Skip to main content

Both Microsoft and Google are making hardware, though for different reasons

Times change. For a company to remain relevant, it must change with the times. Approximately every ten years there is a technological paradigm shift. In the 90s, when information retrieval was critical to helping users navigate the wild west that was the web, Google rose to the position of search giant. Microsoft's software and productivity hey-day dominated the 80's and was the paradigm that brought personal computing to the masses.

The world has changed, and personal computing is a complex intertwining of various modalities, platforms, and ecosystems. We are technologically more connected than ever before, the power of a PC is in our pockets, cloud computing permeates our lives, artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality are becoming mainstream. Personal computing is a far more complex concept than sitting in front of a PC. And search is a far more diverse and integrated experience than typing a word into a web page-based search field.

Hardware is the entry point into a company's complex computing ecosystem.

The mobility our digital experiences via the Cloud, Internet of Things, and our various devices makes personal computing an ambient experience. Moreover, AI digital assistants, bots, and intelligence-infused software makes search an experience that is integrated within our digital activities rather than solely a distinct go-to service.

Personal computing's increased complexity has made the industry highly competitive and has affected the types of computing modalities and end points companies like Microsoft and Google introduce into the market. Ecosystems, tools, and services are what companies like Microsoft and Google are attempting to get customers to buy into. Hardware is the access point to get them there.

Microsoft's method

Microsoft's hardware vision is intricately interwoven into its Universal Windows Platform vision. It is not simply a complementary component that can be easily negated. This is why early criticisms and failures of the Surface did not deter Redmond's course.

The company's Universal platform strategy required a family of Windows 10 hardware that covered a diverse range of personal computing scenarios.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said it this way:

No technology company has as yet delivered a definitive family of devices useful all day for work and for play, connected with every bit of a person's information available through one cloud. We see tremendous room for innovation in software, services and hardware to bring the consumer this new, more complete and enveloping experience.… Our family will include phones, tablets, PCs, 2-in-1s, TV-attached devices and other devices to be imagined and developed.

Microsoft's hardware strategy is designed to provide an unbroken continuity of personal computing modalities that provide access to the Universal Windows Platform of products and services.

Microsoft's hardware provides an unbroken continuity of different modalities.

This ambitious strategy combines industry inspiring first-party hardware with "copy-cat" partner hardware that is meant, like the Surface and 2-in-1s, to populate the market with Redmond's vision of a particular product category.

The Surface Studio has inspired partners like Dell. The Surface Book and HoloLens are poised to inspire similar devices for their respective laptop-hybrid and mixed reality categories. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's ultimate mobile device, or ultramobile Surface, will be positioned to inspire partners to build their versions of a post-smartphone device.

Redmond knows that as users adopt its hardware and Universal Windows Platform, they will be drawn into Microsoft's take on artificial intelligence, bots, mixed-reality, the cloud and more, all of which will run on its family devices.

Google's Play

Google's hardware vision is as ambitious as that emanating from Redmond and just as necessary to the company's strategy. Google wants to bring computing to "your phone, wearables, car, and your home." Rather than a medium to propagate a unified platform, however, Mountain View's hardware focus is purposed to push its AI strategy forward.

The firm's decisive move toward an AI-first focus is an evolution of its information-providing heritage. Google Assistant, the company's new AI digital assistant, is like the Google webpage becoming intelligent and very personal. Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai describes it this way:

It's Google asking users, Hi. How can I help? ... Think of it as building your own individual Google.

Rishi Chandra, the company's VP of product management for Google's devices continues:

There is no better engine of answering any question that you have…

The 3 billion searches Google receives each day reveals the indispensable resource position the service has in the minds of people around the world. It is this resource that Google has "personified" as Google Assistant.

Google Home, the company's Amazon Echo-like smart home unit, and first-party Pixel smartphones are Mountain Views hardware portals to its AI assistant. Marketing for both of these products focuses on the convenience of using Google Assistant.

Pichai realizes cloud-based intelligence that knows a user across devices is a platform in itself. So though Mountain View doesn't have the range of hardware Redmond has (yet), or a unified platform like Microsoft's UWP (yet), they do have over a billion invested users. Thus even as Google builds out a hardware portfolio, with partners developing smartphones for Google Assistant and more, their Assistant already has access to a vast network of invested users and their data.

Going hard!

There's no question that Microsoft and Google are in a heated battle on many fronts: competing productivity suites, cloud services, PC's vs. Chromebooks, and even bots. Microsoft's cross-platform strategy of democratizing AI precedes the democratization of Google Assistant. Furthermore, whereas Google dominates mobile, Redmond seeks to reimagine it with a category-defining Surface.

