The Macalope Daily: Awk-ward

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The Macalope will just admit it: He’s fascinated by the Microsoft Surface. And it’s only partly because of the potential for it to be a huge flop!

This story has everything! Mystery! It’s a tantalizing product that we know very little about (other than that the hardware clicks really nicely). Intrigue! It’s throwing parts of the technology world into turmoil. All it needs is a love story and a car chase, and it’d be a summer thriller.

On Saturday, the Macalope quipped that Microsoft’s relationship with its OEM partners is about to get “Thanksgiving-at-John-Edwards’s-house kind of interesting,” and it looks like dinner’s started early!

“Acer VP: Surface likely to damage MS partner relationships”

Oliver Ahrens, Acer’s senior VP and Europe president, has declared Microsoft’s secretive Surface line of tablets doomed to failure.

“Microsoft is a component of a PC system. A very important component, but still a component.”

Ouch. Ahrens sounds like a jilted lover. Hey, maybe there is a love story here!

Apparently Ahrens doesn’t think the software guys are “just going to figure this out.” Look! They even forgot to put in a VGA port! LOL! You can’t sell a computer without a VGA port! Ha-ha-ha! Stupid software people!

Yeah. Let’s just say the Macalope takes Microsoft’s side in this debate. Introducing the iPhone in January of 2007, Steve Jobs quoted Alan Kay thusly:

People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.

Microsoft’s taking a risk with this, but it’s a risk well taken. Certainly it’s better than waiting for OEMs to start making beautiful hardware that’s nicely tied to the operating system. A guy could get old doing that. Even if it does make things a tad, well, awkward between Microsoft and its hardware manufacturers, it’s better to take your fate in your own hands.

The situation is so awkward, though, that Microsoft feels it has to reassure its other hardware partners.

“Microsoft confirms it has no plans to make its own Windows Phones”

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

A modicum of panic might actually be in order if you’re a Microsoft OEM. As Michael Gartenberg says, when the company says it has no plans to make its own Windows phones, what it means is it has no plans “Right up until the moment they feel they need to.”

The Macalope doesn’t know how this fight’s going to end, but he’s looking forward to it.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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