I will preface this post with a disclaimer to start in an effort to ward off the flaming emails. The purpose of this post is not to suggest that Microsoft should get rid of their current ecosystem of partners. It is too fast and far to important to the company and the success of their solutions. All you have to do is look at the all new Dell XPS 13 laptop and read the raving reviews it is getting to understand just how important OEMs are in the mix for Microsoft.
But equally, you can look at the Microsoft built and branded devices and see where the company could and should be more actively involved in hardware manufacturing. I’m not talking about mice and keyboards (although they do a pretty good job at that too) but rather things like the Microsoft Lumia lineup and the Surface Pro 3. Arguably the best Windows experience for their form factor are on these devices because Microsoft has intimately been involved in the hardware design of them to get the most out of the Operating System. Even with the Microsoft Band, a device that is near impossible to get because they can’t keep them in stock, produces a great experience for users. And while user experience is important, there is also the matter of controlling their own destiny when it comes to updates and improvements along with security. All of these are why I think Microsoft should look long and hard at the PC and Laptop market for their own branded devices.