The days of Microsoft just sitting back and letting its hardware partners fail to take the fight to its competitors are over. Steve Ballmer has declared that Microsoft's in it to win it, and isn't going lay down and let Apple stamp all over the phone and tablet market any more.
Innovation is the name of the game and Microsoft's turned it up a notch; it's going to leave no "stone unturned". Talking to Computer Reseller News at Microsoft's Toronto-based partner conference, Ballmer said that "we are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple." The fighting talk continued in classic Ballmer-shouty style:
"Not the consumer cloud. Not hardware software innovation. We are not leaving any of that to Apple by itself. Not going to happen. Not on our watch."
Microsoft's less bullish about the re-invigorated Surface brand though. It expects to sell just "a few million" Surface tablets, and while that may seem like small fry compared to the gargantuan iPad sales number, it'd be a great start.
Honestly, it's good to see Microsoft get a bit angry, a bit shouty, and back in the innovation game. Too long has the company stagnated, and with the likes of Windows Phone 8, Surface and Windows 8 itself, at long last it has something to really get excited about. Yes, the Xbox has been innovative, and pushed boundaries in the past, but it's been a long time since I've genuinely lusted after a Microsoft product.
Competition, innovation and oodles of money flowing into research and development in the mobile space can only be good for us, the consumer. Let's hear Microsoft's battle cry and see it follow through with some real quality products. [PC Mag, Computer Reseller News via TechEye]