Ballmer: Uh, yeah, ‘Surface is just a design point,’ you know

After proclaiming in his keynote address at the 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference that Microsoft’s goal is to sell “a few million Surface PCs” in the next year, CEO Steve Ballmer also went on to claim that Microsoft’s Surface tablets are merely reference designs meant to show Windows OEMs what’s possible.

“‘Surface is just a design point,’ Ballmer said. ‘It will have a distinct place in what’s a broad Windows ecosystem. And the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish. We have a mutual goal with our OEM partners to bring a diversity of solutions, Windows PCs, phones, tablets, servers to market. And what we seek to have is a spectrum of stunning devices, stunning Windows devices. So, every consumer, every business customer can say, ‘I have the perfect PC for me.’ … We’re excited about the work our OEM partners are doing on Windows 8,'” John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: First, it’s got a revolutionary Liquidmetal-like unibody chassis branded “VaporMg.” Then, “VaporMg” turns out to perhaps be merely a finish; just a coating. Metallic paint.

Okay, whatever, we expected as much.

Now, Microsoft is going to sell “a few million Surface PCs,” which, BTW, after Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire sales have fallen off a cliff, would make it the #3 best-selling tablet in the world (after Apple’s #1 iPad with Retina display and Apple’s second place $399 iPad 2), oh, but wait, never mind, Surface is really only “just a design point.”

Stunning, indeed.

Is it just us or is instilling confidence among potential tablet buyers and app developers not one of Microsoft’s strong points? Microsoft’s patented method of wildly over-promising and woefully under-delivering just isn’t going to cut it in this new Post-PC world that Steve Jobs hath created.

Watching this Surface debacle unfold is like watching a clown car empty out. At the end, a sweaty Ballmer T. Clown will pop up through the moonroof and scream, “Ta da! It was all just a big fat joke! No, no, no, not me, the Surface!” Then, after laughing maniacally and for far, far too long, he’ll pop a light bulb into his mouth and wander aimlessly offstage.

Do these rapidly deteriorating ‘Surface’ tablets even exist? Nope. Not from what we’ve seen so far. Will they ever? And, if they do, will they even remotely resemble the barely-working mockups that were trotted out during Microsoft’s dog and pony show?

Stay tuned, there are a lot of clowns packed into that old car.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Jax44” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Microsoft’s Buffoon, er… Ballmer throws down gauntlet against Apple – July 10, 2012
Microsoft reportedly dumps ‘VaporMg’ chassis, will use ‘VaporMg’ only as ‘surface treatment’ – July 9, 2012
Microsoft’s downfall: Inside the executive e-mails and cannibalistic culture that fueled Microsoft’s lost decade – July 7, 2012
HP said to dump Microsoft over Surface; to cozy up to Google Android for tablet efforts – July 2, 2012
Bad news for Microsoft’s iPad killer? – July 2, 2012
Dear Microsoft, Steve Balmer and Bill Gates: What is up with your obsession with keyboards? – June 28, 2012
Jason Schwarz: Top 10 reasons why Microsoft’s Surface is DOA – June 22, 2012
Why I love Microsoft’s vaporware Surface tablet – June 22, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet said to be Wi-Fi only at launch; no 4G, no 3G, no 2G, not even 1G – June 22, 2012
Microsoft outsources Surface assembly to Pegatron; prices above $799 for Windows 8, above $599 for Windows RT expected – June 21, 2012
Acer founder: Microsoft will quit making tablets soon – June 21, 2012
Devastating video shows Microsoft’s Surface event aping Steve Jobs’ iPad unveiling (with video) – June 20, 2012
Thanks to Apple, Microsoft is doomed in the era of mobile computing – June 20, 2012
Why wouldn’t Microsoft let anyone touch its Surface tablets’ keyboard cover? – June 20, 2012
The cost of Microsoft’s Surface tablets – June 20, 2012
Apple’s revolutionary iPad vs. Microsoft’s anti-tablet ‘Surface’ – June 20, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablets provokes ‘sense of betrayal’ among Windows PC assemblers – June 20, 2012
Fox News: Copier Microsoft is doomed to fail with Surface tablet – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface tablet destined to be as successful as the Zune – June 19, 2012
Surface: Why Microsoft’s big mystery turns out to be a big mistake – June 19, 2012
Microsoft’s Suicide, er… ‘Surface’ – June 19, 2012
ZDNet Sr. Tech Editor Perlow: Microsoft’s Surface has catastrophe written all over it – June 19, 2012
Microsoft previews own ‘Surface’ tablet – June 18, 2012
Microsoft touts ‘major’ June 18 event said to showcase Windows RT tablets – June 15, 2012
ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster – June 8, 2012
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


    1. This is wonderful entertainment. Of course, whether one sees it as a comedy or a horror depends on one’s point of view. In any case, it’s stranger than fiction!

      1. Just as boring, disheartening, and perplexing as stories of trust fund babies burning through their forebears’ wealth while contributing zero to society, or as disturbing as reports of a deranged former monarch wandering the streets in beggar’s rags, raving about former glories.

        But, take Ballmer at his word: Come the revolution, the rightful heirs shall wrench the throne from the usurpers!


