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Ballmer uses Surface tablet to drum up developer support for Windows 8

by Doug Drinkwater

September 26 2012

Steve Ballmer spoke to developers at a private event in San Francisco (Image: TechNet)
Steve Ballmer spoke to developers at a private event in San Francisco (Image: TechNet)

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and CFO Tami Reller took to a private event in San Francisco office yesterday to talk to developers about the opportunities offered by Windows 8, while also showing off the new Surface tablet.

“There will be customers coming and looking for apps. That I can assure you,” said Ballmer at the event, which was held at the offices of Silicon Valley start-up accelerator RocketSpace.

“If I’m sitting in your shoes and I say, ‘Hey, what does this Windows 8 thing mean to me? Is it just more notebooks or is it something bigger and broader?’ It gets the bells ringing because you can see the phones, you can see the Surfaces, you can see the touch laptops, you can see the evolution.”

Ballmer took a Surface tablet to the event, although disappointingly the slate was largely restricted to a ‘show and tell’ role at the event, with no chance for any demos.

There were no new details on the device either. Both Ballmer and Reller relayed features and specifications that are already public, and Ballmer even dodged a new question about the tablet's price.

“How many can I get for $1,500?” asked RocketSpace founder and CEO Duncan Logan. “Some”, was the response from Ballmer, who added that pricing will be revealed in the ‘not too distant future’.

Ballmer has previously hinted that the Surface RT -- the model running the ARM-version of Windows 8 – will sell between $300 and $800, while one source from Lenovo recently said that Intel-powered Windows 8 Pro tablets will come to market around $800.

Microsoft is quite rightly trying to ramp up developer interest in Windows 8, with the Windows Store only offering 2,000 apps at the moment, according to WinAppUpdate. TabTimes recently reported that there may be as few as 50 business apps for Window 8 tablets.

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