Microsoft treated its partners like mushrooms

Software giant Microsoft kept its business partners in the dark as it planned the release of its tablet based on the Surface technology.

Monday’s release was a surprise for many of its long-time collaborators and shows that Vole actually knifed its hardware partners by releasing it.

So far Vole has worked closely with hardware companies to test and fine-tune every new product, and the industry is starting to question why that might be the case.

The Tame Apple Press claims that Microsoft is just copying Apple’s legendary secrecy, although that seems unlikely. Apple’s secrecy is more of a mill stone than anything useful.

According to Reuters, before Monday’s announcement Windows chief Steven Sinofsky made a round of telephone calls but gave only the barest details. Apple certainly would not have done that.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer claimed that Microsoft had informed its largest hardware manufacturing partners about the tablet.

But that did not include Acer or Asustek who did not hear about it until the new tablets were announced at Ballmer’s news conference on Monday.

Acer shipped nearly 10 percent of PCs in the first quarter of 2012, with Asustek accounting for six percent.

Microsoft has not been particularly keen to pitch itself as a direct competitor to any one. It normally licenses its software to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Dell or HP. The Taiwanese ODMs generally make the pesky things…

When it has made hardware, the XBox aside, things have ended very badly.

There are some mutterings about “a sense of betrayal” that Vole did not tell them its cunning plan. OEMs and ODMs have always been worried that Microsoft would get into hardware, Reuters claimed.

But for all the sabre rattling, it is unlikely that Microsoft wants to hack off its partners. Indeed it might have put out its tablets because there were a lack of harware manufacturers which wanted to release a Windows tablet quick enough.

Microsoft’s main partners Dell, Lenovo or HP have indicated that they are remarkably relaxed about the whole thing. The Taiwanese partners have a different point of view.

Dell said it remained committed partners to Microsoft. We remain committed to Windows 8, and it will have a Slate product at the time of launch.

Lenovo said that Microsoft has been and will continue to be one of Lenovo’s most valued partners.

It is not clear how much the Egregious Vole will charge for its new so-called tablet(s). If it undercuts its partners they will get really really cross and might toss Steve Ballmer out of their prams.