    2. What we have just seen is “The Surface being wiped clean”, see Ballmer as with Gates is notorious for doing this “WhiteBoard” approach to nonexistent products, change the meaning after the point.

      Microsoft makes an announcement and then demos a sparsely tested prototype (That crashed by the way) and wait a few days for all the feedback to come in, now the trick is to come across that you had known all along hat product that was demoed was just a “design point”.

      Yea, seen this before Microsoft, Ballmer turns it around due to all the Bad Press and laughing that was made, due to the poor attempt at a Tablet design again.

      Microsoft is just doing what it has been In tablet offerings, they have pushed and pushed the concept of a full OS (windows) on a tablet and are so caught up in that thinking no inovation is being done….

      Microsoft’s “must haves” in tablet design are its downfall: “it must be a full Windows OS or nothing at all… And it must have a keyboard and it must have …..” optional Addons for some are not the point, it’s saying it must have this or that or it’s nothing.”

      We see the Microsoft Propaganda Machine working full time, It’s not going to work…

      You see the contempt for Apple in Ballmer’s eyes and his speech, he’s not happy with being the last runner up, since Apple made the iPad a household name thats senonomus with all tablets, its a kick in the pants to Ballmer and company that they haven’t been able to do that in the Past 10 years and Apple accomplished the same thing they tried in less then a year.

      Oh, the pain.

      “Microsoft, Enough of your Bullshit”

  1. “And what we seek to have is a spectrum of stunning devices, stunning Windows devices.”

    The only way a Windows device could be stunning is if it was used to hit someone in the head.

    1. “In an interview Ballmer acknowledged that the company had let Apple make significant strides in both hardware and software innovation, but that going forward, Microsoft will not be as forgiving. Indeed, Ballmer specifically pointed to Microsoft’s two new Surface tablets as the mark of a new era, an era when Microsoft will hopefully be looked upon as an innovative force to be reckoned with.”

      Is this the voice of a totally desperate insane moron or what? They LET Apple get ahead? Part of their plan was it? They were caught with their pants down and it took 5 years to pull them back up only they don’t want to stay up being clown pants. The only force they’ll have to reckon with is a repeated shellacking and slaps upside the head by Apple.

      1. Hard to process what Ballmer is saying. (not unusual). My hunch is that Ballmer didn’t think he could compete with Steve Jobs and Apple and wouldn’t go toe to toe on software and hardware design. This was proven by Kin and Zune.

        However, now that Steve is gone, Ballmer does think he can compete and we should expect Micro$oft to pile huge resources into hardware and software design. If Apples team is up to the challenge (and Steve Jobs certainly thought they were) and Apple keeps innovating and bringing out new products, Micro$oft will never catch up and and will eventually so compromise itself, its partners and it’s two cash cows windows and office in this desperate chase that they will eventually break up the company and fade into history.

  2. Yup… The Bomber traveling clown act and traveling circus troope keeps on bringing the crazy… I like the part where he pops a light bulb in his mouth and wanders off the stage… Only one question… Did the light turn on?


  3. You know, Steve Jobs wanted to call the Mac, Bicycle, MS would have copied it, called in Miscicle but it would only ride in reverse, they would market the back-peddling as the next great thing. Oh wait, they did invent it, they called it windows and it has reversed the course of computing for 20 years. Not this time, bucky!

    1. Speaking of the “reverse”, “upside-down” and “backwards” world of Windows, is it just me, or is anyone else confused by “Surface for Windows 8 RT” and “Surface for Windows 8 Pro”?

      Something tells me they mean “Windows 8 Pro for Intel Surface” and “Windows 8 RT for ARM Surface” but nothing they do, or don’t do in this case, surprises me anymore, so I am content to remain blissfully confused, and I couldn’t care less. Except it’s kind of fun to watch because it is just so astounding — you couldn’t make this stuff up.

      1. Not only are the two different versions oddly confusing, but even more strangely, Microsoft is expecting average consumers to figure it out and pick the right version. There’s no plan for an Intel emulator that works transparently on ARM Windows – Intel apps simply won’t work.

          1. Come on everyone, Microsoft is finally, truly innovating here with the surface computing tablet

            a coat of “sprayed on magnesium” – right, “VaporMg”

            magnesium readily ignites upon heating in air and burns
            with a dazzling white flame,

            merely 1 hour after the device is running,
            it self destructs – cool

            long live Captain of Clowns, Ballmer

  4. You know… every once in a while I see the Microsoft hype and think, “hey this might materialize into something important”. And then they keep talking… and reading this I realize that my first instinct, to simply dismiss Microsoft, is always the correct one.
    For example, a colleague came by my cube all excited and sweaty about Surface. My cube is a known Windoze-free zone, so I guess it was a challenge for this person. Once I explained that any tablet with a USB port and Windoze would need anti-virus software, the excitement drained away. And then I asked if this person had ever heard of “Courier”, you know, not-the-font. It looked great too.

  5. “will {the Surface} even remotely resemble the barely-working mockups that were trotted out during Microsoft’s dog and pony show?

    I think that is EXACTLY what they will resemble–the barely-working mockups. ;-/

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.