Redmond's Surface brand has positioned Microsoft as a respected hardware maker in the industry. The company's growing and diverse range of category-defining and aspirational hardware provides multiple access points to Redmond's comprehensive Universal platform.

Google, though they don't command the same level of respect for their hardware, are highly esteemed for their ability to provide information users need when they need it. This intangible asset makes the Google Assistant-centric Google Home and Pixel devices appealing.

Microsoft's UWP and Windows 10 family of devices synergy makes its ecosystem-promoting hardware approach effective for Redmond. AI as an evolving platform makes Google's AI-focused hardware push effective for them. Will one come out on top? Or can they coexist? Time will tell.

Jason L Ward is a columnist at Windows Central. He provides unique big picture analysis of the complex world of Microsoft. Jason takes the small clues and gives you an insightful big picture perspective through storytelling that you won't find *anywhere* else. Seriously, this dude thinks outside the box. Follow him on Twitter at @JLTechWord. He's doing the "write" thing!

  • Thanks for reading folks! Microsoft and Google are aggressively pushing thier strategies'. Google's AI push with Home, Pixel phones, etc are a strong execution in the consumer space which is supported by aggressive marketing. Microsoft's hardware efforts are seeing partners embrace innovative 2-in-1 and desktop designs as well as Windows holographic VR headsets. Who has the better strategy, Microsoft or Google?
  • Good article...
  • Just wish msft would be pushing Mobile hard, like Nokia was doing.
  • Sadly information is king.  Travelled with an Android user and their trip information was excellent.  Map driving quality excellent.  My 950 felt 5 years old.  Google's access to so much information provides a great experience.  Potentially at the cost of security and privacy.  Who has the best strategy?  Ultimately Google's.  If they control the platform (mobile is also king), they have better access and control of users than anyone else can.  (e.g. you're never going to see 'Install Edge/Cortana' promoted on Android) Microsoft can push mobile services as an alternative to a mobile platform, but that just helps Google grow stronger.  Not sure how Microsoft can recover the mobile space though.  They are trying to redefine it and eliminate mobile at the moment -> why have a mobile when you can have a real PC in your pocket?  Will be interesting to see how that goes.  Without Android apps, limited I suspect.  Android emulation may have to come back.
  • When traveling in Italy last summer, my 950XL was much better at trip information than any of the iPhones that were with us.  Offline maps were excellent so that even if there wasn't a signal on my dual sim 950XL, I could still get directions.
  • spoken like a fanboy. both android and ios have HERE Maps & Nav application with offline maps available in Appstore for free, same map data like windows 10 MAps your point is? just because those iphone users did not had the Here app installed...ffs, desperate fanboy.
  • I think he's likely talking about the default maps. I'm not sure where you're from, but to my knowledge Windows Mobile is very popular in Italy and there's a lot of support there. In fact, when I went to Cyprus last year, there were apps for their bus time tables there on Android and Windows but nothing on iOS. Whichever way you look at it, some countries have much better Windows Phone experiences compared to others.
  • I wouldn't agree with you. This spring while we were travelling there were four of us in the car, three of us had smartphones, and my cheap Lumia 532 turned to be the most reliable navigation device in the car. Not to mentioned that Windows Maps were relatively new in that time, and that by the time it only became better. In my opinion, as soon as they build a completely reliable mobile OS, that's when Microsoft will be able to push Windows 10 mobile's market share higher. Right now, it's really good, and the thing which we miss the most is ability to reinstall or uninstall any app, including the native ones (at least to uninstall them). That would make us easier to solve our issues with phones without a hard reset, and that's when I am going to be able to recommend a Windows phone to someone with compeltely clean conscience. And that would be it then! Then when (or if) they get higher usage share, more apps would come on their own, and those issues will begin to disappear. Only some Google services could be missing, such as YouTube, Hangouts, etc. but who cares when it's only about those few apps... That's how I see it. :)   And you sir have an awesome phone. Now I have a Lumia 730, and I hope Lumia 950 would be my next phone. Or maybe some other newer Windows phone. With Windows 10 and continuum, and with that great camera, that phone is the best on the market, and the only phone I would be willing to give away a larger amount of money. And not to mention if they manage to make a phone with full Windows 10. Few days ago my father wanted to write something over Viber - a rather long message, and he asked me if that was possible for him to do it on computer. I installed the desktop client, etc., it all took some time, but if I had continuum - I would have simply turned it on, and tell "just sit and enjoy". :) Or on TV with a keyboard.
  • I do agree that my Lumia 925 from three years ago was positively commented on by an Android user for navigation . Of course that was 8.1 days with Here maps, so I guess I can't comment on W10M, but I haven't had an issue yet with the little bit I do use my 950 for NAV.
