Ballmer: Microsoft to Produce More Hardware

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer says businesses are reacting well to the Windows 8 operating system (OS). He also suggested that the company's Surface tablet won't be its last home-grown hardware device.

Speaking at a business and technology event at the Churchill Club in California, Ballmer said that's he's been surprised by how well business users have reacted to the way Windows 8 focuses on touchscreen users.

Before Microsoft released the new operating system, many analysts argued that businesses would be frustrated and angry with the its new interface, tailored to touchscreen devices like tablets and smartphones.

Analysts apparently perceived that these kinds of devices are not widely used in the business environment.

Ballmer also said that information technology professionals were making a lot of positive comments about Windows to Go, a new Windows 8 Enterprise feature that lets users put a copy of the OS on a USB memory stick or external hard drive.

Users can then plug an external memory device into another PC, boot the machine up, and use Windows 8 without installation.

More Microsoft Devices Coming

Meanwhile, Ballmer said Microsoft was likely to put more effort into producing its own hardware, like the recently-released Surface tablet computer.

In fact, he said there is "an innovation opportunity on the scene between hardware and software," and that Microsoft must be among the firms exploiting that opportunity. (Source:

Ballmer's position may be that if Microsoft is involved in producing both software and hardware it will gain more control over the quality and performance of its products.

However, Ballmer doesn't appear ready to have Microsoft take over the entire tech industry. In fact, Microsoft's CEO told his California audience that he expects third parties to "build the lion's share of all Windows devices over the next five years."

Consumers In No Rush To Buy Windows 8 PCs

Meanwhile, a poll of more than 135,000 Windows users across the US found just 9 per cent of people planned to buy a Windows 8 PC in the immediate future. (Source:

That finding may be slightly misleading, though. For one thing, it doesn't appear to count people who plan to upgrade to Windows 8 on an existing machine.

That number could be higher than in the past because Windows 8 doesn't have increased minimum hardware specifications, allowing it to run well on many older PCs.

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