HK Business News

SURFACE: Microsoft Starts Competing with its Own Partners

The release of Microsoft Surface tablet marks the start of a new area. The “Microsoft Model” is over and Microsoft starts competing with its own partners.

It was during the 80’s. Microsoft provided the OS (at that time, MS-DOS) and companies like IBM and Compaq provided the hardware. Everything was perfect. Microsoft made money from selling the OS and companies made money from selling the hardware. This was the so-called “Microsoft Model”.

Apple, on the other hand, adopts a different model. Apple prefers to manufacturer both the OS and the hardware, relying on the latter on companies like Foxconn in China. The thing is that what matters to business is profit and Apple is the most profitable company at the moment.

Apparently, Microsoft and Google are both paying attention to Apple’s success. Google has recently released Google Nexus 4, 7 and 10, in order to get closer to the “Apple Model”.

With the release of Surface, the new Microsoft tablet and the first tablet made by Microsoft, the Redmond company starts to compete with other big players, such as Lenovo, Samsung, Acer and Asus. They are all Microsoft’s partners.

The Surface is not available in Hong Kong yet and I am not sure if there will ever be an official release date for in in the SAR, although Hong Kongers can already purchase it on site like Expansys. For example, Google’s Chromebooks have been available in the US for the last 2 years but they have never made their way to the HK market.

In the long run, I am not sure if Microsoft is taking the right strategy by competing with its partners. On the other hand, Microsoft’s partners may want to start looking for other alternatives like Linux (especially Ubuntu and Fedora) or the Android OS and Chrome OS. As a matter of fact, companies like Acer and Asus have released notebooks with these OSes in Hong Kong.


About the author

Alan Chiu Tsang

Alan is a freelancer photographer and author for
He graduated from Hong Kong university in 2005.