  • Here in Australia, Cortana is virtually non existent, and if for any reason you are unfortunate enough to have to try and use Cortana, it is beyond a joke especially in the car when connected via Blue tooth.
    Googles solution on the other hand works seamlessly. Crazy thing is, 2 years ago on 8.1 Cortana was awesome here.
    This is such a major issue, MS is focusing purely on the US where Google has gone global and like McDonalds, their products are the same the world over.
    If MS continues with the US first, everyone else last strategy they can only loose this war.
  • but that is because Bing  as seaqrch engine is an disaster in other countries that do not be United states, Google has the advantage of the search engine which feeds to Google now and their services of localization and etc , a thing that Microsoft is years  back , i think in this move  as always google will win in the new war, already is Android auto there and just Microsoft has  in plans an cortana made for  automotive  purposes, i wonder what they were doing  years ago while google engineers worked?
  • As an Australian who was traveling around the world I was depressed by how Cortana was in Sydney compared to NYC.  I have moved to Android for the first time in years and I am awaiting a "Surface-phone" to sway me back.   Even on Android I am not really an app heavy person, all of the apps I have installed were available on Windows with the exception of snapchat which I would be happy to lose.  
  • MS is pushing toward futuristic visions of foldable communications devices, viewing all your information on an interactive wall in your home/office.  All the sci-fi tech in the world that really looks slick is useless if you've abandoned your base and there is nobody left to market your product to.  Nadella forgets that sometimes you must walk before you can run.  Abandoning devices and technologies that are good ​now​, because they don't measure up to the future narrative just creates a vacuum that other companies will fill while you are pushing your sci-fi dreams out to the future.  Windows Phone and Band 2 were good products.  Maybe not perfect, but definitely a platform that could build a respectably sized market base and improve upon.  When Nadella's vision of folding phones and data walls becomes reality, will there be anybody left willing to take a chance on them?  I now to the point that I figure that MS will just create their next "greatest thing", then abandon it when it isn't futuristic enough to be perfection.  I've had windows phones back since they were Windows Phone 5 (on the Moto Q). I've been loyal to the platform, and just recently purchased a 950 because it was time to replace an ailing older device.  What is the average consumer to do when alternatives are either not available or are priced for enterprise-only platforms?  I have to communicate on my device daily and don't have the luxury to wait for pie-in-sky technology that may take years to develop to the point where it can be mass produced.  Besides, who does Nadella think makes enterprise decisions? It's the average consumer that gets comfortable with a platform in their everyday use and carries that platform to business.  Nadella's got the cart before the horse.
  • wEARables like watches/bits are dead in in long term reflected by iwatch failure. They will be there in low volumes as like 3D TVs and disappear. wEYEables are the future with No-UI or NUI.  wEARables will take the form of embeddables. Holdables like iPads, 2in1s, laptops and smart phones will become non-profitable commodities in a decade.  I am also not happy with windows phones startegy but it is lost battle.    Think about cars in 2025. self-drive. It is Better with a VR or MR glasses than  touching smart phone .     That is the future.  
  • @SShelby
    THIS ^ ^
  • Google is for the crazy whereas msft is for the straight forward, at least that's what I'd like to think. Being highly productive rocking an L930 and a SB, BTW.
  • while(true)
    SurfacePhone.AnnouncementDate = DateTime.Today.AddYears(1);
  • Microsoft as a HW manufacturer? Did we forget what they did to Lumia/Nokia?
  • Hi Pappale: Don't forget what they've done with Surface, Surface Book, Surface Studio and Dial and HoloLens😉
  • Who needs that? You and ......?
  • You keep forgetting that no one can buy that hardware outside the US. Try to remember that. So, the sales numbers will never be 'WOW'. They (Microsoft) is a small local player.
  • Actually, my response was in direct response to Papples contention that was attempting to draw a corelation between Nokia/Lumia and thier current HW strategy. My point being they have made great products that are well received in the market my and have or are poised to inspire partners make like devices. Microsoft's hardware goals for their first party devices are not wo have WOW sales numbers per se. Thier partners are expected to make devices that populate the market just as Surface "copy cats" sale in greater numbers than Surfaces. Still for those who want and can afford certain first-party devices in countries that they are not offered, I'm sure that too is a pain point and I empathize with you.
  • Can you tell me where those factories are that carry the name Microsoft and where Microsoft employees make Microsoft hardware? Or are those factories in fact just 'partners'? Really, I don't believe Microsoft is making any hardware. They just put their name on products made by others. So, what's left? Microsoft is hiring great designers to design products like Surface, Surface Book and Surface Studio. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • That's the same thing that most companies do. Look at Apple.
  • Yes, like mister Trump. President Obama said: Mister Trump isn't making buildings. He calls in some contractors. He just put his name on it and called it Trump building.
