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Steve Ballmer Confirms Microsoft Will Do More Hardware

By - Source: BBC | B 25 comments

Microsoft will crank out more of its own hardware if needed.

On Thursday Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told the BBC that the company will indeed release more devices in the future.

News of additional Microsoft hardware arrives just one day prior to the official retail release of Windows 8 on Friday, October 26. Microsoft formally launched the blocky new OS during a special event in New York City on Thursday, but devices and OS upgrades won't go on sale until 12:01 Friday morning.

"Is it fair to say we're going to do more hardware? Obviously we are... Where we see important opportunities to set a new standard, yeah we'll dive in," Ballmer told the BBC.

Microsoft ruffled a few feathers – especially with Acer execs – when it announced plans to produce its own Windows 8 tablets back in June. The company is going after Apple on multiple fronts, providing an Intel-based tablet sporting Windows 8 Pro, and an ARM-based version using Windows RT. Microsoft is reportedly pushing its own hardware to set the standard on what's expected from a Windows 8 device.

"The announcement of Surface was necessary to have a proof of concept and to get people excited about what was coming to push application development and create some buzz out there," Kirk Schell, vice president of Dell's client and consumer product group, recently told the BBC. "They've invested so much in Windows 8 it was important to make it work, so I felt Surface was the logical thing to do."

Ballmer's mention of future hardware seemingly points to rumors about a Surface smartphone. Nokia or Samsung is reportedly the manufacturer behind the upcoming device, the former more likely to be the candidate based on its close relationship with the Redmond company. The Surface phone will supposedly be based on the next build of Windows Phone 8, and hit the streets once the first wave of Windows Phone 8 devices from partner manufacturers wash through the retail channel.

Chris Green, principal technology analyst at Davies Murphy Group Europe, believes Nokia is already working on the Surface phone. However, the device may not surface on the market if Nokia's current Windows Phone 8 offerings don't take off.

"Microsoft is hedging its bets," he said. "The firm is heavily invested in Nokia succeeding with its Windows Phone handsets but can't allow for its failure to torpedo the platform. At the very least Microsoft will be developing its own handset to go to market in case Nokia and others don't do better."

Microsoft could also be eying the 7-inch tablet market as its next hardware attempt. Google launched its Asus-built Nexus 7 tablet back in July, and was followed by Amazon's Kindle Fire HD devices and the new Nook HD tablets from Barnes & Noble. Apple also revealed its 7.85-inch iPad mini tablet on Monday.

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  • 13 Hide
    phamhlam , October 26, 2012 1:07 AM
    Microsoft should make a standard laptop. It could be simple and work. No ugly screen, no crappy keyboard, big trackpad, crapware free, no annoyingly loud fan, and comes with Microsoft great build quality.

    I however love the Surface Pro and if it comes out at $800, it feels like a true laptop replacement and desktop companion.
  • 11 Hide
    alidan , October 26, 2012 1:42 AM
    phamhlamMicrosoft should make a standard laptop. It could be simple and work. No ugly screen, no crappy keyboard, big trackpad, crapware free, no annoyingly loud fan, and comes with Microsoft great build quality.I however love the Surface Pro and if it comes out at $800, it feels like a true laptop replacement and desktop companion.

    because it is a laptop... minus the built in keyboard.

    myromance123So after they hid it from their partners about making their own device, now it seems almost like they are threatening their partners. Although this may possibly mean better hardware support and an overall experience if Microsoft make their own hardware, is it wise to shoo off the partners that helped keep them alive as a worldwide monopoly?If Windows 8 does not do so well, things may start to build up into bigger problems later on.This is solely my opinion however. I personally buy computers for their parts, not for their OS.


    i use windows for the programs, not the os. if linux made it easy to install, and had a crap ton of support from everything i want, i would move in a heart beet.

    but microsoft... they aren't threatening their partners, they are getting sick of them making cheap crap and people comparing the full plastic laptop to the macbook pros.

    they saw what the oems were doing with the tablet, face palmed hard, and decided they wanted to make a true competitor to ipad, and not have a cluster... cant say next word for sanctions... that is the android, where there is some great hardware, but so much crap too that it gives android a bad name.

    with microsoft making their own tablet, they can say this is how you do it, either forcing oems to step up or get the hell off the platform.

    BreakThemRocksYes welcome the new M$, Buy our hardware and get a ball and chain for free ! I'll stick with windows 7 until expiration, and dual boot Linux, I am sure before win 7 goes, most laptop OEMs will offer a choice of operating systems!


    yea, when a desktop can no longer be built by hand with the os installed by the user, that is when i will give up completely on microsoft, all this is is microsoft not wanting to fail because oems suck in the tablet space.

Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    may1 , October 26, 2012 12:54 AM
    What happened to Adam Smith's specialization?
  • 13 Hide
    phamhlam , October 26, 2012 1:07 AM
    Microsoft should make a standard laptop. It could be simple and work. No ugly screen, no crappy keyboard, big trackpad, crapware free, no annoyingly loud fan, and comes with Microsoft great build quality.

    I however love the Surface Pro and if it comes out at $800, it feels like a true laptop replacement and desktop companion.
  • 9 Hide
    myromance123 , October 26, 2012 1:11 AM
    So after they hid it from their partners about making their own device, now it seems almost like they are threatening their partners. Although this may possibly mean better hardware support and an overall experience if Microsoft make their own hardware, is it wise to shoo off the partners that helped keep them alive as a worldwide monopoly?

