Windows PC manufacturers were miffed when Microsoft introduced its own Surface Pro and RT tablets. And for good reason. For the first time, Microsoft decided to compete directly with its hardware partners -- OEMs -- who already face razor-thin margins in a highly competitive PC market.
Bad vibes, of course, aren't responsible for tepid sales of Windows 8 machines. However, a chilly relationship between Microsoft and its OEMs isn't good for business. As a gesture of goodwill, Microsoft could terminate its tablets and refocus its attention solely on developing Windows software. The move might inspire HP, Lenovo, Dell and the rest of the PC gang to push Windows 8 and RT more aggressively.