“We are trying to make absolutely clear that we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,” said Ballmer. “Not in the consumer cloud, not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch”.
Ballmer went onto add that Microsoft is currently “working real hard on the Surface”, saying that the tablet will primarily be available from Microsoft retail stores and the Microsoft.com website, although he did say that channel vendors could simply use the latter to order the Surface tablets.
The Microsoft CEO also hinted that a Microsoft-branded smartphone could well be on the horizon. “We’ll see what happens”, was his reaction when quizzed on the subject.
The next three months promises to be a busy time for the Redmond giant, what with launching the first Surface tablets, and releasing Windows 8 for manufacturing partners in August and for the general public in October.