How do PC makers feel about Microsoft Surface tablet? ‘No comment,’ says Ballmer

Microsoft Surface tablet and Steve Ballmer

Yesterday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the wraps off of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet, which resembles an iPad and has a screen protector that doubles as a keyboard. The response has been fairly positive so far, though we still do not know how much the device will cost or when it’s coming out. Looming launch questions aside, this launch is undoubtedly a bold move for Microsoft, which has always relied on hardware partners in the PC space. 

AllThingsD caught up with Ballmer after the press conference yesterday and grilled him on the position this puts Microsoft’s PC partners.

“Our PC partners knew in advance we were announcing something today in this space,” said Ballmer. When asked how they felt about it, he said “no comment.”

“If you look at the bulk of the 375 million machines that get sold (next year), they probably aren’t going to be Surfaces,” he said. “On the other hand, we could have a sizeable business… It’s an important companion to the whole Windows 8 story. It’s an important piece. It’s not the only piece.”

Do major Windows manufacturers like HP, Dell, Acer, Toshiba, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, and others feel slighted? They might, but Microsoft has taken the gamble anyway. Microsoft has decided that its needs outweigh the risk of alienating its partners. Only time will tell if it’s a good move or not. Until then, we can look at pretty pictures of the new Surface tablet and wish we had one to try out.

Computing

It took Dell years to fix 1 problem on its best laptop. Here’s how it did it

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Computing

Dell’s 75-inch monitor is a Surface Hub competitor built for the classroom

Dell's new 75 4K Interactive Touch Monitor is a 75-inch display that's built for classroom collaboration. With multi-touch and pen input support, Dell is positioning its new display as an alternative to Microsoft's Surface Hub.
Computing

Microsoft targets Chrome OS with $189 Windows 10 laptops for education

Microsoft announced seven new low-cost Windows 10 laptops, all priced under $300 to take on Chromebooks and iPads in the education market, along with a new Microsoft Allora stylus for students using the Surface Go tablet.
Computing

Microsoft leans on A.I. to resume safe delivery of Windows 10 Update

Microsoft is leaning on artificial intelligence as it resumes the automatic rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. You should start seeing the update soon now that Microsoft has resolved problems with the initial software.
Computing

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.
Product Review

The Digital Storm Aventum X is an unstoppable gaming PC. Trust us, we tried

Packed with dual-Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti graphics card and a 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, the Aventum X is an infinitely upgradeable gaming PC that’s capable of far more performance than you’ll ever need.
Computing

‘Flexgate’ is the latest controversy plaguing some MacBook Pro owners

iFixit recently uncovered a new "Flexgate" issue with MacBook Pros after some consumers reported a "stage light" effect, where the backlighting on the device would fail and cause the bottom of the display to become slightly distorted.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Computing

Ditch the backdrop from your photos with these handy tools

Need to know how to remove the background from an image? Here's how, whether you prefer to use a premium program like Photoshop or one of the many web-based alternatives currently in existence.
Computing

Think someone's leeching off your Wi-Fi connection? Here's how to find out

It's important to find out immediately if anyone is stealing your bandwidth. Here's how to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi using a few simple tools, along with some suggestions on improving security.
Computing

Open RAR files with the greatest of ease using these awesome applications

Few things are more bothersome than not being able to open a file when you need it most. Check out our quick guide about how to open RAR files in Windows and MacOS. We will walk you through the process, step by step.
Web

Google Chrome’s latest decision could prevent most ad-blockers from functioning

Google Chrome's newest change is cited as a step forward for speed and security, but could profoundly alter how the majority of ad-blocking extensions operate. The move potentially gives Google more control over which ads can be blocked.
Computing

Samsung permits peek at an eye-popping, 15-inch 4K OLED laptop display

Samsung is now preparing for the new OLED laptop trend and is providing a look at an eye-popping 15.6-inch 4K OLED panel that is expected to power larger premium laptops in the new year.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.