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Ballmer: Microsoft’s Surface is a supplement to what OEMs offer

Steve Ballmer Surface

Steve Ballmer announced his retirement from Microsoft in August. He said he’d step down within 12 months, once Microsoft finds a new CEO to take his role. Yesterday we learned that Microsoft has made a lot of progress in their CEO search and expects to finish the hunt in early 2014. In the meantime, Steve Ballmer is working hard at Microsoft and doing some interviews as he wraps up his legacy. Here’s another from Mary Jo Foley that talks about Apple as a competitor and how Surface was a harder decision than Xbox.

This discussion with Ballmer is focused on the hardware story at Microsoft. Typically, Microsoft is thought of as a software company. That’s certainly where their strengths are, but these days Microsoft does hardware too.

Sure, you can argue that Microsoft has been a hardware company for a long time. Things like the Xbox, mice, keyboards, and Perceptive Pixel would certainly back up your argument. However, with the introduction of the Surface and their pending acquisition of Nokia’s handset division, Microsoft is about to go back time with hardware like they’ve never done before.

Why build Surface to begin with? According to Ballmer, it was to combat the threat of Apple in the high-end space for consumer electronics. It was a tricky move of course, because it could damage the current model/relationship Microsoft has going with various PC OEMs. Ballmer thinks that Surface isn’t a threat to Microsoft’s partners though. Instead, Surface is more of a supplement to the past and current work that OEMs like Samsung, HP, Lenovo and others already do. Ballmer said:

“And our OEMs do great work, but there are places their brands and investments don't travel. And so we wanted to supplement the work of our OEMs, hopefully make our OEMs stronger through the process, by making our overall competition with Apple.”

The full thoughts from Steve Ballmer are undoubtedly worth reading. So please check out the link below to read Mary Jo’s full account of the conversation with Ballmer.

Source: ZDNet

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DJCBS says:

Well, my Surface RT just died after only 6 months. So there's that. Until now I WAS a Surface fan. I even said that *maybe* Microsoft could produce nice phones if they did them like the Surface.
Well...was I mistaken.

Now I'm sending the Surface to the warranty for repair (being deprived from it until next year as I'm leaving the country and now I've nothing to transfer the photos from the L1020 to) and after that, off to eBay with it. I'm getting myself a Nokia L2520. I don't know where I had my head for ever thinking Microsoft's hardware deserved a chance...so I'm glad to see that even Microsoft's CEO sees their tablet as just a suplement. You won't get me with another Surface. That's for sure. I'm not changing tablets ever 6 months.

(As for future phones...LOL)

twelvetudors says:

Well, your anecdotal evidence sure applies to everyone ever and it sure convinced me! /s

stui83 says:

He needs to google '5 sigma', perfection is pricey

WilsonBlaze says:

Im sure You never had a surface and if you did apparently you have enough cash to purposely destroy it. Mine works fast and fine after a year.

DJCBS says:

Oh yeah. I love to waste money. At sunday afternoons I always go to the nearest window, pick up a bucket of euro bills and throw them out into the garden for the dogs.

Also, I'm an expert in making things stop working with the power of my mind. I like to do it specially when I'm working on Microsoft's Word without saving. Love it, love it.

VHMP01 says:

The thing is, my wife's iPhone 4S died on the second day, point is all hardware can be defective. Perhaps your Surface was so you should apply guaranty if still posible, then she got a good one. By the same time I got and excelent Galaxy (I), and now I got a Galaxy III, both have never failed on me, but and LG TV got broken just after a year and an expired guaranty, tougth luck for us, point of defective hardware already mentioned.

norville2 says:

Think you better get an Apple product, they never go wrong.

realemotionx says:

This dude is such a massive troll. The fact I can identify him by username now is telling. My surface pro is half a year old now and more functional than ever.

jeres88 says:

If you like to waste money so much you should consider buying an Apple product.  I imagine it's these telekinetic powers that are earning you so much money to burn.