  • You do realise that the majority of manufacturers outsource the build of their devices right? This includes MS, Apple and Google amongst others. With your comment you've included every one of them that does this rather than single out MS (which was your intention).
  • My intention was the title of this article. Both Microsoft and Google are making hardware. They don't.
  • Hi Gerard actually it Microsoft's Chief of Devices Panos Panay and his team - the Surface Team that are designing Microsoft's first party devices. They build thier d own concepts and prototypes and like most company's, have factories mass produce. The title "making" hardware is meant to convey the company's foray into the hardware segment of the industry where not until recent years have Microsoft and Google made such huge investments with teams, resources, RD, reorgs etc around producing and competing in hardware.
  • MS support is sadly lacking if u live outside the US, It's not just hardware.
    Google is truly global with devices and services that work seamlessly everywhere.
    MS products and services, by all accounts, work well in the US.
    Outside the US, good luck getting half of MS software and services to work properly.
    This right here is such a major issue that people are forgetting all about, Google is truly global, MS was but has decided to focus on the US.
    This potentially will decide the winner IMO.
  • MS wants developers to develop universal app. Why don't MS set an example by making Bing search universal outside US. Bing search outside is outdated crap. You really try out what MS puts outside US to know why MS will be a small player outside US.
  • The Lumia hardware was always top-notch, while also offering lower cost devices.  What hurt Lumia was market share, not some deficiency in hardware.  I'm an IT pro, I've had numerous Windows Phones, including my current Lumia 950, whihc does everything I need it to do.  Fast, fluid, great camera, terrific screen, etc.   Further, the Surface line of devices, outside of the RT experiement, are terrific.  I just retired my original Surface Pro due to a battery that would no longer hold a charge after 4 years.  I replaced it with a Lenovo Miix 510, which is not a Surface, but a Surface clone, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and in this case a good indicator that MS created a device platform and form factor that others see the beneifts of.
  • That's right, long live Surface and Miix! Another Miix owner here. :)
  • I would argue that the RT was also a good device.  It was just not accepted in the means of apps.  My cousin still uses his for school.
  • I think Nokia's acquisition was known since the Lumia 1020, when Ellop worked closely with Ballmer, then came the 1520 which had supply issues outside US and then came the layoffs, and the results where the 950 which wasn't as advanced as Samsung or Apple devices, so in short, I think it was Satya's lack of investment in mobile what caused the slowness of innovation in Mobile. Hardware.
  • You mean rescuing a flondering manufacturer, giving them 2 years to turn around that they wouldn't have had with another buyer, then finally letting them go when they could not adapt to the actual needs of the marketplace? What MS did was unfortunately necessary for them, otherwise we would have been in the current situation two years ago, but the blame for the "failure" of Lumia rests solely on the Nokia designers who couldn't figure out how to make a few marquee devices rather than an array of devices at nearly every price point in a futile chase of volume over profitability.
  • Sorry, MS saw Nokia as the only way to try to keep windows phone afloat. Nokia was going to move to android and Widnows phone would be dead in the water right away. Sooooooooo, MS bought them....hoping to keep windows mobile running, and the directly drove it off a cliff! That's what really happened. Now that nine tenths of the original nokia team are now back at Nokia, after getting fired from MS, they are pushing forward with the android phones. Exciting times if you are a Nokia fan. I am expecting a 1020 replacement soon enough with them!
  • I'm not sure if the words Microsoft and Strategy belong in the same sentence. =P
  • Nice article, I think that the answer can be divided for 2 groups, consumers and enterprises. Google could succeed in consumer world if they purchased Twitter, since all major social networks Google has tried, it failed, compared to Facebook, Twitter or Linked In, on other side, Microsoft will win AI in the enterprise thanks to Linked In.
  • Twitter's not in a great place right now, while Google+ has finally found a few niches it serves. I'll talk to my normal friends/coworkers on Facebook, while on Google+ I converse in communities specifically about my hobbies such as tech, gaming and photography. If you can find a really good community about whatever hobby you want to talk about, Google+ is a pretty nice place. Not perfect by any means (mods need more tools to combat spamming), but pretty nice. 
  • No body wants Twitter and for very good reasons.  When you own Twitter you own all the crap on the medium and all the calls to monitor and filter and block, etc.  Google already pulls data from Twitter, they don't need to own it for what they would do with it. 
  • I think Twitter is great and use it daily. Facebook I hate passionately and never use.
    Each to their own.
  • Down with all social media!!!
  • there is no such thing as consumer AND business users anymore! you, like MS seem to fail to understand this...
  • Microsoft bought Nokia just to burn it to Ashes, I am not trusting them in mobile Hardware. As they have failed in mobile, they will eventually fail in all coming things because of no presence in mobile. It looks like in smart homes Alexa is going to be the queen.
