From All Things D:
During the opening day keynote at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, CEO Steve Ballmer reassured PC manufacturers that, while the company is here to stay in the hardware business, it’s not out to supplant them.
“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.”
Surface is a pretty effing big “design point”.
1. The blowback from OEMs to Microsoft must be huge right now, but Microsoft was probably prepared for that.
2. If Surface fails, can Balmer write it off as “just a design point”? Probably not.
3. If Surface is successful, will Ballmer write it off as “just a design point”? Probably not.
4. Contrary to his remarks, I don’t think Surface holds a distinct place in the Windows ecosystem. Its the blackhole center of the universe of the Windows ecosystem.
With Surface, Microsoft is saying: This is what PCs will be like from now on and we’re going to be the ones to sell it to you. Why would anyone buy any other manufacturer’s Windows PC/tablet after this? (By the way, its for this precise reason that HP should have been aggressively developing webOS, as a backup plan for the end of Windows OEMs.)
Microsoft sucked all the oxygen out of the room when they announced Surface. They should just own it and be proud of it. As Surface and Windows 8 goes, so does Microsoft.