Wow dramatic much? Based on your criteria I should never buy products from: apple, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Microsoft, Linksys, netgear, or dlink ever again!

This /\ that always cracks me up. As if no other brand product has a dud. My buddy bought a new iPhone 5 and had nothing but problems with it. Returned it for a sg3 and said the same thing as this cat.

DJCBS says:

My creteria is simple: a product that is well built shouldn't break after 6 months. Never has any Nokia, Sony or LG product broke on me after 6 months. Not even after the 2 years of legal warranty. Actually, I have some that still work after over 10 years. The Surface lasted 6 months.

My statement still stands I have had products from every company do what your saying. Stop being dramatic.

DJCBS says:

It's called "utter disappointment". I really liked the Surface and I always thought it could mean a good example for Microsoft's future hardware products.
Again, no quality product is supposed to break after only 6 months. The fact that this fucked up my Christmas vacations (which revolved heavily around photography, by the way) is just the cherry on top of the cake.
No drama. I send the Surface to repair, I'll sell it after and buy a Nokia tablet instead. Nokia has NEVER let me down in over 15 years. So I'm not expecting them to start now. I gave Microsoft's hardware a chance. They failed. Period.

Again based on your criteria don't buy a Nokia product they have sent me 2 920s so there quality products break as well. As did all the other brands I mentioned.

JoRdaNeK says:

My first 1020 had a dead pixel.....i forgive Nokia

Arsenic17 says:

Shit happens man. There is a fail rate. Get over it. Doesn't make it any worse of a device that you happen to fall into the 1%. My surface pro broke within 3 weeks of owning it. I bought it to take on a 2 month business trip. It broke two weeks before I was supposed to leave and the repair took forever and it didn't arrive to my house until the day after I left the country. I was so mad but I have stuck by surface and love it. I have had my pro (the replacement one) about 6 months now. Minor issues here and there software related but overall great device the first Nokia I got a 900 had a defective back button and I had to get it replaced. I have stuck by Nokia and gotten another 900, the 928, 920 and the 1020 so far. Stuff happens don't cry about it and claim the device is crap. If the fail rate was up near 10% or an absurd 40% like the original Xbox 360, then you can complain.

norville2 says:

Think you better get an Apple product, they never go wrong.

My Mum let me down this morning.....shall i blast her and tell he she is useless? She has been around for 40 years though.

stiggs says:

"It fucked up my Christmas".

Yeah, no drama there. /s

jeres88 says:

You are right, no quality product whould break after only 6 months.  That is what a Warranty is for.  If you manage to get a defective product that breaks before it reasonably should then you can get it replaced.  I'm glad you understand that, though I don't see why you are complaining.  You even stated yourself that they are fixing it.

Oh well, have fun with your Lumia tablet, it really does look like a great device.  I'm still rocking my Surface Pro that I bought on day 1.  It's working great!

Damn dude read the forums on Nokia products. I agree with you my 920 is a tank I love it but there are people out there that have had shit luck with Nokia.

madmoondog says:

I'm on my 4th. Yes 4th. Nokia.

jayrod213 says:

I'm also on my 4th 920. Even though it's a little frustrating I wouldn't ditch it for something else because it is a great phone. I have a Surface Pro 2. If anything happens to it I would just get another one. It's by far the best tablet i've ever used. That's why Microsoft sells 2 year warranties. Shit happens.

lippidp says:

I've had my 1020 for at least 1500 hours with no problems! This is because I'm rad.

Both with 920 and Surface 2... down volume + power button for ten seconds will usually save you from a crash, even from the dreaded page fault in a nonpaged area crash with the latter.

Verkunder says:

I SEEK ATTENTION

SargeT says:

Again. You are out of luck. I have two bricked Lumias 800, one replaced during warranty, another made me lots of butthurt and took it to service 4 times before it bricked accurately after warranty was over. So what? I just bought 920 and totally happy now because obviously I've just been out of luck with the 800, nothing more.

DJCBS says:

May I ask how on Earth did you brick two phones?
Also...bricked phones is a software problem. Software problems are the fault of the software company.