  • So their actively developed mobile OS is "no presence in mobile"?
  • Yes, because nobody is using it.
  • Pretty much when there are Zero consumer orientated devices available to purchase.
  • Yes, when this site is basically saying "at least another year before we get a phone and this OS is getting dumped like all the others." It's not a literal "no presence," but a presence so bad that no presence might actually be better for the company, financially, and for PR with their fans. The way MS has handled mobile in the last 2-3 years has driven me to the point if not only looking away from MS for mobile, but also away from their other products, like Scorpio, simply because I have no faith Microsoft will treat its customers well (thanks to things like Band, W10M, Scalebound, the 950 build quality, and the Elite Controller quality control and warranty).
  • I know Windows Mobile 10 is there but the hardware is nowhere nere android. It also runs bad on previous Lumias like 640 XL. Win10M is more secure and stable than android in in usability its getting nearer to android. But google is moving really fast with new features. Plus you get great hardware as good price points.
  • Not sure about the quality of google products. I owned a nexus 7 and a Nexus 4. Both of them had to be returned for service 3 times each! Buttons stopped working, unresponsive touch screens, speaker problems etc. I know it was LG and Asus behind but it was google's signature on them. Not to mention OS glitches after updated with the latest version of android. Now I have a Lumia 640 and MS keeps supporting it. With just 1G of memory this device is really impressive. Windows 10 mobile isn't lightning fast on it but it's very smooth for this kind of hardware. Also it's durable and reliable (unlike Nexus). On the other side, I miss some specific android features like the google maps with multilingual instructions and streetview and the thousands of good quality third party apps, but with all those Win10 updates Microsoft now have me hooked and curious for what's next!
  • MS bought Nokia because they had to, as there were no other manufactureres with any kind of volume. Nokia's problems were entirely the fault of Nokia and their lack of understanding of how to be prifitable in the modern smartphone age. Hint: it's not having dozens of new models each year.
  • They did not. The near-total dumping of the Nokia employee additions, the killing of the Lumia brand (both in terms of the 950 family quality and the name), the ending of OS support for the fourth time, and the moving of hardware manufacturing away from the Nokia acquisition all say the Nokia add was not just unnecessary, but unintelligent. MS would have done better letting Nokia walk, bailing on the market for 3 years, and coming to the table in 2017 with new ideas. Instead, they gave us poorly made devices, a half-hearted OS we are hearing will be taken to the barn soon, and are going to basically be four years into the acquisition before they have even a hint of progress.
  • It's in MS's nature to simply ditch and run. They got users used too getting fcked up. MS failed patheticaly in phone business, like no other! Their less than mediocre windows 10 OS lowered the bar even further with the total lack of quality control and their insider testing...when you work cheap you get a cheap made product: windows 10
  • What the heck is Tim Cook doing at Apple if they should have a finger in this pie too? 
  • Apple doesn't publically develop things the way Microsoft and Google do. If they are working to make Siri more of an AI rather than an assistant, they're doing it behind some very well guarded doors. 
  • Or they realize this whole AI thing is a passng fad.  I love tech as much as the next guy but struggle to find Alexa, Google Home, or even Siri's niche.  Outside of driving I really don't want to talk to my stuff.  I don't want Alexa ordering stuff because a kid or TV said so (happened already), or opening my house because someone yelled at the door (or placed a speaker on it) and got it to open the door.  That already happened and is a huge security risk.  Or I don't want microphones passively listening to everything that goes on in my house. The AirPods are neat and I could forgive the fugliness of them but relying on voice commands is just stupid.  
  • Microsoft might not even be in the top 3 for this article. Android Central released a similar article this week and Microsoft wasn't even mentioned. Google, Amazon and Apple are in a much better place to carry the future. Everything is smart: AI is officially the new cool thing
  • Hi bleached This article was about two company's who have come to compete on similar fronts, and have adopted HW strategies. For the context of this article Apple doesn't fit the "story".
    Now if we're broadening the view to the future prospects in personal computing and the place of AI I've written seven articles on that, the first of which goes back to 2014 while the much of the industry was focusing on Apple and Samsung and thier health focus:
  • It's worth noting that Google got a head start in 2012 when they released Google Now, the precursor to Assistant. Google Now is great at predicting what information you want based on time of day - traffic for your route to work in the morning, weather throughout the day and TV listings at night. Google Now has grown in capabilities since then, and the only real difference between it and Assistant are that Assistant is more conversational.  Even with how many computers run Windows 10, I don't know anyone in my day to day life that uses Cortana, especially the "Okay Cortana" commands. In fact when I set up computers for my friends, they ask me to turn that off because they know they won't use it. Those same friends will use "Okay Google" or "Hey Siri" much more often, especially if they're in their car. They know their phone is always within listening distance, so that's what they use.  I think it also would have been worth mentioning Amazon Alexa in the article, since almost every type of appliance had a model with Alexa integration. 
