Almost without a real plan for doing so Microsoft has built itself something of a hardware empire. Its acquisition of Nokia Mobile has given it access to a team responsible for some impressive hardware. Pound for pound its Lumia range offers unrivalled build quality when measured against its peers.
In the rapidly evolving Surface line-up Microsoft has hardware that rivals Apple for its build quality and capability. Finally in the Xbox Microsoft has delivered three generations of first class gaming console and grabbed itself a handy position in the desirable living room space.
So whilst Microsoft positions itself as a services company it turns out that it's building a promising hardware stack at the same time.