OMG55 says:

Dude, find something else to do besides pretend every other manufacturer in the world doesn't have issues with mass produce hardware

SargeT says:

May I ask you ho much experience with electronics have you got? Answering to you, the same way as you, they just switched off once and never switched on again. For the first brick they returned me new phone and "issue" was written as "defective radio module". Second brick just lies now on a shelf in my place together with 10+ different cases (not cheap, btw!) that all became useless after 800s dead. Let it be a sweet little museum to the greatest epoch-making Nokia's phone, I said, and bought a 920. Was I wrong?

KelvBlue says:

Sorry to break your bubble but Nokia is the only WP that had people stuck on the spinning cogs. I love my 920 but had already sent it back to repair for 3 times already.

I'm a huge Nokia fan but I have been through 5 Lumia 900s and 4 Lumia 920s. Only the Lumia 1020 has been good to me. I have since gotten the 1520 and this device is the best I've owned in terms of build quaility.

 

Dude, i had every possible problem on my 900, bad screen, squeak in top right, wouldn't charge, one of them wouldn't register all my finger touches...man that was a rough time, my local ATT needed approval from the onwer to swap the last 2 out since all mine were bad.

The 920 wasn't any better to me either. smh But I NEVER used my luck to bash an entire company like you just did. Lemons happen.

 

msi31684 says:

Dude really appreciate your patience with all tht..u have to be bigger fan than me..but above all this discussions n leaving bad luck aside Nokia hardware rocks always..

Yeah that's why I kept coming back. Had this been from HTC/Samsung I probably wouldn't have been so patient ;)

I try to avoid dud phones by getting the second batch from the manufacturer. The company would have learned from their mistakes and listened to feedback given by the customers... Though its not easy waiting another 2 months for that to happen...

Wow, listening to you guys I feel lucky. I never had a electronic device breakdown on me (except for one Card reader). But I agree, there will always be defective products, especially in electronic devices. It is not possible for a mass produced and assembled product to have zero defect rate.

Lumia 8x says:

Drama queen much? My brothers iPhone 5s broke after 2 weeks. Wow he broke your record. So what did he do? He got a new phone. Did he cry about it? No. Because he understands that bad things happen to electronics. Nothing is 100%.

jMawl says:

I bet he would have bitched and moaned to high heaven if his life and Christmas vacation revolved around photography with his phone /s

kurotsuki says:

Really? My Lumia 520's speaker is dead ... twice ... The first one is two month after it was purchased. I go to NCC (Nokia Care Center) and got it fixed with just two days. Apparently, they only reflash the OS with newer firmware. Then, after two month from that incident, the speaker was broken again (Yes, the exact same problem from two month earlier). Back to NCC and this time they held my 520 in their custody in a full month. Fixed by replacing all internal hardware to the point that IMEI number also changed. And this is Lumia, a Nokia devices you talking about. How sad is that?

duk3togo says:

Interesting comment yet Sony's PS4 had HW issues in day 1 its a risk with electronics unfortunately. I am not saying you're lying or a troll but what I am saying is sometimes things just happen.

ravi.tandon says:

I have had to replace a Samsung 24" monitor 4 times in 6 months and it was still bad and they finally said its out of warranty despite giving me a model upgrade. Had to get me a dell, so you can never tell.

lippidp says:

Definitely not dlink.

SargeT says:

You're personally out of luck, so what? There are no ones who make no mistakes, the trick is to solve them quick. Every vendor from Sony, and apple to huawei and noname makes lots of disposable s**t 1-3% faulty nowadays, just use warranty and see if they recover your surface quick.

