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Michael Dell Was The First To See Surface, Says Ballmer

In a joint interview with the New York Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Dell CEO Michael Dell talked about Windows 8, Surface, the task of attracting developers to create apps, and more. They revealed that Michael Dell was actually the first non-Microsoft individual to see the Windows 8 tablet before the company went public with its plans.

Dell said that he was on the way to Lagos when Ballmer showed him the Surface tablet in Chicago. The New York Times asked Ballmer what he thought partners like Dell would feel after learning about Microsoft entering the device industry with its own tablet.

"Of course I would expect -- and one of the reasons it was important for me to see Michael myself -- the initial reaction is: ‘What the heck? This is different.’ Michael’s reaction was very thoughtful," Ballmer said.

"We had a good discussion about what Microsoft’s goals are," Dell added. "As I see it, the prime goal is to ensure the success of Windows 8. We’ve never sold all the PCs in the world. As I’ve understood Steve’s plans here, if Surface helps Windows 8 succeed, that’s going to be good for Windows, good for Dell and good for our customers. We’re just fine with all that."

Later on in the interview, the New York Times said that some of the early reviews have pointed out that the transition from the traditional desktop to the new Modern UI can be a little "jarring". Ballmer was asked if he thought this will be an issue with the new OS.

"Beauty will be in the eye of the user. I’m not confused about this. After about a week, I think you don’t even notice it," he said.

"I think what you’re going to see with Windows 8 and touch, it’s going to be like pulse and touch tone. There’s the old one and the new one, and you’re going to want the new one," Dell added.

To read the complete interview, head over to the New York Times here.

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  • "Beauty will be in the eye of the user. I’m not confused about this. After about a week, I think you don’t even notice it," he said."

    My Arse!

    7 months of use and I STILL think Win 8 Metro is FUGLY and I hate it every time I start up my Laptop!

    Nexus 7 for me I am afraid, the wait is over, I want a Tablet and a laptop, and a desktop, and all of them are quite different products for a reason!
    Reply
  • safcmanfr
    After getting used to Win 8, I have no serious issues with it.

    I really want to know what MS future vision is. People are complaining about the metro UI now (for desktops/laptops) do what if touch screen comes the norm for all PCs / mobile devices ? Desktops to be operated by a combi of both touch and traditional M&K.


    At the moment, I am seriously envisioning replacing my desktop next year with a Win 8 tablet (not RT) and keyboard dock - as long as I can get one that has display port output and thunderbolt connection.

    However, that depends, not on MS, but on the external GPU enclosures that allow you to connect a full GPU via thunderbolt to a device. I can seriously see me having a 3 monitor setup, keyboard dock and external GPU sitting on a desk, plugging in my Win 8 tablet (with i5 core for example) and gaming with it.
    It would even work for a serious productivity device. Have the tablet in the dock as a permanent start menu, and flick the programs you wish to use to the screen of your choice (if you have a multi monitor set up), then user the mouse and kb on the 3 screens. This would work for business purposes as well. give all employees a win 8 tablet, then have work areas for the employees to plug their tablet into when they need to use serious horse power or work with several documents at the same time (running VMs, DB management, or just simple copy and paste tasks between multi docs).
    Reply
  • alidan
    moricon"Beauty will be in the eye of the user. I’m not confused about this. After about a week, I think you don’t even notice it," he said."My Arse!7 months of use and I STILL think Win 8 Metro is FUGLY and I hate it every time I start up my Laptop!Nexus 7 for me I am afraid, the wait is over, I want a Tablet and a laptop, and a desktop, and all of them are quite different products for a reason!
    with windows 8 tablet and laptop could be 1, a ultra thin with a swivel screen with wacom penable surface.

    make metro only who when its in tablet mode, and only actavate tablet mode when no programs override it (art and design programs)

    full desktop for when you dont want tablet mode
    full tablet mode when you dont want desktop

    safcmanfrAfter getting used to Win 8, I have no serious issues with it. I really want to know what MS future vision is. People are complaining about the metro UI now (for desktops/laptops) do what if touch screen comes the norm for all PCs / mobile devices ? Desktops to be operated by a combi of both touch and traditional M&K. At the moment, I am seriously envisioning replacing my desktop next year with a Win 8 tablet (not RT) and keyboard dock - as long as I can get one that has display port output and thunderbolt connection. However, that depends, not on MS, but on the external GPU enclosures that allow you to connect a full GPU via thunderbolt to a device. I can seriously see me having a 3 monitor setup, keyboard dock and external GPU sitting on a desk, plugging in my Win 8 tablet (with i5 core for example) and gaming with it. It would even work for a serious productivity device. Have the tablet in the dock as a permanent start menu, and flick the programs you wish to use to the screen of your choice (if you have a multi monitor set up), then user the mouse and kb on the 3 screens. This would work for business purposes as well. give all employees a win 8 tablet, then have work areas for the employees to plug their tablet into when they need to use serious horse power or work with several documents at the same time (running VMs, DB management, or just simple copy and paste tasks between multi docs).
    i dont believe touch will ever work on a traditional desktop setup, even if you make mice with touch in them

    get a 300$+ desktop mount for a monitor, and have a high quality wacom, and i will say that is the future.

