“Declaring that Microsoft and its partners had in the past ‘ceded some of the boundary between hardware and software innovation’ to Apple, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told CRN in an exclusive interview Monday that the company’s Surface tablet marks a new era in which the computer software giant will leave no “stone unturned” in its innovation battle against Apple,” Steven Burke reports for CRN.

MacDailyNews Take: The man is a genius.

“‘We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,’ said an exuberant Ballmer in a 30-minute interview after addressing some 16,000 partners at the company’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. ‘We are not. No space uncovered that is Apple’s,'” Burke reports. “‘We have our advantages in productivity,’ he said. ‘We have our advantages in terms of enterprise management, manageability. We have got our advantages in terms of when you plug into server infrastructure in the enterprise. But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple],’ shouted Ballmer. ‘Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch.'”

MacDailyNews Take: A genius, we tell you! (Despite the fact about all that’s gone on during his “watch” at Microsoft is an unrelenting, merciless ass-kicking administered by Apple.)

Burke reports, “Ballmer did not even discount the possibility that Microsoft’s innovation offensive could include its own smartphone to compete against Apple’s wildly popular iPhone. When asked if Microsoft might make its own smartphone, Ballmer paused and then replied: ‘Right now we are working real hard on the Surface. That’s the focus. That’s our core. Look, we’ll see what happens. We have good partners with Nokia, HDC [sic] in the phone space. I love what we’ve got going on with the Surface. We are going to focus on Surface and our other Windows 8 Tablet partners and see if we can go make something happen.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Nokia is a “good partner.” Good partners are always gasping for air like fish on a sidewalk.

Ballmer Big DummyBurke reports, “As to whether partners will eventually be able to sell the Surface, which is slated to be available from Microsoft.com and Microsoft retail stores, Ballmer said Microsoft’s initial emphasis was to put ‘one foot in front of the other’ and get the product ‘out the door.'”

MacDailyNews Take: A certifiable genius!

Burke reports, “The Surface marks the first time ever that Microsoft has tried Apple’s long-successful strategy of tightly integrating its own hardware and software together in sleek products.”

MacDailyNews Take: You know, because the Zune and the Kin never happened. Oh, right, Burke typed “sleek” products. (Are either of the Surface vaporlets really that “sleek?” Is a silly kickstand sleek?)

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Steve Jobs’ longterm plan continues to unfold with precision. It’ll be a sad day when Ballmer T. Clown finally bites the bullet.

May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft’s CEO for as long as it takes!

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