So Microsoft faces a dilemma. Their business model of expensive software on cheap hardware is not sustainable. The future is nearly free software integrated into moderately priced hardware.
Which is a good reason why they decided to sell their own Windows 8 tablet devices. This model, though, is antithetical to the business model that made Microsoft what it is—license Windows to any OEM and every OEM, build a large user-base and sell software licenses to them, too. That shows just how much Apple’s defined how the mobile market works. Basically, it’s a reversal of the 1990s; then, Apple was pressured by Microsoft’s success with Windows to license the Mac OS. Now, Microsoft is pressured by Apple’s success in mobile to integrate software, hardware and services in mobile.
If you’ve doubted just how much Apple’s changed the computer industry, the Microsoft Surface is a good indication those doubts are unfounded. They’ve redefined it. Microsoft may still control the PC market, but that’s a legacy. Apple’s remade the industry’s future in its image.