Ballmer: We’re going to make more Microsoft-branded hardware

“Microsoft’s chief boss has confirmed he plans to release more devices. Steve Ballmer told the BBC: ‘Is it fair to say we’re going to do more hardware? Obviously we are… Where we see important opportunities to set a new standard, yeah we’ll dive in.’ The chief executive’s comments came ahead of a Windows 8 launch event in New York, following which Microsoft’s Surface tablet will go on sale,” BBC News reports.

“News other devices are likely to follow may worry other PC manufacturers,” The Beeb reports. “Mr Ballmer caused a stir when he revealed in June that his company was making its own family of tablet computers – one offering extended battery-life powered by an Arm-based chip, the other using Intel’s technology to offer a deeper Windows experience.”

MacDailyNews Take: See, the “Windows experience” is like getting stuffed in a burlap sack and beaten with a baseball bat. The “deeper Windows experience” also offers some cinder blocks, chains, and a one-way trip off the side of a bridge.

“The chief executive of Taiwanese PC-maker Acer told the Financial Times in August that the Surface would have “a huge negative impact for the [PC] ecosystem and other brands” adding that he had been in touch with Microsoft to discuss his concerns,” The Beeb reports. “But Dell – the world’s third largest computer maker – was less bothered by the move. ‘The announcement of Surface was necessary to have a proof of concept and to get people excited about what was coming to push application development and create some buzz out there,’ Kirk Schell, vice president of Dell’s client and consumer product group, recently told the BBC.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, yes, Kirk, Microsoft Surface certainly has created some buzz, alright:

• Gizmodo reviews Microsoft Surface RT: Do not buy; inferior to Apple’s iPad; the worst of both worlds – October 25, 2012
• The Verge reviews Microsoft Surface RT tablet: ‘The whole thing is honestly perplexing; who is this for?’ – October 24, 2012
• Analyst: Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet priced too high, could be the next Zune – October 18, 2012
• Dvorak: ‘Microsoft’s Surface tablet isn’t the Apple iPad, so it shouldn’t be priced like one’ – October 18, 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
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
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

The Beeb reports, “Mr Ballmer would not be drawn on the exact nature of his future plans. ‘We have committed ourselves on a path where we will do whatever is required from both a hardware and a software innovation perspective and the cloud innovation perspective in order to propel the vision that we have,’ was all he would tell the BBC.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Glasses up! May Steve Ballmer remain Microsoft CEO for as long as it takes (which at this rate shouldn’t be much longer)!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Osher Raskin” for the heads up.]

Related article:
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


  1. Shocking, make their own hardware for their own branded stores. Novel idea, oh wait! Sounds like Apple did that. Next Microsoft will announce MicrosoftTV for their phones and tablets. Ballmer, please stop the grueling pace of innovation in these deep, dark, super secret labs you have buried under that casket you buried.

      1. First thing I thought when I read that Ballmer said they were going to set a new standard.

        I have this notion that MS has no idea what to do and is just throwing stuff out there to see if anything sticks.

  2. “We have committed ourselves on a path where we will do whatever is required from both a hardware and a software innovation perspective and the cloud innovation perspective in order to propel the vision that we have” is translated in German as: “Ins blaue hinein”

  3. Seriously, there is some sense in Microsoft producing fully integrated products, as Apple does, though it will take them a long time to develop an understanding of how to actually produce high quality full products. The most sensible area for Microsoft to do this first is away from the PC and the smart phone, because these areas pose too much risk for failure based on Microsoft’s lack of competitive advantage there. A smart first start in enterprise hardware would be business group videoconferencing systems. The smart move for Microsoft would be to buy Polycom, as Cisco bought Tandberg, and make serious products in this niche. Over time Microsoft can build expertise in manufacturing and product engineering and industrial design. But it should develop a long range strategy that eventually gets to computers and mobile devices, but only when Microsoft figures out what compelling value add it will provide that will make it better than Apple, not just me too stuff like Surface and Zune. They need a better strategy than just trying to copy (poorly) the great products that Apple creates and experiencing the predictable failure. This is not strategy, this is suicide.

  4. “We have committed ourselves on a path where we will do whatever is required from both a hardware and a software innovation perspective and the cloud innovation perspective in order to propel the vision that we have.”

    Excellent, Mr Ballmer. That’s the spirit. Good thinking. Meaty stuff. Solid strategy there. A sure thing. Can’t lose. …….. etc.

    1. “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
      “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
      “I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
      “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
      “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
      “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

  5. “to propel the vision that we have”. I think I can make a killing selling white canes on their campus cause they ain’t got no vision. If they can find me that is.

  6. Microsoft’s only way of staying relevant is to join the vertical integration party, for which apple was criticized in the past, but it’s much too late. With the help of iOS devices, apple is becoming more ubiquitous every day. If apple makes a concerted effort in the professional space next year with an updated Mac Pro and beefed up iWork suite, Microsoft will tank even more. Who knew simplicity, intuitiveness, and aesthetics would win I’m the end?

    I’m hoping apple releases a set of sleek new monitors that can function as thin clients when hooked up to a Mac Pro/Mini or iCloud.

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