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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Jason Snell for SuperSite

With Surface Book, Microsoft adds Apple’s playbook to its own ↦

There was a time when the idea of Microsoft building its own PC hardware seemed almost unthinkable. In the Bill Gates era and into Steve Ballmer’s reign, Microsoft was always the software supplier, with PC-makers like Dell and HP and a thousand smaller parties happy to compete with their hardware. The announcement of the original Surface was a surprise, and Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia a bit of a shock, but as of Tuesday it feels like the old ways are utterly over, once and for all.

The new Microsoft simply isn’t willing to put the fate of Windows 10 in the hands of its hardware partners. It’s targeting the most important hardware categories and building its own devices, integrating hardware and software together more closely than it has ever done before.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the game that Apple has been playing for years now. And there are some huge advantages to the approach…

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