Ballmer: Surface is a "Real Business"
February 20, 2013 12:07 PM
Microsoft CEO defends cross platform approach, jump into tablet market
is a real business. In an environment in which there’s 350 million PCs sold, I don’t think Surface is going to dominate volume, but it’s a real business," commented Microsoft Corp. (
) CEO Steve Ballmer in a
recent shareholder unrest
as Microsoft has
struggled in the smartphone
and tablet markets
. But Mr. Ballmer is convinced that Microsoft's new unified approach -- which will culminate in the late summer 2013 launch of
Windows/Windows Phone "Blue"
-- is a solid route to market domination.
He explains, "Increasingly, people access the same content and services from multiple devices or use more than one device at a time. [Having] the same look and feel shortens the learning curve and creates a more seamless user experience."
Microsoft is rumored to be
working on a Surface Phone
, a device designed to encourage third party OEMs to step up their game. When it comes to the Surface tablet, Mr. Ballmer says it showed OEMs what could be done with a Windows 8 tablet. He comments, "I’m super-glad we did Surface. I think it is important—and not just for Microsoft but for the entire Windows ecosystem—to see integrated hardware and software."
Surface RT ($499) has been
criticized for its poor resolution
(1366x768), while Surface Pro ($899 USD 64 GB; $999 USD 128 GB) has been criticized for offering
too little free space
to the user. Still, both tablets are very popular for their slick looks and solid hardware; the Surface Pro
is currently sold out
The CEO claims that Microsoft understands very well what consumers wants, but sometimes is just a bit lacking in execution.
He remarks, "So is there a lack of understanding, or in some cases do I wish our execution had been better? I would say the latter. In cases where we’ve embraced end-user needs and really sort of dived in, like the things that we’ve done with Kinect and the Xbox, I think we’ve done a heck of a job."
While no official announcements have been made Microsoft has come under fire for reportedly
locking out used games
from its next generation gaming console, the Xbox 720. The console, which is expected to launch later this year, is also criticized as being
harder to develop for
and less popular than Sony Corp.'s (
) upcoming PlayStation 4, according to industry sources who've worked with early dev kits.
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