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microsoft surface keyboards

Ballmer: Surface won’t own PC sales but it is a ‘real business’

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted that his company’s range of Surface tablets isn’t likely to dominate the personal computing market. He does however insist that they are a “real business”.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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In an interview with interview with MIT technology Review, Ballmer doesn’t answer a lot of specific questions about the product, which hasn’t sold all that well since its release in the latter part of 2012.

Nonetheless Ballmer says he’s “super-glad” Microsoft did Surface. He did however admit that the company had at times failed to monetise its consumer user base as effectively as it had done in the enterprise space. Some of that, he said, might have been down to the fact that Microsoft had not given manufacturers reason enough to adopt certain technologies:

“Take pen computing [the use of a stylus on a tablet]: I think it’s fair to say we’ve been talking about pen computing for years, but it was hard to do that with OEMs who were not equally incentivized”.

He added that the company was “trying to lead a little” with the Surface Pro, which comes standard with a Wacom Pen display.

As for the future of Microsoft, Ballmer seems to think it’s going in a sort of everything to everyone everywhere kind of direction.

“We’re about defining the future of productivity, entertainment, and communication—in the new world [where] software is going to have to come in kind of an integrated form,” he said.