DJCBS says:

Out of luck after 6 months of everyday use? Hmm...what a coincidence. Also, never has this happened to me with any other of the vendors I buy from (and I never diverge much. It's always Nokia, Sony or LG)

SargeT says:

See above. Two bricked 800 within a year. Should I never buy Nokias then?

msi31684 says:

What r u trying to prove here...go get life..ur argument is not taken well by anyone here..shit happens..u might b the unluckiest guy on this planet..

jMawl says:

I used to only buy Sony for everything until they started making sh*t products in the early 2000s. Then I moved around for a bit. It seems they are doing a bit better again, but I digress. Yes, 6 months of everyday use or 1 week or 2 years. Things happen. Some products break. My Surface 2 is rock solid, but it is clear from the forums that a few or many people have had hardware and software issues with theirs. That's life. If you have a good warranty (and it sounds like you do) it gets replaced.

ParNeverhood says:

My Sony T.V. died after 3 years, my Sony Viao died in 4 months.  I stopped buying Sony as they didn't care about my experience.  My Surface RT is still running and I purchased it at day one of availability.  $hit happens, but I don't believe any if the $hit you post!

kurotsuki says:

And my Lumia's hardware (main speaker) dead with just two month after daily usage. So even Nokia still has defective chance. Get over with it (-_-)a

You always have depressing stories to tell, in big wall of text. Never ever read anything positive going on. Sucks to be you. Now, go on, call me a "twat" or any other pleasant stuff you usually call people here.
It's quite amazing you keep coming here, but *always* have something negative to say, I mean no one expects you to be a fanboy, but hateboy is much worse.

DJCBS says:

You should search better. Until today, regarding the Surface, I gave nothing but praises. And, in abstract, I still find the design of both tablet and covers top noch. Unfortunately, the quality of the hardware isn't what  one was expecting from such an overpriced but and apparently well built tablet.

jMawl says:

Correction, "the quality of the one piece of hardware that you happen to own wasn't what you were expecting from such a reasonably priced tablet."

link68759 says:

"oh no I got one of the rare defective units (or just plain broke it) and now I refuse to ever buy one ever again!"

You haven't had much experience with technology, have you?

DJCBS says:

You haven't much experience with reading have you? Read it again. You may find somewhere the words "after 6 months" there. So yeah. "defective unit" is rulled out. Bad quality. That's more likely.

imstymied says:

So 6 months and a day would have been ok?

On the Surface I think its much more likely Balmer has been following your posts and threw the kill switch on your Surface. Just be glad Nokia is not in the MS fold yet or your phone would have stopped working just when you took it off airplane mode for your trip.

Hows that for likely

msi31684 says:

May b its d unit they have created specially for u..stop spreading negative nonsense here...btw im gona get surface exactly opposite to urs..

levelbest says:

...because apple and other vendors hardware NEVER fails.  So it's Microsoft's fault it died when you are going out of the country.  I get it.  Makes sense.

 

DJCBS says:

Never after only 6 months, no. So yeah, it's Microsoft's fault is it was Microsoft who built it. They're the ones with the poor manufacturing standards apparently.

Silver Wind says:

My lumia 920 had its screen bleed out after 6 months exactly. At least you guys can use the warranty. I'm from Maldives, and we don't have access to any such thing as a Nokia care centre or a Microsoft store whatsoever. My phone was an imported Singapore model (a country about 5000 miles away).

I have no experience fixing a broken display, but I've decided to buy a $99 display assembly anyway.

I bought a surface rt just after they released version 2 for my girlfriend (a university student). Still has some battery issues (probably driver - says no battery found from time to time). You don't see me complaining, do you?

But then complaining is one thing, you're outright ditching an OEM cuz you had an unlucky experience with one device?

Personally, if I get a good deal for a surface 2 or pro 2, I'd take it without hesitation. Why once I fix my lumia 920, I'm already thinking of buying the the international variant of lumia 929 when it comes out. But I won't sell this either. I'll simply give it to someone who I can support if they fact any problems with it, like I did.

Sometimes hardware comes out defective, even top notch hardware. Just because your tablet(surface) came with problems do not assume that all tablets (surfaces) have same the issue.

NIST says:

All I heard was "blah blah blah I'm leaving the country blah blah blah".

