When Microsoft surprised the technology world with the sudden announcement of their upcoming Windows-based tablet, Surface, they got themselves into a bit of hot water with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for producing a piece of hardware behind their backs.
Now, it looks like the software giant is trying to mend wounds by telling everyone that Surface is simply a reference design.
All Things D recently reported that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the statement on the opening day of the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference. He said that Microsoft’s goal is not to control the Windows 8 hardware arena, nor is it looking to compete with Windows 8-licensing hardware makers.
“Surface is just a design point,” Ballmer said. “It will have a distinct place in what’s a broad Windows ecosystem. And the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish.”
If Surface is just a reference design, then why is Microsoft even manufacturing it? If the point of this tablet is to give OEMs something to work with, it would have made more sense to show it to the tech companies before announcing the new product to the world.
From an outside perspective, it seems more likely that Microsoft thought they’d dabble in hardware for a bit and when the PC world rose up in protest, the company decided to downplay Surface in order to make peace with the people who put food on their proverbial plates.