Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently sat down with Technology Review to discuss the company’s tablet ambitions. What was once described as a design point to prime the pump with the goal of selling a few million units, Surface is now said to be a real business – although don’t expect it to be a serious competitor to the PC.
Ballmer said Microsoft has been talking about pen computing for years (referring to the stylus bundled with Surface Pro) but he said it was hard to do with OEMs who were not equally incentivized. Microsoft’s idea with releasing their own tablet was to lead the way a bit, highlighting of course the fact that they have a model that allows OEMs to move with them.
Naturally, the CEO conveniently avoided answering any questions related to exactly how many Surface tablets they have sold just yet. Whether or not the Surface Pro sold out quickly just after launch or it was a case of low supply is still up for debate.
When asked about experiencing challenges in making consumer products, Ballmer pointed out that despite the fact that 65 percent of all PCs, 70 percent of all Office suites and 100 percent of all Xboxes go to the consumer, Microsoft has done a better job of monetizing the enterprise. He said that in some cases, he wishes their execution had been better but in the same respect, he believes they have done a heck of a job with things like the Xbox and Kinect.