DJCBS says:

Which gives you the special ability to hear stuff that normal mortals can only read. Good for you, special one.

jmikla says:

You sir are a douche bag. Go cry to someone who gives a fuck.

DJCBS says:

I will once you go take a photo of the TGV in movement from the front.

Just say yes, and move on. You know when it comes from DJbadkarma, it certainly is some horror story about how Microsoft touched him in inappropriate places

SargeT says:

Hahahah funny said, write more!

stzeer6 says:

If you got it from a MS store they'll replace it on the spot. Even if you didn't there is a good chance they'll be nice and do the swap anyways.

DJCBS says:

That's the problem. Because I'm not American, there are no Microsoft Stores I can go to. Because there are no Microsoft Stores outside the US. And Microsoft here doesn't even have a 24/7 support line. The products all come from the Netherlands (for tax purposes on Microsoft's part) and their online support only works from 9am to 6pm.
Even if they swap it (they will have to swap it or repair it as they're bound by the European 2 years legal warranty), it will take forever.

jMawl says:

It sounds like your problem isn't Microsoft, then. It sounds like your problem is that you aren't American.

ravi.tandon says:

You don't need to be American but need to be in America. Consumerism rules here :)

jMawl says:

I know...I was just pulling his chain :)

DJCBS says:

No offense, but I thank God that I'm European. I wouldn't want to be American not even if I was paid for it (and you can blame your Government for that. America is a great country ruined by an hypocritical political system).

OMG55 says:

Every piece of hardware the is produce Inna manufacturing plant with parts from various vendors will have some bad ones....look at Sony PS4, Xbox One (ROM drive issues), Nokia Lumia 800, 900, etc. I have several surface devices, 4 2520, and neither of them have failed. No disrespect to you, but if you expect mass produced devices never to fail then you're crazy. As states I have some 2520's and occasionally they do wierd things, but no enough for me to abandon that line of devices. Even some laptops and desktops have had issues within a month of purchase, but they were fixed quickly. There's only 12 days left in December and you expect to ship a device out which takes time and have it back in that time window....that's blond of you!

DJCBS says:

Thing is...the product was working fine until now. It's not like "I bought a Surface yesterday and it died today". No. I bought it 6 months ago and it has always worked flawlessly. And then it just died. That's NOT normal. Nor expected from a company like Microsoft. If this was some cheap piece of hardware, I would understand it better. It's cheap, you pay for that. Much like you have to deal with the fact that some games won't work on a L520. The Surface is far from a cheap device.

As for the replacement...they ship the products and they normaly arrive in 24/48 hours. I bought a type cover 2, they dispatched it from the Netherlands (as usual) and it arrived the next day. So, technically, yes, they can replace this quickly. Depends on the procedure. It's within the warranty so they can just replace it instead of repairing it. Whatever the case, I'm not expecting them to solve the problem in a timely maner, no.

kingjah says:

You sir, just made me late for a date...LOL++

xFalk says:

Shit breaks regardless of who makes it ...Microsoft, Nokia, Apple, Samsung, NASA (remember the Challenger?) Sometimes we just get the unlucky draw so you can't base everything on one product fail.

lippidp says:

Well, I'm on your side. If you are unhappy with the product you would be a fool to get another. Forget about all the apologists on here. Way to stick to your guns! That said, the point that everyone else makes about sometimes getting a dud is also true. So, you can rightfully say that you don't like the Surface and are unhappy with its quality, but you cannot say that the Surface or all Microsoft hardware is low quality.

kurotsuki says:

+infinite number for this comment :)

grantc5 says:

Wow, I didn't know they made men in the whining bitch model...

OMG55 says:

Cancel my previous post to you, just realized you're the troll that's always in here

freshfelicio says:

I love my Surface Pro 2...

wharfratg says:

Man, I've rarely seen anyone cling so fiercely to a sample error-based fallacy. Entertaining for sure!

canadian1der says:

Six months? Surfaces come with a one year warranty, did you bother to get it repaired or fixed by Microsoft?

