Much of Microsoft’s 30-year history is a tale of bulldozing the rest of the world into doing what’s best for Redmond. Although the company has taken a gentler tack in recent years, its Surface tablet augurs a return to ruthlessness. This time, though, the erstwhile PC leader has good reason: It must betray old loyalties if it is to remain relevant to the future of personal computing.
When Microsoft developed the Surface tablet, it did so in Apple-like secrecy – outdoing Apple, for once, at that particular game. It’s been clear for years that Microsoft wanted its software on a tablet, but hardly anyone expected a tablet designed and manufactured under the company’s own brand. Even the hardware manufacturers, which have devotedly churned out machines running Windows for decades, claimed they were in the dark.