  • Thanks for the input Tom. 🙂 Amazon got a brief mention when describing Google Home. 😉 Didn't want to focus on "her" though other wise I'd have to change the title!: "Both Microsoft and Google are making hardware, though for different reasons"😉
  • I think you are right but I don't think that MS is looking for PC Windows to be the platform for Cortana, just another nook for it to data mine information to make it better.  Like with AR they are building their AI as a foundation for others to build on.  Harman Kardon specker is the first example of this. This would work more like the Amazon Echo does.  Harman is also heavy into car systems so maybe MS could partner with them to get on that platform as well, again, just for data mining. 
  • I agree that's a better method, but Cortana isn't as well known as Google or Alexa. For those that do know about, it's known as that thing on your computer or Xbox that you turned off immediately. 
  • Cortana lost the race when MS failed to launch it widely. it cites numerous reasons, but look at how Google is able to rollout, google assitant and google now, worldwide. You cannot win a race driving a ford, when competing with Ferrari and Lamborghini. MS seems to have allocated limted resources towards worldwide expansion, nothing wrong, its their money their choice, but then we cannot consider them being in a race with google.
  • ^ this
  • GT40 disagree.
  • Ultimately I think Microsoft's strategy is better because it's more comprehensive. I feel that Microsoft genuinely wants to advance computing for the sake of making life easier and better for people. Google's interests, I feel, are entirely self serving. I feel like Google takes advantage of their users and that their approach is desperate. They just happen to have fooled a lot of people that don't see it yet. Either way genuine interest and care will always win. It's just a matter of time. Microsoft just needs to work on It's public appearance. Consumers need to feel Microsoft's confidence in their approach, ecosystem, hardware and software.
  • How did you come to the conclusion that one company is comprehensive/caring and the other deceiptful? I'm not trying to discount your opinion, but backing it up with specifics would help. 
  • Microsoft's approach is more comprehensive because they produce hardware, software, have a truly universal platform that is already used on billions of pieces of hardware and are huge in enterprise. No other company is in the position they are. This fact is also one of the reasons I feel Google is desperate. They know they don't have what Microsoft does. They're trying hard with they (pos) Chromebook to spread their data mining efforts... I mean, their reach beyond mobile so that they can say they have a universal platform. They have their position in mobile and their (Android) OS, but that's it. They desperately need a way out. A way to grow beyond mobile because they know they will die there if they just sit on their high horse. My feelings on Microsoft actually caring about people comes from my personal experience over the last 20 years working in IT and following the company. It's just my personal opinion. Google used to be a company I championed. That is until they went from a search engine company to one that profits off of It's users by spying on their activities, storing that data, selling that user data and bullying It's users into using more of It's products even if they don't want to. I no longer have a YouTube account (one I created pre Google ownership) because of their mandated Google+ account. They tried shoving that bs down my throat and I threw it up. That bad taste has never left me. I genuinely don't like their products or services.
  • You're allowed your opinion, of course, but it should be formed from correct information. Google isn't selling data. That's not their business model. But of course having worked on IT for 20 years, you know that. Curious you'd still say they are though ...
  • I respectfully disagree with you. I believe they do profit off of selling their users data.
  • Microsoft also has an advertisement network they collect data for and profit from. 
  • That might not be their direct model, but as one that advertises with them it is definitely implied, otherwise our clients wouldn't do business with them. Our clients don't care how Google knows that you like books about Montana, they just know that Google knows and will make sure our products make their way to your browsing experience. Facebook does the same thing, directly, or implied. However it's cooked, the information is being mined and sold.
  • Targeting ads is not selling your information. Your information never changes hands, Google keeps it locked down and with their business model, it is critical they keep it locked down.
  • Whatever floats your boat. You call it targeting, we call it customers...and it's up for sale. I'm not against it because it's how I currently make a living. But I'm not confused that Google and friends are watching what you do on their networks and selling that information to the highest bidder.
