It seems like the inevitable is happening after all: Microsoft is planning to build its own hardware, the company’s CEO said in an interview with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman at Churchill Club.Ballmer has suggested that Microsoft must find a better way to mix the two businesses, software and hardware, but he emphasized that the Redmond-based company would clearly focus more on hardware in the near future.
He actually mentioned the term “hardware” several times throughout the interview, explaining that Microsoft is planning to build its very own hardware in the future for all its devices.
“It is absolutely clear that there is an innovation opportunity on the scene between hardware and software and must not go unexploited at all by Microsoft,” Microsoft was quoted as saying by CNET.
This isn’t the first time when Steve Ballmer suggests that Microsoft plans to focus on the hardware industry a lot more in the future, so it seems like the company is really serious about it.
This plan, however, isn’t quite good news for the other companies in the hardware department. Acer CEO JT Wang said last month that Microsoft’s new direction could hurt sales of all the other hardware manufacturers, as the Redmondians have enough cash to “kill everyone in the industry.”
“They are doing something to kill the whole ecosystem,” Wang said. “They have all this cash. They could kill everybody,” he added pointing to Microsoft’s $63 billion (€48 billion) in cash.
“Maybe they think they need to do something aggressive to compete with Apple and not rely on brands like Acer,” Wang concluded.
Microsoft is yet to become a competitive player in the hardware industry, but voices familiar with the matter are hinting that more devices bearing its badge are very likely to be released next year.
Surface RT is the company’s first tablet in the history, with a second device in this product family to see daylight in early 2013. The Surface Pro will be the first tablet in the world running Windows 8 and supporting legacy Windows apps.
A Surface-branded smartphone is reportedly in the works, while a 7-inch Xbox Surface tablet designed for gaming purposes is expected to be released next year too.