Initially, CEO Steve Ballmer downplayed this threat at the device's unveiling, saying it was "just a design point" with a "distinct place in what's a broad Windows ecosystem." He continued:
And the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish. We have a mutual goal with our OEM partners to bring a diversity of solutions, Windows PCs, phones, tablets, servers to market. And what we seek to have is a spectrum of stunning devices, stunning Windows devices. So, every consumer, every business customer can say, "I have the perfect PC for me." ... We're excited about the work our OEM partners are doing on Windows 8.
Source: All Things D.
That's a hard sell to convince anyone, but it didn't stop Microsoft from trying to save face. Interestingly, Dell
The Redmond giant has been maintaining publicly for weeks that everything will remain copacetic with the OEM status quo.
On the other hand, Microsoft's most recent 10-K is a bit more candid, saying, "In addition, our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform."
That's more like it, Mr. Softy.
Forget convincing the broader public: Microsoft wasn't even fooling itself.
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Fool contributor Evan Niu holds no position in any company mentioned. Check out his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Google, and Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Google, and Intel and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.