turrican said:RLO said:*snip*
Microsoft never really was a hardware company, they do software.
I can argue against what you said with just one word :
I agree that Microsoft is a software company, what I am trying to say is that because of the global market, there is no such thing as a strictly hardware company and the only growth is in customized software for comoditized hardware. Who manufactures the hardware products of today? Look at the personal computer market, you will find that it is a small band of actual manufacturers that supply parts and assembly to companies that place their name and design the box. HP and Dell are not making computers, they are contracting them out to manufacturers and assemblers in China. Is it too much of a leap to think that Microsoft could do these same contracts and cut out the OEM? Is it too much of a leap to think these OEM's could build and customize their own software and cut out Microsoft? In one week we see the Courier a Microsoft prototype hardware/software computing appliance killed and in the same week we see HP buy a mobile software company and kill a product line running Microsoft's software. So, tell me which is the smarter business decision?
You mention Silverlight, and I agree it's a powerful future platform, but can you name me a computing appliance product that runs it?
iPhone and iPad? Nope.
Blackberry OS? Nope.
Zune HD? Nope.
Windows Phone 7, when released.
In order for Silverlight to make a difference, it's going to have to be adopted and installed on more platforms than just PC, Mac, and Linux boxes.
If the future is computing appliances, as we can see by the market growth of smartphones and e-readers, then Microsoft is doing abysmally in that product category. There is promise with Windows Phone 7, but in the end we will see the same issues that have affected the PC market affect the smartphone market. Did HP make a smartphone, or did HTC make HP branded smartphones running Microsoft software? What happens now that HTC will make HP phones running WebOS? Killing the Courier project has effectively relegated Microsoft out of the competition for the future of computing experiences. Amazon and Apple will control the ebook market with the Nook having it's place. Apple will control the tablet market or HP with WebOS. Apple and Google will continue to increase marketshare and mindshare for their phones as more developers flock to the platform, and Microsoft might be able to manage a slice before their competition adds the Windows Phone 7 features.