Clavitox says:

That's why there is a ONE YEAR warranty, because manufacturers expect defects to appear within that year

Fritzly says:

One year in the US, two in Europe...

Niavlys77 says:

Just because it's your first device to die after 6 months? That's ridiculous, really - but even if your logic is flawed, have fun with the 2520.

On a side note - if it was just the internal SSD, it really shouldn't come as such a complete shock...those things do exactly that, although it's really not common. I bought two identical refurbished Corsair SSD's - one died after 4 months, the other has lasted 10 and counting (in the same laptop - and was used in my desktop before that). Also had a Seagate laptop HDD die on me after an exact 3 months (was using it for school - hard to forget something like that happening near the end of a semester). Definitely doesn't mean I'm not going to buy Corsair or Seagate anymore - it obviously happens with any given manufacturer, so why should it phase me?

Anyway, you really shouldn't be so naive - just because you haven't had something die at 6 months before, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen, or shouldn't happen ever. It only means you finally became part of that small percentage of people who have experienced such a problem.

vanpride64 says:

my ipad died as well. does apple make bad produces too? i have a surface as well and its doing well. and a xboxone , 920 , iphone5s. so plz with that bulls***

markdotinc says:

This is why apple is so successful. I've had have friends with iPhones that die twice in a month, but they're still happy because they can get it fixed under warranty. Somehow, Microsoft just doesn't have that kind of loyalty in its users; instead, we have asshats like this guy who only ever complain. You contribute nothing to this website--this article and otherwise.

caesar500 says:

I understand the frustration, because I've had 7 L920's and 3 L1020's in the last 13 months. I will probably do a warranty exchange for another L1020. Maybe you're having a bad run like me.

aeonstar says:

Its like every thing you write is to bash Microsoft. Dude give. It a rest already in almost every article you have some story as to why you hate Microsoft

mswindows101 says:

Just because your Surface died doesn't mean it's a bad product. EVERY company have devices that fail dude... Smh.

aitt says:

I kinda understand where he coming from, but not to his level. I bought an ASUS Transformer (Android) and the screen went out in just around the one year mark when I bought it.  Didnt bash them took it for what it was. Went ahead and cut my loss. Then bought a Nexus 7 also made by ASUS and the charging port went out. Said I would never buy an ASUS. But with Nokia yea I too have had issues with my first 920 and got it replaced. my second I have now the vibration rattles the phone (known defect) it creaks in the top right, dust in the front camera, another known build defect, and ear piece speaker rattles when speaking to people with low vocals. So yes Nokia as well has bad build.I mean you whining abou 6 months like it has never happened to anyone but dont raise one eyebrow when people mention there Nokia defects. Hypocrit.

Jim_MAY says:

Has anyone noticed Ballmer is starting to look like Mr. Evil? Maybe Austin could flip for the CEO position.

Markp74 says:

Oh you poor thing, you had a bad experience best write the company off... Here have a cup of concrete and harden the f**k up.
I was one of the 5000 on launch day that had keyboard connectors that came unglued I dealt with it sent it back got a new one and have been happy ever since I now run my original RT and a Pro 2 couldn't be happier with them.

jaimeastin says:

This has got to be the longest sub thread for an article I've seen on WPC... Please end this! I am scrolling for days to find relevant comments.

Maybe his surface dies, maybe he never had one... Put this thread out to pasture. Please...

txDrum says:

The thing about anecdotal evidence? Its surprisingly anecdotal. You're being exceptionally dramatic here DJCBS. I normally like your points but they're just silly right now. My brother had an iPhone 5 break - stop charging, after 6 months of use. Does that mean apple makes bad hardware too? Things happen, shit happens, and its called bad hardware.

