 will be held on November 20), and an additional accessory in the form of a non-battery keyboard would have looked very organic in their performance. It is just as optional, since with a light keyboard the screen-tablet starts to outweigh, you have to put props. Sergey just wrote: “the stand the Surface relies on in desktop mode is very uncomfortable” - well, who would doubt it?

Integration into the home network. Sergei writes that "the inability to print a presentation slide or the text of an article on a home printer upsets seriously." Honestly, I don’t see the reasons why peripheral manufacturers will write drivers for Windows RT after the Surface release - this is clearly not enough.

Applications Of course, "no Photoshop, K-Lite codec pack or even Total Commander can be rolled here." After all, what’s important: Apple had its way, Google had to find its way, and Microsoft had its glorious way. And if Google is strong in its universal network services, Microsoft has a huge number of applications created for classic Windows on the Intel hardware platform, and for the most part compatible with the emerging versions of the OS. All of this turned out to be lost in Surface, but what in return?

The train of mobile platforms started moving for a long time, and before that Microsoft had the opportunity to gracefully get into the car and take its rightful compartment in it. Something can be done now, if the company tries to squeeze Android on x86 platforms, and does not rush into the adventure of crossing Windows and ARM processors, trying to create an "unknown animal", and at the same time copy the Apple business. As the heroine of Churikova said in the famous film: “Do not rush to become the widow of Munchausen. This place is still occupied. ”

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