Whats up with OEM's? or "Why Microsoft should go 'Apple'." [UPDATE]

Laptop/Nokia Lumia

Everyone knows, Microsoft is really pushing Windows 8, RT and Phone. They even built quality hardware to prove it. But there is a problem: OEMs. If anyone hasn't noticed, PC Manufacturers really haven't been building things up to spec. There are still a large number of cheap, low end computers being built and sold that are practically worthless, and a number of PCs that are not so "cheap and worthless" are still either sporting a bulky or otherwise unappealing design, or are filled with bloatware and crApps (crap apps). And when you get down to the phones, the only one who truly cares about the Windows Phone platform is Nokia. Other OEMs, such as Samsung and HTC are either cloning an android phone (Ativ S), building a phone that is outdone by cheaper devices (Ativ Odyssey), or completely silent and unsupportive of the platform it pledged to support (8x).

The market is currently being flooded with dozens of computers of different qualities, and it doesn't help the confusion on which computer to buy. I have family members who's computers cannot even play a youtube video without chopping and freezing constantly, nor can you readily use an app without waiting, yet PCs of these quality are still being made. Manufacturers are hurting the Microsoft ecosystem. When a consumer cannot trust that the PC or phone they buy are going to do the job and be supported over time, you know there is something wrong.

There is one possible solution though, and that is "Going Apple", and by that i mean becoming their OWN manufacturer. They already shown they can build a PC (Surface Pro) and do it well. If Microsoft put forth the effort they could cut ties with OEMs and be their own Company. Not only would this benefit the consumer, but it would benefit Microsoft as well by:

  1. Allowing Microsoft to regulate the software installed on PCs and make sure that everything is compatible as possible, keeping extra anti-viral software and unnecessary applications clear from Windows.
  2. Build hardware that is made for Windows as well as made with the utmost compatibility with Windows.

Gone would be the days of poor quality computers and bloatware being found on all but the "best" PCs. Consumers could pick a PC that they can afford and have that very PC work for them.

Now ive touched on the PC side of things, but some of you may be saying "Wait, what about Windows Phone? Microsoft already has a tight partnership with Nokia and becoming their own manufacturer could deal a death-blow to Nokia as well as severely damage the Windows Phone device ecosystem!", and you wouldn't be wrong. This is where a little buying &/or exclusive partnerships come in. If Microsoft were to buy Nokia, they could continue creating the high quality Windows Phones that Nokia has made (such as the Lumia 920), as well as keep from damaging their ecosystem. An alternative, even, would to be to make a major investment in Nokia & giving them exclusive rights to use Windows Phone OS, thus keeping Nokia the company it is making the beautiful hardware it does, all while keeping the likes of HTC and Samsung who have put forth a half-done effort, either in hardware or in software, away from the platform.

In the end, Microsoft could stand to gain a lot from becoming their own manufacturer, or "going Apple" as i've put it. In doing so they could boost the quality of the computers we use, and possibly even save the "PC" market, pushing it into (& changing it for) the "Post-PC" world, as well as keep Windows Phone from the fragmented fate of Android.

Think differently or wish to input 2-cents? Leave a comment!

NOTE: I am only talking about consumer systems. Microsoft would be unwise to drop OEMs as far as enterpirse systems are concerned.

NOTE 2: Some seem to think im suggesting a sudden drop of OEMs and a lack of new hardware. What im suggesting is a longterm, gradual push away from OEMs, as well as Microsoft expanding their hardware portfolio in order to cover the bases that are so sporadically covered by OEMs today (Affordable PCs, 7/8inch tablets, 13/15inch PCs, 20/27inch All-in-ones/Desktops, High Powered gaming machines.). Also, Microsoft would still continue to offer windows to the upgrade and DIY crowd. When I used the term "Going Apple" I was making a comparison. I wasn't saying Microsoft should fully and 100% mimic them. (as in I am talking about Microsoft's consumer hardware base. Not their Operating System base, nor their Enterprise business.)