There are a million things that can ruin a device between the purchase and six months. And not all manufacturing defects show up within one day. Oh, my mom's first 920 broke after a few months, and its getting replaced. Hardware issues. I guess Nokia is also a terrible hardware company. At least they're upgrading her to a 1020 for free though. But maybe she should switch to android since none of the three android devices my family has owned broke down in the two year or six month so far life spans they went through.

ravi.tandon says:

Maybe he will stop whining if he got upgrade to Surface 2, or maybe was all of this for someone to take notice

nsg1000 says:

My surface is fine.

he_shark says:

Bleedin' hell, the whole comments section just about your misfortune. These things happen, with any company and product. Some people will be lucky and never have issues, others will get a bad egg that will break, or they'll just accidently damage it (like if it gets a hard knock in your bag without you even noticing). From everything I've read the majority of people have had no issues with their Surface's, you have just been unlucky. It's under warranty, it'll get fixed and hopefully you won't have problems again. It really is no reason to look down on MS hardware, you are being a totally dram-queen.

welsbloke says:

Its never pleasant when something breaks but to be honest this is just a little bit in the "rant" sector. I have access to about 5 Surface RT tablets all of which I guess are between 1 year and 8 months old no problems other than one cracked screen.

Performance could be better but the additional functionality and flexibility more that makes up for that.

chrgeorgeson says:

I understand your anger about your Surface. I'd be pissed too.

However I can't help but think that the Surface breaking followed by you not having it for an extended period of time is clouding your vision.

I have a Surface Pro which has moving parts in it (fan) and it's going strong after nearly a year. I've dropped it so many times and it still runs like new. 

You got a bad unit not a bad product. I get that you might feel differently, that is understandable you vote with your dollar after all. 

I wish you the best on your Lumia 2520 and hope that works out for you. 

Joseph Avena says:

I have mine for a year with no issues.  I don't know what this issue is because it can happen with any product.  Even been to an Apple store where they replace their boken products asap instead of getting bad press.  You state the item is being fixed under warranty, I'll buy it from you $150.00 because BB has them new for $199

talexe says:

Supplement it may be, but it hasn't stopped me considering a (near) future in which my biggest and most capable computing device is a 10-inch Surface Pro. Very liberating not to be tied to a desk!

twelvetudors says:

I have a dock, a 23 inch monitor and a keyboard cover. I love being able to use my surface as tablet, laptop and desktop, it's awesome.

he_shark says:

Yeah I think fair comment by Ballmer though. The Surface isn't for everyone, it's a very high-end device and there's plenty of space for OEMs beneath it. And indeed plenty for them to improve on above it if they wish as well. Many people don't need the Wacom screen and would take a tablet $200 less with plain capacitive touch. Many people want a bigger screen and will find the one size Surface restrictive - which makes me wonder if they will branch out into bigger sized devices (given 10 is about the max for comfortable tablet use, perhaps not).

b23h says:

"Microsoft is about to go back time with hardware like they’ve never done before."

I have a feeling your looking to say "big time" and not back time.    

The surface is nice......

I love my Surface RT, just treated myself with a Surface Pro 2 for Xmas, since I deserve it, it's been a long hard working year.

jfivieght says:

very diplomatic of him

SargeT says:

Ahh too much English, and too much American English. Thank you WPC for the digests.

Robborboy says:

Correction, all RT tablets are merely supplements to anything else as the ARM architecture is cripplingly limited in what it can do.

Queue up all who wish to decry what I said because they can do X or Y with their tablet. Yes, you can. You are doing exactly what a tablet is meant to do, not what a full blown x86 workstation is meant to, or is capable of.

Exactly, that's why like the RT, for the sole purpose of browsing or reading a book, watching a video. Don't want to carry a full Windows 8, with its heavier weight, limited battery and the unnecessary, and sometimes dangerous ability of running non-curated (legacy exe's) programs. Of course, for work purposes, I need a full Windows 8.

Robborboy says:

So in other words since weight is an issue you must hate the heft of the obese Lumia 9xx+ devices. An extra half pound is well worth the added functionality. The battery issue was remedied with Baytrail. And if the device with running an executable without your permission then you might want to reevaluate your knowledge in computer usage.

txDrum says:

I don't know where this battery rumor is still coming from. Bay trail gets similar battery life to anything ARM, and the surface pro 2 gets better life than he surface 2 per anandtech.

