So I have been giving a lot of thought to Microsoft and their consumer clients.
Their business strategy is straight-on : Azure, Office 365, Microsoft 365, Surface Hubs… These all tell a good story for the enterprise.
As for the other Surface devices (Pro, Book, Go, Studio and Laptop), I imagine these devices are meant to offer one item in each product category from a consumer point of view. These are all excellent devices and the software they run (Windows 10) is the same and meant to bring them back to their business (or consumer) strategy.
As for the student & school story, I believe it still needs to be worked on before something interesting can be said.
Before i go on, for comparison, i believe Apple makes a really really good consumer story – I am not a big fan of their closed ecosystem but do love what they do. Google by comparison seems neutral (by that i mean that the devices and services are similar, but there is no end to end story) – nothing to report here.
Where to start…
ONE – as a consumer what services would interest me from Microsoft ? Skype is decent, Office365 (with 1tb OneDrive) is awesome. I currently use Microsoft To-Do and for some odd reason i use Microsoft Edge. I also use Windows itself because i have 20 years of experience there vs Mac or Linux.
TWO – the Microsoft devices are cool, they today announced the Surface GO with LTE and I will probably get one as i would like a tablet and an IPAD doesn’t make sens for me and a Android tablet would be a bigger phone when i need to be able to do light work on it. Nothing to report on on the media (Android TV or Apple TV) competitor either… (just like phones)
THREE – Microsoft still has no visible mobile vision, without a mobile plan i feel it has no chance in the consumer space and it i feel this jeopardizes it business strategy. For now Azure is safe, but if all my future employees know nothing of Microsoft why would i build a company around Microsoft technologies ?
The way i see it, Microsoft is in the unique position to embrace Android and it’s ecosystem as well as become a challenger to the Apple ecosystem.
Make Windows run Android apps natively, instantly stop the app gap (though i am not sure it still exists anymore with the coming of PWAs) and become a part of the ecosystem itself.
Make surface hardware in the phone size space. Is it a PC ? is it an Android phone ? it’s Windows – it’s both.
Make Windows shine in the phone and tablet form factors, and really make these Windows devices work together. If you have a Android phone, you need to install the Android Phone companion. Otherwise things just work (the Appel Handoff technique) – There is no “your phone” app, cause the device doesn’t matter anymore. Work life – personal life – work life – personal life… should be the same devices and services…
Compete with Apple in hardware with the Surface line, in services with Windows. Compete with Android by embracing it and diluting the market by enabling every pcPCto do what phones do and making people have fun on PCs again.
Finally, these are my thoughts, all based on some frustration with these technologies. I know things can be better, for a simple few million lines of code… and 1-2 new hardware devices…