    If Windows 8 does not do so well, things may start to build up into bigger problems later on.
    This is solely my opinion however. I personally buy computers for their parts, not for their OS.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2012 1:12 AM
    Yes welcome the new M$, Buy our hardware and get a ball and chain for free :)  ! I'll stick with windows 7 until expiration, and dual boot Linux, I am sure before win 7 goes, most laptop OEMs will offer a choice of operating systems!
  • 7 Hide
    reprotected , October 26, 2012 1:12 AM
    ricdiculusWelcome to AppleSoft. Raising a whole new batch of sheep. Great.

    Over 80% of the PC market uses Windows, I'm pretty sure they have enough sheeps to work with.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 26, 2012 1:30 AM
    Yes and on the computer OEM's job board "Linux Driver software engineers wanted!, Top pay! great rewards". The head hunters and the lemo drivers are sanding by, with reservations at a 5 star restaurant!
  • 11 Hide
    alidan , October 26, 2012 1:42 AM
    phamhlamMicrosoft should make a standard laptop. It could be simple and work. No ugly screen, no crappy keyboard, big trackpad, crapware free, no annoyingly loud fan, and comes with Microsoft great build quality.I however love the Surface Pro and if it comes out at $800, it feels like a true laptop replacement and desktop companion.

    because it is a laptop... minus the built in keyboard.

    myromance123So after they hid it from their partners about making their own device, now it seems almost like they are threatening their partners. Although this may possibly mean better hardware support and an overall experience if Microsoft make their own hardware, is it wise to shoo off the partners that helped keep them alive as a worldwide monopoly?If Windows 8 does not do so well, things may start to build up into bigger problems later on.This is solely my opinion however. I personally buy computers for their parts, not for their OS.


    i use windows for the programs, not the os. if linux made it easy to install, and had a crap ton of support from everything i want, i would move in a heart beet.

    but microsoft... they aren't threatening their partners, they are getting sick of them making cheap crap and people comparing the full plastic laptop to the macbook pros.

    they saw what the oems were doing with the tablet, face palmed hard, and decided they wanted to make a true competitor to ipad, and not have a cluster... cant say next word for sanctions... that is the android, where there is some great hardware, but so much crap too that it gives android a bad name.

    with microsoft making their own tablet, they can say this is how you do it, either forcing oems to step up or get the hell off the platform.

    BreakThemRocksYes welcome the new M$, Buy our hardware and get a ball and chain for free ! I'll stick with windows 7 until expiration, and dual boot Linux, I am sure before win 7 goes, most laptop OEMs will offer a choice of operating systems!


    yea, when a desktop can no longer be built by hand with the os installed by the user, that is when i will give up completely on microsoft, all this is is microsoft not wanting to fail because oems suck in the tablet space.

  • 1 Hide
    boju , October 26, 2012 1:57 AM
    bring back the 5button intelli mouse please i will take a dozen!
  • 1 Hide
    cscott_it , October 26, 2012 2:09 AM
    myromance123So after they hid it from their partners about making their own device, now it seems almost like they are threatening their partners. Although this may possibly mean better hardware support and an overall experience if Microsoft make their own hardware, is it wise to shoo off the partners that helped keep them alive as a worldwide monopoly?If Windows 8 does not do so well, things may start to build up into bigger problems later on.This is solely my opinion however. I personally buy computers for their parts, not for their OS.


    Well, or you could see them making very limited offerings into the hardware field and set a base image. Their version of saying "I remember when you guys went against our suggestion and sold ugly, uninspiring and poor performing PC's, despite our advice and counseling. This is our idea of how it should be done." They just needed to set a quality baseline, so other's can follow. Part of the whole marketable image kerfuffle.
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , October 26, 2012 2:19 AM
    meh...
    I have never had any M$ branded hardware other than a Mouse and a Keyboard....
    I don't think that this will ever change for me.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , October 26, 2012 2:45 AM
    It seems that mostly companies like Acer are complaining, and they are the lowest end products you can get in the USA
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , October 26, 2012 3:06 AM
    For tablets....I'd still list Craig well below Acer...
  • 2 Hide
    fuzzion , October 26, 2012 3:27 AM
    Thank god for Win 7.
  • 1 Hide
    Darkerson , October 26, 2012 4:33 AM
    I for one am glad they are doing this. Their "partners" need a little encouragement to either step up their game, or get the hell out of the way, considering all the cheap garbage they have thrown out at us consumers for so many years. Its honestly a wake up call they needed a LONG time ago.
  • 0 Hide
    Bloob , October 26, 2012 4:40 AM
    Just FYI, there will be no Lumia Surface phone, nor will Nokia be a "white box" manufacturer to one. There will likely be a surface phone though, and Foxconn will likely be the manufacturer.
  • 0 Hide
    techy74 , October 26, 2012 5:42 AM
    Very happy with their MS keyboards and Mice. If their other gear is as good - why not?
  • 1 Hide
    assasin32 , October 26, 2012 6:47 AM
    If they do get into this heavily they had better remember NO CRAPWARE and keep build quality high. They have the resources, I have high expectations. I want them to make a lot of the other manufacturers step up their game, I am greatly annoyed with the amount of crapware in machines and build quality from some of these manufacturers.
  • -1 Hide
    frombehind , October 26, 2012 8:17 AM
    a beautiful Samsung 5.5" windows 8 phone? YES PLEASE =D
  • -1 Hide
    Cryio , October 26, 2012 10:04 AM
    BloobJust FYI, there will be no Lumia Surface phone, nor will Nokia be a "white box" manufacturer to one. There will likely be a surface phone though, and Foxconn will likely be the manufacturer.


    Surface Phone? What?....Windows Phone 8 is basically Windows 8, without the features that wouldn't work on a phone. Ehm?
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