Yes, there are viruses. But you kind of have to be an idiot to get one nowadays. But I will give that thats the only legitimate reason to stay off Win 8. And maybe weight, but bay trail could still fit into the same form factor as ARM, so thats not really a reason.

Ha, I'm your exact opposite. For work purposes I only need Microsoft Office and a web browser, but for entertainment purposes I need full Windows 8 (or 7).

Tyradius says:

I always considered the surface tablets to be the high end premium products designed to compete against apple, while letting the OEMs make the lower end hardware (though some make premium hardware too). I don't expect Microsoft to ever have a cheap tablet. Even the surface mini will be around apple mini prices. If you want cheaper price there is the dell venue pro 8 and Lenovo miix 2 8 etc. So in my mind its the OEMs that supplement Microsoft not the other way around.

chriswong13 says:

The fact that Surface was a supplement was already said when they were released. I think that's, in part, why they are not truly amazing over what OEMs have released with Win 8.x - so as not to piss them off. I'm looking forward to improvements to the Surface line, but they can't move too quickly because of OEMs...

wpguy says:

One thing not said in the Ballmer interview: "We built the Surface, because the OEMs were sitting on their lazy rumps, building the same tired, non-touch devices they had been for years and wondering why their market share was dwindling."

Agreed.

They took a bath on the Surface RT BUT the OEM's seem to be finally coming out with some decent devices.

gevabar says:

He is right they wanted a high end product...and they should make it even higher end....

wharfratg says:

This interview confirms why the "I'd buy it if it were $300 cheaper" crowd misses the point. I bought the Surface Pro for value, not price.

The biggest mistake wasn't releasing Surface RT - after iPads, people expected a tablet to run a slimmed down OS. The biggest mistake was to confuse the market by releasing Surface Pro - all the Pro succeeded in doing was to give critics cannon fodder to shoot down the RT version for not running full Windows. If Microsoft had focused all of its efforts on RT from the start instead of splitting its offering, perhaps more people would have bought into the exciting idea of a Microsoft tablet along the lines of the iPad model, and then perhaps more developers would have been convinced to develop apps for the system. Instead, all we got was dumb review after dumb review saying it was junk because it didn't run full Windows like Surface Pro... Critical mistake. And for all those who say - yeah but I love my Pro... Well great, I'm sure it rocks, but there's no real need for it - it doesn't differentiate the market enough from a lightweight ultrabook at the same price point - whereas there WAS a market for a tablet with a tablet OS, as proven in spades by iPad...

rculver9056 says:

Those tech journalists never gave it a fair go. Just wrote bullshit about how the 2 models confused them and went back to their iToys.
Fuck, I got what Microsoft were doing right from the start and decided that I wanted the rt ito compliment my pc use. (I was never a fan of the laptop form anyway.)
And, yes..."...but it's all called Windows...". Yes, Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone. Extremely confusing, I'm sure.

This and all the crying over the Start Screen (Waaaah! I want my start menu back!) really piss me off.

Sorry about the rant, folks!

Also, my original Surface gave up the ghost after a few months. Microsoft replaced it and now Mother's Christmas gift is sorted lol

I agree, but Microsoft should never have given them that ammo in the first place. I got the RT too because I totally understood the concept. I like the idea of Pro, but feel that should have been launched years after Microsoft had established itself in the true tablet segment with RT. Never mind, mistakes happen, and Surface RT is definitely gaining more and more fans judging by the comments I get in coffee shops!

paliotti says:

I love my Surface RT. I would definitely buy a Surface 2 just for the performance boost alone. The Surface tablets are by far the best Windows tablets on the market right now. Nothing compares really. Most tablets out there are plastic. Fine, that may not be a deal breaker but still. The build quality of the Surface is amazing, and actually, the Surface 2 should have been the original Surface to start. Such a great machine. i definitely recommend purchasing the Surface 2.

Ordeith says:

Google is the threat. Not Apple. Refocus.