  • "Microsoft's approach is more comprehensive because they produce hardware, software, have a truly universal platform that is already used on billions of pieces of hardware and are huge in enterprise." Google produces laptops, tablets, phones, and they are far and away leading the mobile OS marketshare. Chromebooks may not be setting the consumer world on fire, but they are steadily growing in the education market.  "They're trying hard with they (pos) Chromebook to spread their data mining efforts... I mean, their reach beyond mobile so that they can say they have a universal platform." Microsoft collects the same type of data that Google does and also makes money off an advertisement network. I did a comparison post on their policies (plus Apple's) a few months ago in the forums. The only difference is that Microsoft shares the data they collect with other companies while Google does not.  Hiroshi Lockheimer, the head of Android and Chrome OS at Google, has stated multiple times they do not plan on merging Android and Chrome to a unified OS because there's no point. They believe their strength is having a distinct mobile OS and a distinct laptop OS, and combining elements of these when it fits. For an example of combining these elements, Android apps have started appearing on Chromebooks, and the dual system partition that Chrome uses for updates is now a feature in Android 7.0. More here "They have their position in mobile and their (Android) OS, but that's it. They desperately need a way out. A way to grow beyond mobile because they know they will die there if they just sit on their high horse." They have over 80% of the global mobile marketshare, and mobile phones aren't going anywhere. How exactly are they desperate? "My feelings on Microsoft actually caring about people comes from my personal experience over the last 20 years working in IT and following the company. It's just my personal opinion." I can respect that.  "Google used to be a company I championed. That is until they went from a search engine company to one that profits off of It's users by spying on their activities, storing that data, selling that user data and bullying It's users into using more of It's products even if they don't want to."  Again, Microsoft also collects data from users and uses this sell them advertisements. It's written plain as day in their privacy policy here What products are they forcing you to use? If you want to use Gmail, you can use that on Android, iOS or Windows Phone. Same with Calendar, Music, etc. There are benefits to using more of their services, but that's true of any software company.  "I no longer have a YouTube account (one I created pre Google ownership) because of their mandated Google+ account. They tried shoving that bs down my throat and I threw it up. That bad taste has never left me." I don't agree with them forcing G+ onto YouTube users, but one of the reasons was they thought that forcing users to use their real name as their user name would cut down on trolling. That didn't work unfortunately.  "I genuinely don't like their products or services." And that's okay. Almost everything else you stated was pretty easy to refute though. 
  • I knew I shouldn't have entertained you with a reply. You're welcome for the satisfaction you felt by your rebuttal.
  • Feel free to correct me or add any information I missed
  • Wanna talk about bullying? Try using a Windows 10! Constant ads and pushing of Microsoft products directly in the OS! I don't know how Windows people can overlook Microsoft putting ads directly into the UI for Windows 10.
  • Advertising is not bullying. Forcing is.
  • There is a fine line between bullying and advertising, especially when the ads are built directly into the operating system. Microsoft use of the "X" in the upper right corner of its Windows 10 update dialog could definitely be seen as bullying.
  • So when the OS updates and turns Cortana and OneDrive back on, and changes my default apps back to the default Microsoft ones, that's no forcing?  
  • Oh talk abt forcing, W10 doesnt even let me control when to update what, it doesnt ask me before starting an update and has consumed GBs of my costly data.
  • I use Windows 10 all day long and rarely notice any ads, unlike most Android devices.
  • Android does not have ads in the UI. It certainly has them in apps though, just like any OS. Microsoft now embeds then right in the UI for Windows 10.
  • Your headline should read Google is an ADVERTISING company, and your data is the cost of doing business with them.
  • Microsoft also has an advertisement network that they make money on. 
  • And to add to this, Microsoft are generally playing faster and looser with user data than Google, if one takes the time to read through the privacy policies.
  • Yep, I wrote about that on the forums a few months ago. Just rechecked their policies today and nothing's changed. 
  • Microsoft is also an advertising company with every turn in Windows 10 focused on getting data.   What is the difference?
  • Pick your poison.  Microsoft has been the pioneers in lock and tie-ins since DOS.  They are the masters of getting you in and never letting you go.  No amount of lipstick on that pig will change that.  They want you in the ecosystem so they can get you for Windows subscritions (WaaS is coming), Office subsciptions, etc.
  •   Google is a search company focusing heavily on expanding search and letting third-party, known entities (like HTC for the aforementioned Pixel) build quality hardware for its brand, while letting other OEMs build their own hardware (Samsung and others) make their own devices with out a lot of interference, all in a move to become widespread beyond the search box at home. Microsoft is a software and services company killing off software (WinRT, Scalebound, Fable, etc.), relaunching operating systems faster than you can blink (every mobile version of Windows thus far), and half-baking/canceling leftover hardware plans from an ill-advised purchase (lumia 950/McLaren, respectively) while delaying their own stuff with no legitiamte end in sight (Surface Phone). As much as I hate Google, their plans seems to bear fruit that actually goes somewhere. Microsoft endlessly changes its mind, never lets anything take hold, and panics if marketshare isn't 40% within 2 years. They just don't seem to have a long-term vision because the second the provide one and get to work on it, they change it.
