Ballmer expressed confidence in Surface's chances.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted during a shareholder meeting that the company may have arrived too late to the tablet market, but he remains confident in Surface's potential.
The Windows 8-powered Surface tablet is the first personal computer created by Microsoft, but it launched a month ago, more than two and a half years after Apple released its original iPad. Android-powered tablets have also dominated the market in recent months.
During the meeting in question, Ballmer was asked why Microsoft had fallen so far behind Apple.
"We're innovating on the seam between software and hardware... Maybe we should have done that earlier," he said, noting that he felt "pretty good about [Microsoft's] level of innovation".
The executive also discussed a "sea of upside" for the company in the tablet market. He was referring to the fact that while Windows 7 did offer several touch-friendly features which attracted vendors to create tablets based on the OS, it didn't make its mark in the market itself.
Surface's exact sales figures has yet to be revealed by Microsoft, but the software titan stressed it'll be supporting the device for four more years.
The device's pre-order stages, meanwhile, did showcase its potential commercial breadth. Inventory for every variant of the tablet sold out following the cheapest version selling out in a day after pre-sales commenced.