Microsoft's new tablet PC
Microsoft's new tablet PC www.microsoft.com/surface/

Microsoft Surfaces unleashed

SINCE Microsoft unveiled its first Microsoft-branded PCs, the Microsoft Surfaces in late June, I've been wondering how ambitious the company's scale-up plans were.

On July 9 at the Worldwide Partner Conference opening keynote, I got an answer. CEO Steve Ballmer told attendees Microsoft's goal is to sell "a few million Surface PCs" in the coming year. (I actually thought I heard Ballmer say "a few millions," with an "s.") Ballmer also said that according to estimates, there will be 375 million Windows PCs sold in the next 12 months.

His implication was there would still be lots of OEMs making Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows RT (Windows on ARM) machines, too.

The "few million" figure is interesting on several fronts. First, if it's true, Microsoft isn't coming out of the gate with full guns blazing. Some Microsoft watchers have been claiming Microsoft's goal is to catapult itself to the top of the Windows PC supplier heap as soon as possible.

These folks have claimed Microsoft has lost all faith in its OEMs and now believes the Apple model -- one hardware supplier doing end-to-end software/hardware systems -- is the only way to advance in this market, going forward.

Read more at ZDNet.com.au



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