A Big, Fat Unicorn

So Ben Brooks imagines an alternate universe for Microsoft:

What if Microsoft bought HP’s PC division to start producing their own hardware: the higher quality PC?

So you’re imaging Microsoft turning into Apple.

Microsoft has begun building Microsoft stores, they would have a nice, existing, retail presence. They have deals with all major retailers. They likely have more brand trust than any current PC maker.

Ok, sure. I agree these retail stores could come in handy if they ever figured out how to make money from them.

In this scenario Microsoft wouldn’t become another me-too PC maker — they would be setting the standard. The standard for: price, quality, design, and speed.

Quality, design, speed. Microsoft. Right.

This is not out of the realm of possibility — though it would be a risky move.

That’s exactly what this scenario is – out of the realm of possibility. What Mister Brooks is proposing implies a complete change in business strategy for Microsoft. Microsoft started with the mission statement: “a computer on every desk and in every home”. From day one they’ve always been about quantity over quality.
Maybe I’m wrong. I’d love to be proven so. Windows Phone was so refreshing when it came out and I was genuinely excited to see another strong contender enter the mobile OS arena, but then they started showing their plans for Windows 8, where some aspects would be in a traditional-Windows UI and other aspects would be in their new Metro UI. Nope. Still the same old Microsoft. Trying to be everything to everyone. Decent at some things, great at nothing.
This is also the company who recently got all excited about their revamped Windows Explorer.