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Ballmer: Windows 8 and Surface RT Appear to be “Off to a Good Start”


Microsoft recently introduced its Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 operating systems. There were lines outside of Microsoft’s stores for consumers who were interested in purchasing the Windows RT-based Surface tablet, a rare sight for Microsoft, and Windows 8, in my opinion, is a solid upgrade from Windows 7. The Surface has been on sale for just a few days, and Windows Phone 8 devices aren’t available to the public yet, so how does Microsoft feel about them so far? It’s too soon.

Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer recently spoke with The Wall Street Journal and, while he was positive about the future of both platforms, he didn’t have anything to report back on Surface or Windows 8 sales just yet.

“Numerically there’s not really much that’s interesting to report,” Ballmer told The Wall Street Journal. “If you were to call the retailers, they would say, ‘Hey, off to a very good start.’ We’re out of stock a lot of places on touch machines. I was at a dinner in San Francisco last week, and I brought out this beautiful, very thin laptop, and they said, ‘Wow, I never thought touch could be valuable and important in a laptop.” It sounds a bit like marketing speak to us. Still, Ballmer took time to take a bit of a stab at Apple.

He said the Cupertino-based iPhone maker is a low-volume player in all areas except tablets, which it dominates with the iPad. Obviously Microsoft wants a share of that market with Windows 8 and Windows RT based tablets and laptop hybrids, but it remains to be seen how big of a share it can achieve.

Oh, and if you’re wondering if Microsoft has any plans to build a Surface-branded smartphone of its own, Ballmer still won’t talk about it. “We’re quite happy this holiday going to market hard with Nokia, Samsung and HTC, “he said. “Whether we had a plan to do something different or we didn’t have a plan, I wouldn’t comment in any dimension.”

[via The Wall Street Journal]

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...