Ballmer: PC makers were aware of Surface before reveal

With the reveal of the Surface Windows 8/RT based tablet on Monday, this also means that Microsoft is entering the PC hardware business directly for the first time. So, one of the big questions surrounding the Surface announcement was, "How will other PC makers react to this reveal?"

In a brief chat with The Verge, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that other PC hardware makers were made aware ahead of time that Microsoft was going to reveal the Surface tablet. However, he didn't say what their reaction was to this new move by Microsoft, saying simply that they might "opine" on Microsoft's decision.

So far, the public reaction from other PC makers has been, well, silent for the most part. LG did say it was going to be getting out of the tablet market but they are not exactly as big of a PC maker as HP or Dell, both of which have business-oriented Windows 8 tablets in the works.

Ballmer did tell The Verge that part of the reason for the Surface was to "prime the pump" for the launch of Windows 8 later this year. He added that the tablet is "an important companion to the whole Windows 8 story. It's an important piece; it's not the only piece."

Source: The Verge

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the only concern about this surface is when working with desktop os how long will the battery last. it's best of both world combine metro and desktop...USB 3.0, HDMI...good to go

Master of Earth said,
the only concern about this surface is when working with desktop os how long will the battery last. it's best of both world combine metro and desktop...USB 3.0, HDMI...good to go

How long the battery last is up to manufacturer dell, hp etc. MS just open the idea that this is it. With the 20 mm ivy bridge is the latest low power cpu and also arm which is designed for mobile CPU meant for longer lasting battery. At the moment hand down thinner than iPad and 7 to 8 hour is milestone achievement.

If MS include the cover as standard, it will be the best ultrabook tablet computer.

I want it now

Apple is a hardware maker only? Really? Bad arguement IMHO.

Microsoft has build some solid hardware for a long time. Keyboard and Mice being the better items. The Zune HD was a very good design and was ahead of the curve. Just because it didn't get the traction that it needed back then it was a better designed and better UI than the IPOD was at the time. It still is great in todays standards as well. It had many firsts and I still have mine.

Microsoft had to kick start this tablet design reference to get others to innovate and understand where MS wants to take this. It has to be to the NEXT level at release from all hardware manufacturers or it will not gain mass adoption. Dell has been lackluster in their offerings for a past several years and they need to kick it up a notch or two. The keyboard is genius and the build quality seems to be on on par if not better than the IPAD.

Several sites already showing bias towards APPLE by saying it's thicker(USB 2.0), heavier(1.4 lbs vs 1.5lbs), and battery(no test yet).

This is a leading edge tablet for Win8 and I hope others will follow correctly. I completely understand where MS wants this to go and they had to insure they get it off with a nearly flawless start or it will fizzle. The other MFR's should look, learn and design based on MS's new design.

mrmomoman said,
Apple is a hardware maker only? Really? Bad arguement IMHO.

Microsoft has build some solid hardware for a long time. Keyboard and Mice being the better items. The Zune HD was a very good design and was ahead of the curve. Just because it didn't get the traction that it needed back then it was a better designed and better UI than the IPOD was at the time. It still is great in todays standards as well. It had many firsts and I still have mine.

Microsoft had to kick start this tablet design reference to get others to innovate and understand where MS wants to take this. It has to be to the NEXT level at release from all hardware manufacturers or it will not gain mass adoption. Dell has been lackluster in their offerings for a past several years and they need to kick it up a notch or two. The keyboard is genius and the build quality seems to be on on par if not better than the IPAD.

Several sites already showing bias towards APPLE by saying it's thicker(USB 2.0), heavier(1.4 lbs vs 1.5lbs), and battery(no test yet).

This is a leading edge tablet for Win8 and I hope others will follow correctly. I completely understand where MS wants this to go and they had to insure they get it off with a nearly flawless start or it will fizzle. The other MFR's should look, learn and design based on MS's new design.

Point is Apple has 2 tablets for sale TODAY for those who want to buy a tablet NOW. The Surface specs are mostly unknown and there is no pricing/availability. In addition, Microsoft is mum on LTE version which means no Surface for Asia.

Microsoft should stay in Software, Google in Search Engine, HP in hardware, and so on. When they enter the others area it is not good. This is my opinion. it is impossible to compare a software maker with an hardware maker. For sure, when a software maker is building hardware he is using the hardware maker. And this is not good.

MenosZero said,
Microsoft should stay in Software, Google in Search Engine, HP in hardware, and so on. When they enter the others area it is not good. This is my opinion. it is impossible to compare a software maker with an hardware maker. For sure, when a software maker is building hardware he is using the hardware maker. And this is not good.

you are really out of date that is expired one

MenosZero said,
Microsoft should stay in Software, Google in Search Engine, HP in hardware, and so on. When they enter the others area it is not good. This is my opinion. it is impossible to compare a software maker with an hardware maker. For sure, when a software maker is building hardware he is using the hardware maker. And this is not good.

