Even Microsoft has conceded that Apple's business model, carefully crafted by its late CEO Steve Jobs, is a rousing success and based on the latest notes from chief executive Steve Ballmer, the software giant is adopting the same approach, much of it at least.
In his letter to Microsoft shareholders, Mr Ballmer affirmed that the company will be shifting gears and will start selling more devices, which is a complete departure from the manner it earned its billions in the past decades.
The change is not completely radical, he noted, as he reminded that Microsoft had previously found success peddling bricks, which is largely true in the case of the Xbox 360, the leading game console that mostly attracted hardcore gamers.
Mr Ballmer allowed though that what remains to unfold for Microsoft is significant enough that the company will eventually morph "as a devices and services company."
"It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses," CNET reported the Microsoft chief as saying in his letter on Tuesday.
The operational reconfigure, however, will not mean that Microsoft will become a close system like that of Apple, which emphasises rigid assimilation of the hardwares and softwares that come with its gadgets.
That has been the norm with early Apple products such as the Macintosh and its strings of successive mobile devices, which directly contradict the Microsoft way - partnership with PC vendors that given the freehand to determine the hardware specs they would deploy with the Windows operating system.
Such approach will stay in place, Mr Ballmer assured, indicating that bricks powered by the Windows platform but bearing other brand names will continue to hit the global market in the years ahead.
But under the market environment, in which ecosystem plays a crucial role in the profitability and sustainability of products and companies, Microsoft will take up a more prominent role, he added.
"There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface," Mr Ballmer was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The new Microsoft tack also means that the company will seriously consider the development of "new (product) form factors that have increasingly natural ways to use them including touch, gestures and speech," the company chief stressed.
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