Steve Ballmer makes the case for the Surface: it's reimagination of computing, not a "compromise"

Steve Ballmer makes the case for the Surface: it's reimagination of computing, not a
Apple's CEO Tim Cook took to the airwaves during the conference call with investors last week, noting that the Surface tablet concept is a "confused and compromised" product, and you have to either have a laptop, or a tablet, otherwise both will be like a "floating car", doing neither too well.

Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer begs to differ, of course, on the whole jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none argument, despite being a few years late to the tablet game, with the iPad recently crossing the 100th million sold mark. 

Steve Ballmer elaborated in an interview for CNBC:

Related phones

Surface RT
  • Display 10.6" 1366 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
Surface Pro
  • Display 10.6" 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 1 megapixel
  • Processor Intel Core i5, Dual-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB



1. darthinvader

Posts: 63; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Ya u gotta agree with him on this one.. iPad is for Kids, however, Surface is for everyone for "everything"..

6. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

agree +1 true, ipad started the market for everyone, but the functionality doesn't satisfy the price. It's for entertainment. Unlike surface, you'll need another device to do office stuffs with iPad, that's the main advantage.

9. darthinvader

Posts: 63; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

Yup, Surface bashers haven't really realized its potential compared to iPad. Surface = Productive iPad = Just for Fun..

18. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I don't think that's the case at all and I'll explain why. One thing I've noticed about consumers in my half decade of working retail (Sprint, AT&T, and even Apple) is that unless they are at work, they use their electronics for very basic tasks. Most often it's to check email, read the news, go to Facebook (literally), and buy a few apps. That's it. This goes for both iOS (iPhone and iPad) as well as Android. We tend to think that since we are nerds, everyone shares our love affair for electronics when in reality, the average consumer spends so much time on a computer at work that they'd rather not continue it at home. I think this is why Tablets, despite being ridiculously overpriced, have done so well in the market. People can do the few tasks they love to do without being at a computer or dealing with the complication of a computer. And one could argue that they've been limited by exactly what a tablet can do, but I'd counter that UltraBooks aren't exactly flying off the shelves despite being a full fledged computer and ridiculously small and portable. Now, I think Microsoft has the right idea. Make the computer OS and tablet OS one in the same. Make working on a computer and working on a tablet seamless. It's something that both Apple and Google have been working towards for the past few years. Still, the question is where will we fall on that? Will people want their computer in a tablet? Will they even need their computer in a tablet? Or will people reject it as "too much work" and want something more simple? Even before I was an iSheep, I saw that while nerds sought out the next big thing, your average consumer when presented with the next big thing would almost always revert to something simple. I think that trend will continue going forward. If Microsoft over complicates the Surface OS, people will reject it and go to what they know they can understand (iOS and Android). But who knows? Apple made a software far different that what was out there before and it paid off. Google made an OS that was versatile and let users basically pick how advanced they wanted to go and how much they wanted to invest in it, and it paid off. I've got my money on Apple and Google continuing forward...but we shall see...

22. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

well said bro. +1. But I think MS is goin in the right direction with surface/wp8. People will love it as its not a Laptop. Despite being capable of doing all the Laptop/PC stuff, its still a tablet. It can do all the things an Android or ipad can do and it can do more which is not possible with any other tablet. Though I am an Android/Google fan but I love the whole concept MS is pushing with surface. Its one step closer towards post PC era. But thats just my opinion.

15. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

In any case, this childish flame between Ballmer and Schiller/Cook is pointless. Apple claims its products to be the best ones in the world and trolls Android tablets on its keynotes; so does Microsoft. And still, both of them (Surface RT and iPad) are much less than perfect and free of compromises. Compete with products; not with useless marketing blahblah.

19. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

How many apps do you have on windows store a 1000? And with iWork apps on an ipad you can do work and play. I have been an ipad user since 2010 and I have owned all three iPads (will be buying the 4th gen in December) I download movies, I play games with rich graphic detail, I make ppts, word files and excel sheets on my ipad and recently with the ipad 3 I can also take good pictures. It's all a myth made up my people who don't own iPads. An iPad is very functional.

24. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

...why would you buy the gen4 if you already own a gen3? Wait until the gen5; there is little different between 3 and 4

27. Kronic

Posts: 321; Member since: Sep 11, 2012

I am really used to the ipad and I want the gen 4 because iPod the A6X which as a freakishly powerful gpu and possibly an over clocked A6 CPU which will be amazingly fast.

21. asulect

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 27, 2012

People seem to forget about "Blackberry Playbook". That's specifically built for work and play. Well, looks at what's happening to it now...forgotten.

23. rnk.khch

Posts: 86; Member since: Jan 30, 2012

That's totally right. cook's words were just a marketing strategy and came from a body opening not meant for words.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Now I understand the TILES, Steve Balldmer wants everything to be as fÜgly as he is. I'm going to check out the tablet, maybe I'll like it if I can permanently hide those tiles. Side Note: can you guys use a different picture to represent Steve Balldmer when writing Microsoft related article, i.e., Angelina Jolie or Megan Fox or just use the Windows logo; it's too early to wake up to gross imagery.

10. darthinvader

Posts: 63; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

U mad bro? :D

14. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

Haha noo not funny your jokes are stale and immature You can't comment on ugly hiding behind your profile not showing yourself. Main point is this ain't a site to comment on looks so unless you got a relevant comment just don' the ugly tiles line is old and based on your fanboyism. Don't like windows don't look simple

16. TheLibertine

Posts: 484; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

What's even your point? Ballmer is hot.

3. sarb009

Posts: 322; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

If its a pc then why cant one install apps like one can on normal windows ? Isnt that compromising? And dont talk about price u ppl are even more expensive than rotten fruit in case of software upgrade etc. And i dont even want to talk about tile interface.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

fÜgliness aside, does anyone know if either of the tablet iterations support Windows 8 Pro and full desktop program installations or are both Windows Mobile 8 only relegated to the Microsoft Store??

7. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

there's a surface that's intended to be a tablet alone(RT) and there's for a tablet+PC(pro). And compared to other devices that could have similar specifications, i would rather go with surface pro.


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Thanks, I'll look at that; it would be great if you could have a "Full PC" in tablet form factor and a tablet that is a "Full PC"! ;-)

25. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Pro is the full computer OS, and you can have an optical drive to read your old program CDs (or floppies, etc) if you want, or for some games you can download them after putting in your product key, no external media required. Go to Microsoft's website and run the Windows 8 Upgrade Advisor (I think it's called), it'll tell you what'll convert.

4. anshul0000 unregistered

good hardware...poor software...

8. ogy_dogy

Posts: 453; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

finally we get a tablet that can actually do something other than watch youtube and surf the web and everyone is trolling about it. The surface pro is a class above all else and its going to be apparent to all soon...

26. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

It's the leader of the new class, yes, but it's not the only one. There are lots of excellent products coming (some already out!) from Microsoft's hardware partners that will rival the Surface, and offer noticeable differences, be it screen size, form factor, portability, etc.

11. ilia1986 unregistered

The difference between the Surface RT and the iPad is clear - the surface has a standard USB port - thus it can work with any PC peripheral. The iPad can't work with anything. In addition, the Surface has Office built in - and 32 vs 16GB at the same price. And a kickstand. The Surface IS a PC. A PC which doesn't support x86 apps - but still - a PC. An iPad is a neutered eBook reader with a browser and apps.

13. pongkie

Posts: 663; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

actually i tried some w8 and rt tab/pc's yesterday. I kinda liked it but for old pc's w/o touch better stick to win 7

17. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

For some reason, even if his argument makes some valid points, I just get pissed when Steve Ballmer opens his mouth...Meh, as long as the Surface is good, who cares...

20. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

I still find the limitations of the RT a bit too much. If the Windows tablets are going to cost more than the Android ones I would expect they offer something on the side, and to me that something would have been good productivity. Do they offer that? NO, why? Because you can't install applications in the desktop, and there is where productivity could be achieved, to have just on computer that on the go is your tablet, but afterwards you can use your usual desktop applications for productivity. Limiting that to Office doesn't solve the issue in my opinion, and it doesn't give enough value for the extra money you have to pay. Better buy the full Windows 8 tablets if you want to go there, Microsoft seems not to be serious with RT.

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