  • I disagree with this "And search is a far more diverse and integrated experience than typing a word into a web page-based search field."
    It is still just that!
  • How so? I can type a word on a page, talk to my phone in my pocket, yell to a passively listening speaker, or a few other things. There are many ways to activate search now.
  • really? Microsoft's the one without a long term vision
  • Well, Google made a Android phone and according to the numbers and number of apps, its far more successfull than any phone based device that Micrososoft has made.... Sigh....too late to the game...
  • "Google is a Search company that has ventured into hardware. Microsoft is a software company that has done the same. Why?" I think this would be: "Google is a commercial-, public- and private-information exploration corporation, that has tentacles reaching into hardware recently. Microsoft is a software company, that since long time produces hardware to support its software and recently started producing (mobile) computer systems as well. What is behind that?" I seriously doubt anyone that knows what google is about, would call it a 'search company'... google, unfortunately, is everywhere these days.... I'm so happy there are still alternatives, so big brother police state era is still not a reality.
  • If you think MS is less Big Brother than Google, you haven't paid attention to Bing, Cortana, Kinect, Windows Hello, OneDrive, and the rest of what MS has done in the past 3-5 years. Remember when Kinect was required to be up and running to boot the Xbox--something that passively listened in a way you weren't truly sure of? Yeah, you just clap and smile while Cortana does it now.
  • LOL!! MS failed like idiots in phone business, so on that part do not expect anything. As for the UWP, it failed also. as very few devs became interested :))) So the answer is Google.
  • I,just wish microsoft would get better than now someday...
    I love UWP
  • Nice article !
    But, which music app is it shown in picture whos live tile has got play buttons ???
    Ohh sorry - its Android..
  • Folks although Google chrome books are selling but the truth is Most people use Windows Computers of variou types such as Desktops. Laptops, ultra books, Full Windows Tablets & 2 in one's. all in one PC's ect. all new PC you buy will be running Windows 10 and it's already on over 400 million computers. In away I like Microsoft more than Google because Microsoft has it's sofware on  Android Google Product such as MS office And Google Wont let Microsoft have a decent Google maps or YouTube app in it's Windows 10 store Apps. Microsoft' make's what I call Microsoft  "Signature" Products special devices that emphesize how best to use the full Windows 10 operating system they are priced high so microsoft's OEM partners can copy them and make cheaper versions. Microsoft's Surface Pro Tablets and Surface books are a success Microsoft's main weakness in mobile smart phones. microsoft's best in smart phones bet is to make an advanced version of the HP  Elite X3 smart phone that uses it 's new X86 Emulation Software that will enable it to run some full Desktop PCprograms in it's "Continuum mode". This device will be a smart Phone / Pocket PC hybrid a very very powerfu device to compliment full Windows 10 devices that will have the capabilty to run Millions of Desktop PC programs. The so called apps gap wont be such a big problem to owners of a "Surface" smart phone that has this capabilty. Developers would be foolish to belittle it. it will be a new class of Windows smart phones. enough of them will be bought by Businesses and individuals to make them worth Microsoft have them made and sold. Microsoft will never again be thought of as having a weak smart phone  
  • Same here. That's why I gave up Keep and turn Wunderlist. etc, etc.
  • Cortana is in a long stagnation. I think google assistant will easily beat it in AI struggle. It is already loooking dumb in head-to-head comparison. UWP has zero representation in mobile and IoT, so it is not universal de-facto. Even on Desktop close to nobody actively uses UWP apps and millions of users are sticking to W7 that has no UWP at all. Surface Phone is just a fans dream it is not coming this year. MS can only succeed being behind the scene supplier of a base infrastructure for other companies user-facing services. It is clear to me that it is what Nadella is only working on for a long time. Consumer-oriented space is abandoned.
  • UWP apps are not that bad imo.
    clean install / uninstall. A build-in store makes it easier for elders too.
  • Well, each of their hardware strategies are notably different. Microsoft's hardware still remain within the ballpark of personal computing devices, while Alphabet's (Google's parent company) is involved with autonomous vehicles, a robotics factory and now, orbital satellites.
  • I'm pretty sure they are doing it for the same reason, money.
  • What is really awesome is now you can use MS services on chrome books too! Android apps are now available on chrome OS! That's good news. Chromebooks are great cheap computers for people who do not need to do massive amounts of power lifting. I am looking at finding a pixel 2 to go along with my android phones. Just to have.
  • Nice, clarifying comparison.