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In many ways Microsoft surprised the world when it announced that it was going to make its own hardware for Windows RT and Windows 8, and the company isn’t stopping there. In a recent interview with BBC Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer suggested that the company is very much interested in continuing to create hardware around its own software, much to the chagrin of some of its own partners.

“Is it fair to say we’re going to do more hardware? Obviously we are… Where we see important opportunities to set a new standard, yeah we’ll dive in,” Ballmer told the BBC. Ballmer didn’t specifically say if Microsoft was interested in making its own phones, which plenty of pundits assume is the company’s next step with its Windows Phone platform.

“The firm is heavily invested in Nokia succeeding with its Windows Phone handsets but can’t allow for its failure to torpedo the platform,” Davies Murphy Group Europe technology analyst Chris Green told the BBC. ”At the very least Microsoft will be developing its own handset to go to market in case Nokia and others don’t do better.”

[via BBC]