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Numerous value added resellers (VARs) as well as hardware partners of Microsoft Corp. do not really like the software giant making its own-brand media and productivity tablets as essentially those devices compete against the products by other companies and will not be sold by VARs. But William Gates, a co-founder of Microsoft, believes that Surface slates will not affect the eco-system of Windows any significantly.

"I actually believe you can have the best of both worlds. You can have a rich eco-system of manufacturers and you can have a few signature devices that show off, wow, what is the difference between a tablet and a PC," said Bill Gates at a TV-show, reports Business Insider web-site.

Microsoft will only sell its Surface tablets at its own retail stores and through select online stores. As a result, Surface will barely harm sales of Windows 8- and Windows RT-powered tablets from established hardware makers, which will be available widely in retail and, quite possible, in Microsoft's own stores as well. What hardware manufacturers have to worry about is that by releasing its own-brand slates Microsoft sets the bar for everyone else since customers will expect similar design and similar experience from products competing with Surface.

Quite noteworthy is that Mr. Gates believes that tablets may eventually get the same capabilities as personal computers and will in many cases replace notebooks or even desktops.

"You can get everything you like about a tablet, everything you like a PC, all in one device. That should change the way people look at things," said Mr. Gates.

Tags: Microsoft, Surface, Windows 8

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