Microsoft has said that its Surface tablet is "good" for the struggling PC ecosystem as well as for consumers.
"There are always things we can do like the Surface that's good for the ecosystem, good for customers," said CFO Peter Klein when responding to a question regarding vertical integration. The ecosystem he's referring to is effectively the PC industry, while "vertical integration" is likely attributed to creating both software and hardware.
Microsoft will "bring compelling devices [and] touch experiences at all the right price points. I think if we do that well," it'll help the PC market. "People really need to touch and see and play with it," he added when discussing Surface. Consequently, Microsoft is offering the device at more retailers through the Surface Pro launch (video demo can be seen here).
"There are certainly things we're doing now with Surface which gives us an opportunity to do some things in the tablet market that benefits that whole ecosystem. We've learned a lot from what we've done with Surface and can bring back that learning to the rest of the ecosystem."
As for Microsoft's intention to create hardware in the long term, he stated, "It will always be a balance," as well as stating that "there will always be a strong ecosystem play."
The Surface RT model shipped 720,000 units during the fourth quarter of 2012, while Microsoft recently launched Surface Pro, which delivers a more complete Windows 8 experience.