Critics of Microsoft have argued that the company that once monopolized the PC industry has lost ground to Apple due to its lack of hardware and software innovation. CEO Steve Ballmer claims that with the company’s Surface tablet, however, a new dawn has come for $MSFT Microsoft and that no stone will be left unturned in its innovation battle against the Cupertino-based company. “We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,” Ballmer said in an interview with CRN at the company’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto. “We are not going to let any piece [go uncontested to Apple]. 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.”
When asked about the possibility of developing its own smartphone, Ballmer hesitated. “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, HTC in the phone space,” he said. “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.”
Microsoft’s Surface tablet marks the first time the Redmond-based company has manufactured its own Windows-based product. The company followed Apple’s approach and tightly integrated its own hardware and software together in an innovative package.
Windows 8 will launch in October, and Microsoft’s tablet will presumably surface around the same time as well.