Microsoft set the technology media and industry watchers aflutter earlier this week when it took the wraps off the Microsoft Surface tablet during a press conference in Los Angeles, California. The sleek tablet will be Microsoft’s first, and it will be powered by the company’s new Windows 8 platform when it launches later this year. According to Acer founder Stan Shih, Microsoft’s goal with the Surface isn’t to find success as a hardware vendor. Instead, the launch is a ploy to encourage adoption and innovation among its vendor partners.
“Microsoft hopes that marketing its own-brand tablet PCs will encourage vendors to offer Windows 8 tablet PCs and thereby help expand market demand for the product line,” Digitimes’s Aaron Lee wrote in a report on Wednesday, citing Shih. “Once the purpose is realized, Microsoft will not offer more models, Shih said. Vendors adopting Windows 8 should interpret Microsoft’s intentions positively, as they will benefit from Microsoft’s marketing, Shih indicated.”
Shih goes on to note that Microsoft has no reason to sell hardware because it makes more money by licensing its operating system to hardware partners. Earlier reports suggest that Microsoft may charge as much as $85 per license for its light-weight Windows RT software.