While Surface might not be the Windows tablet saviour many were clamouring for, Microsoft's chief Steve Ballmer told the Beeb that more hardware will be on the way to set a "new standard" in "important opportunities". So, does that mean more hardware that can double as skateboards?

This news, however, may be worrying to some of Microsoft's partners. Ballmer caused a bit of a stir when he revealed that the Redmond giant was making its own tablets instead of purely focusing on software. Speaking to the Financial Times, Acer's chief executive said that Surface would have "a huge negative impact for the [PC] ecosystem and other brands", and perhaps this could be the case again if Microsoft decides to pursue other hardware ventures. Of course, there have been exceptions in the past, such as Microsoft's successful delve into the gaming world with the Xbox and the Xbox 360, as well as Kinect.

But there is much to consider, as it really does depend on what hardware Microsoft decides to have a go at. If anything can be learned from the giant's history, that decision could prove to be unsuccessful, as does anyone remember the Zune? That gamble pretty much flopped in the face of Apple's massive domination of the handheld audio player market, so Ballmer and co. definitely need to play it smart this time and break into something that will definitely produce results for the company. Any thoughts, anyone? [BBC]