    however i cant see touch, as it is now in a tablet, ever working as a desktop feature that is used every day when mouse and keyboard are better, and no one is willing to package a high quality monitor mount with monitors.

    your 1 surface to rule them all... that is interesting, however, i would rather have an ultra thin, keyboard and crap with a swivvle monitor like above. best of both worlds, as i hate the keyboards they have, and even though i don't like laptop keyboards, they are far better than the on cover ones.

    however if i were to go tablet as a 1 to rule them all solution, it would need to have at least 6 usb ports, a card slot in the device, and the ability to have thunderbolt graphics acceleration, and possibly 2-3 independant thunder ports, if i remember right, current thunder specs would bottleneck the gpus by a significant ammount.

    i just thought if this while i was going to the bathroom.

    how about a removeable back for the surface. and have a box that the surface attaches to.
    on the bakc of the surface will be a ball pin connections like intel cpus, where amd uses pins, intel uses balls, why not connect it like that to a box that has a gpu or such in it, and probably a sound card.

    that way you have a portable computer, a work station, and probably VERY few disadvantages to going with it for a gaming prospective.
    Reply
  • safcmanfr
    alidanwith windows 8 tablet and laptop could be 1, a ultra thin with a swivel screen with wacom penable surface.make metro only who when its in tablet mode, and only actavate tablet mode when no programs override it (art and design programs)full desktop for when you dont want tablet modefull tablet mode when you dont want desktopi dont believe touch will ever work on a traditional desktop setup, even if you make mice with touch in themget a 300$+ desktop mount for a monitor, and have a high quality wacom, and i will say that is the future. however i cant see touch, as it is now in a tablet, ever working as a desktop feature that is used every day when mouse and keyboard are better, and no one is willing to package a high quality monitor mount with monitors. your 1 surface to rule them all... that is interesting, however, i would rather have an ultra thin, keyboard and crap with a swivvle monitor like above. best of both worlds, as i hate the keyboards they have, and even though i don't like laptop keyboards, they are far better than the on cover ones. however if i were to go tablet as a 1 to rule them all solution, it would need to have at least 6 usb ports, a card slot in the device, and the ability to have thunderbolt graphics acceleration, and possibly 2-3 independant thunder ports, if i remember right, current thunder specs would bottleneck the gpus by a significant ammount. i just thought if this while i was going to the bathroom. how about a removeable back for the surface. and have a box that the surface attaches to.on the bakc of the surface will be a ball pin connections like intel cpus, where amd uses pins, intel uses balls, why not connect it like that to a box that has a gpu or such in it, and probably a sound card.that way you have a portable computer, a work station, and probably VERY few disadvantages to going with it for a gaming prospective.
    Agreed, the external GPU enclosures would have to improve, but Thunderbolt should be fine for connecting GPUs. I am pretty sure Intel will eventually release a version 2.0 using optical cables not just copper at some point, which would improve the bandwidth again.

    Not something that will be possible tomorrow (replacing gaming machines) but over the next 6 - 18 months? Why not.

    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    Has it ever dawned on you Debbie Downers that using a mouse is the same as a touch input? Derp.
    Reply
  • ojas
    Meh i tried windows 8 yesterday at the press conference for the launch...Seems pretty good for touch screens...on the PC however...first impression was just that, "jarring".
    Reply
  • john_4
    Thats because Dell makes crap just like MS now does.
    Reply
  • john_4
    moricon"Beauty will be in the eye of the user. I’m not confused about this. After about a week, I think you don’t even notice it," he said."My Arse!7 months of use and I STILL think Win 8 Metro is FUGLY and I hate it every time I start up my Laptop!Nexus 7 for me I am afraid, the wait is over, I want a Tablet and a laptop, and a desktop, and all of them are quite different products for a reason!You can fix that Windows infestation problem you have with a distro of Linux.
    Reply
  • soundping
    Windows 7 isn't broke.
    Reply
  • nieur
    all the people who hate Windows 8 seems to be happy with Windows 7(then don't upgrade no one has forced you to do so ). They don't talk what improvements they want in next windows. Constructive criticism is always better than hatred.
    Reply