As you see Keynote, they are there since 1983. You never actually thought you are already using their hardware

MenosZero said,
Microsoft should stay in Software, Google in Search Engine, HP in hardware, and so on. When they enter the others area it is not good. This is my opinion. it is impossible to compare a software maker with an hardware maker. For sure, when a software maker is building hardware he is using the hardware maker. And this is not good.

A company has to diversify to spread risk.

MenosZero said,
Microsoft should stay in Software, Google in Search Engine, HP in hardware, and so on. When they enter the others area it is not good. This is my opinion. it is impossible to compare a software maker with an hardware maker. For sure, when a software maker is building hardware he is using the hardware maker. And this is not good.

ideally you are right. however, they are playing a catch-up game with apple and they try to imitate as much as possible getting close to apple's products quality such as ipad, iphone and perhaps macbook in the future.

As a company we buy Dell PCs. I need a Latitude device with a detachable tablet screen (like the Transformer Book) that clicks into a laptop base that locks into a docking station that has dual display port attached widescreen monitors and a full sized keyboard and mouse. As an IT Pro/Dev I need SQL Server, SharePoint, Office & Visual Studio installed and running.

I'm really impressed by the Surface devices and am sorely tempted but it's unlikely to hit my sweetspot. That's where I hope OEMs like Dell will provide the full breadth of devices and configurations.

It does seem to me that Microsoft have realised that to fully take on the iPad then they need to have their own device that both validates Windows 8/Metro for tablet use and provides a Microsoft backed hardware platform for like-for-like comparisons. It's almost as if Microsoft have said "right then, leave the iPad to us and you go and keep the other millions of customers happy with a full range of tablets, ultrabooks, notebooks, desktops etc."

spc1972 said,
It's almost as if Microsoft have said "right then, leave the iPad to us and you go and keep the other millions of customers happy with a full range of tablets, ultrabooks, notebooks, desktops etc."

THIS.

Julius Caro said,
I'm with microsoft on this one. The other vendors have not been doing the PC industry any good lately.

And Microsoft? What did he do?

Julius Caro said,
I'm with microsoft on this one. The other vendors have not been doing the PC industry any good lately.

Really? I think the move OEMs have made to embrace ultrabooks etc is all good for the PC industry. I've no doubt that a lot of them are keeping their powder dry for the Windows 8 launch and have quite understandably been operating on the basis of refreshing existing product lines while Microsoft get Windows 8 ready for RTM.

spc1972 said,

Really? I think the move OEMs have made to embrace ultrabooks etc is all good for the PC industry. I've no doubt that a lot of them are keeping their powder dry for the Windows 8 launch and have quite understandably been operating on the basis of refreshing existing product lines while Microsoft get Windows 8 ready for RTM.


Thats what I said. As a software developer Microsoft is fantastic, why moving to harwdare?

MenosZero said,

Thats what I said. As a software developer Microsoft is fantastic, why moving to harwdare?

As you see Keynote, they are there since 1983. You never actually thought you are already using their hardware

This will blow everything out of the water. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, their hardware is always the best.

j2006 said,
This will blow everything out of the water. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, their hardware is always the best.

What hardware are you talking about? Mouses? Zune?

MenosZero said,

What hardware are you talking about? Mouses? Zune?

Don't be picking on the Zune. The ZuneHD is still a sexy piece of hardware.

MenosZero said,

What hardware are you talking about? Mouses? Zune?

Actually, I really like their mice and keyboards - they've always been rather good at hardware (given they're a software company).

Dot Matrix said,

Don't be picking on the Zune. The ZuneHD is still a sexy piece of hardware.

Yep. Poorly marketed, but ZuneHD (as well as Windows Phones) was incredible.

LifeCam Cinema HD. Incredible.
Mice and Keyboards. Incredible.

rev23dev said,

Yep. Poorly marketed, but ZuneHD (as well as Windows Phones) was incredible.

LifeCam Cinema HD. Incredible.
Mice and Keyboards. Incredible.

Microsoft makes some incredible hardware. All my peripherals are Microsoft made. I'm in love with BlueTrack mice because my work surface varies, especially when I am at school.

j2006 said,
This will blow everything out of the water. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed, their hardware is always the best.

Let us not forget the first several generations of the XBOX 360 with their RROD due to hardware issues. Some of there hardware is great, others not so much.

MenosZero said,

What hardware are you talking about? Mouses? Zune?

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 was and still is the best mouse ever made. The keyboards are excellent as well.

dangel said,

Actually, I really like their mice and keyboards - they've always been rather good at hardware (given they're a software company).

Absolutely. I've always had better luck and satisfaction with Microsoft hardware. I am still hoping for them to do a branded laptop to be honest. LOL

I understand this move by Microsoft to be a way to convey the way they see how tablets should be: something that merge the convenience of touch with the productivity of the keyboard and mouse. I feel it is a smart move to make people understand the kind of devices Microsoft is aiming at with Windows 8. I don't think Microsoft wants to undermine other hardware manufacturers: rather, I see it as a move to incite them to reimagine and rethink what a tablet should be.

The ARM version is set as a direct competitor to the iPad or Android. Personally however, I'm much more interested in pro/Intel version which aims at a different segment and market.

