Microsoft Has Always Been Awful At Making Consumer Hardware

steve ballmer, kin one

Microsoft is reportedly going to manufacture its own tablet, which would be a major strategic shift for the company.

This is a huge risk for Microsoft because the company has always struggled to make good consumer hardware.

Here are three big examples:

  • The Kin was supposed to be a social-networking focused smartphone. It lasted only 79 days. Microsoft sold less than 10,000 Kins, according to Facebook data, before it had to pull the plug.
  • The Zune was Microsoft’s answer to the iPod. The problem is that no one was asking the question, “Is there an answer to the iPod?” It didn’t sell well, and eventually Microsoft killed it.
  • The Xbox is a success now, but for years it was a disaster. It had manufacturing problems, and in its first four years, it lost $4 billion.

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