Ballmer Says Microsoft Will Concede Nothing to Apple
By: Jessica Sanfratello
Apple has to keep one eye open, as Microsoft has declared plans to be a major contender in the hardware and software industries. In an exclusive interview with technology news source CRN, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, stated that the company will leave “no stone unturned” in the innovation war against Apple. Although he admitted that Microsoft had “ceded some of the boundary between hardware and software innovation” to Apple in the past, he believes that Microsoft’s Surface tablet marks a new era for the company in which the software giant will keep pace with one of their largest competitors in every corner of its operations.
Ballmer told the news source that Microsoft has advantages in productivity, enterprise management and manageability and that the company will continue to optimize these strengths without letting any of these pieces go uncontested to Apple.
"We do feel empowered to innovate everywhere and bring our partners with us," Ballmer said.
In the interview, Ballmer focused on the Surface, and even discussed the possibility of a Microsoft Smartphone to compete against Apple’s iPhone in the future. He explained that currently, Microsoft’s major focus is the Surface, as the software giant recently surprised the industry by boldly penetrating into hardware. However, he did mention Microsoft’s strong relationship with Nokia and that a Smartphone down the road isn’t farfetched.
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As of now, the Surface is slated to be available on Microsoft.com and in Microsoft retail stores, likely by October 2012. When asked if partners will eventually be able to sell the Surface, Ballmer said that Microsoft’s initial emphasis is to “put one foot in front of the other, and get the product out the door.” Microsoft has yet to set up an ‘industrial distribution’ to other companies, but if a partner wants to sell the Surface, they can order it off Microsoft.com. Ballmer explained that he would be excited to see that happen.
Microsoft is introducing two tablets: Surface for Windows RT and Surface for Windows 8 Pro. The Surface marks the first time ever that Microsoft has tried Apple’s continually successful strategy of integrating its own hardware and software together into one, cutting edge product.
Microsoft and its CEO, Steve Ballmer, are out to prove that if Apple can do it, Microsoft can do it better. Only time will tell if their goals will be achieved.
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