Wang030 said,
I understand this move by Microsoft to be a way to convey the way they see how tablets should be: something that merge the convenience of touch with the productivity of the keyboard and mouse. I feel it is a smart move to make people understand the kind of devices Microsoft is aiming at with Windows 8. I don't think Microsoft wants to undermine other hardware manufacturers: rather, I see it as a move to incite them to reimagine and rethink what a tablet should be.

The ARM version is set as a direct competitor to the iPad or Android. Personally however, I'm much more interested in pro/Intel version which aims at a different segment and market.

I agree. I think the intent of this is to drive the market forward.

The i-pad being some cheap Chinese knockoff of the iPad, I'm sure Microsoft will have no issues coming with a better product.

I only just got the full picture with this tablet. Must say that for tablets metro rocks. However the entire hybirde thing between the metro start menu and the normal desktop is a bad decision. Everything metro is for tablets. But the explorer isn't. It's designed for desktops and it's not an ideal solution for tablets. Vice versa the start menu is for tablets and is not ideal for desktops without touchinput.

Keeping that in mind. I guess Microsoft will have to move people to touch input devices now. This tablet is a great start with that.

Renvy said,
I only just got the full picture with this tablet. Must say that for tablets metro rocks. However the entire hybirde thing between the metro start menu and the normal desktop is a bad decision. Everything metro is for tablets. But the explorer isn't. It's designed for desktops and it's not an ideal solution for tablets. Vice versa the start menu is for tablets and is not ideal for desktops without touchinput.

Keeping that in mind. I guess Microsoft will have to move people to touch input devices now. This tablet is a great start with that.

Here we go again....

Renvy said,
I only just got the full picture with this tablet. Must say that for tablets metro rocks. However the entire hybirde thing between the metro start menu and the normal desktop is a bad decision. Everything metro is for tablets. But the explorer isn't. It's designed for desktops and it's not an ideal solution for tablets. Vice versa the start menu is for tablets and is not ideal for desktops without touchinput.

Keeping that in mind. I guess Microsoft will have to move people to touch input devices now. This tablet is a great start with that.

Surface is more than just a tablet.... It's literally a device you can use as you wish. ZERO restrictions.

Want to sit at a table and work? Boom, desktop.
Want to go mobile and still work and play? Boom, Metro.
Need to annotate and important document? Boom, digitizer.

This is a no compromise device. It allows you to work as you need to work.

Dot Matrix said,

Want to sit at a table and work? Boom, desktop.
Want to go mobile and still work and play? Boom, Metro.
Need to annotate and important document? Boom, digitizer.

Because it would be an excellent idea for your accountant to also be your surgeon.

JAB Creations said,

Because it would be an excellent idea for your accountant to also be your surgeon.

Not sure what that has to do with Surface tablets but if my accountant was also a surgeon I don't see what the problem would be?

Dot Matrix said,

Surface is more than just a tablet.... It's literally a device you can use as you wish. ZERO restrictions.

Want to sit at a table and work? Boom, desktop.
Want to go mobile and still work and play? Boom, Metro.
Need to annotate and important document? Boom, digitizer.

This is a no compromise device. It allows you to work as you need to work.

I know that. I know Microsoft aimed it's windows 8 at these devices. My only critic is what about the million desktopusers at home. What adds windows for them. What's there reason to upgrade?

JAB Creations said,

Because it would be an excellent idea for your accountant to also be your surgeon.

Because carrying around 3 devices when one can do it all is also a great idea.

The main part of this device being mobile is that it can replace other devices that you'd either have to lug around or you would not have with you int he first place cause you did not want to lug it around.

Renvy said,

I know that. I know Microsoft aimed it's windows 8 at these devices. My only critic is what about the million desktopusers at home. What adds windows for them. What's there reason to upgrade?

They can if they want, if they don;t want to that's fine cause new PC's are going to ship with it and win8 will still get used a lot which will encourage the marketplace.

JAB Creations said,

Because it would be an excellent idea for your accountant to also be your surgeon.

No basically your accountant or surgeon could just as easily use it for a variety of tasks

JAB Creations said,

Because it would be an excellent idea for your accountant to also be your surgeon.

If it saves me money and he is qualified to do both, why would I not have that?

Minimoose said,

If it saves me money and he is qualified to do both, why would I not have that?

I think his point (Which is completely valid) is that having something (Or someone) that is good at one thing may not be as good at another thing. For example. Someone that is a great Surgeon is likely not going to be that great of an Accountant. Similarly, an OS that is a great Tablet OS might not be optimized as well to be a great Desktop OS... This is a valid point and concern with Windows 8. Honestly, I like Metro, I am not against it, but some things should just be handled differently on Tablets than they are on the Desktop. An example would be dragging Metro Apps to close, which isn't as user friendly with a mouse. It wouldn't be that hard for Microsoft to know if it's a Tablet or Desktop and add Minimize / Maximize / Close buttons. I'm hoping it comes together, but I think to be quite honest that the Tablet experience is going to be great at the expense of the Desktop experience.