Ballmer made the comments in an interview with French publication Le Parisien, which was incorrectly translated to English by several publications and reported by others including TabTimes.
In fact, Microsoft told Bloomberg, Ballmer was talking about a modest approach to supply and distribution, but not sales of the Surface.
“When asked about Surface, Steve’s use of the term ‘modest’ was in relation to the company’s approach in ramping up supply and distribution of Surface with Windows RT, which has only been available via our online store and Microsoft retail and holiday stores in the U.S. and Canada.,” Microsoft said in the statement.
“While our approach has been modest, Steve notes the reception to the device has been ‘fantastic’ which is why he also stated that ‘soon, it will be available in more countries and in more stores.’”
The Surface tablet certainly garnered its share of buzz following Microsoft’s splashing launch event in New York last month for the device as well as Windows 8 including crowds at a number of Microsoft Stores when it first went on sale.
A number of positive reviews have noted the Surface’s inclusion of Office and other productivity features, such as the choice of keyboard covers, make it a worthy competitor to the iPad in the enterprise.