Steve Ballmer: We Will Not Leave Any Space Uncovered to Apple

Chief Exec of Microsoft Does Not Rule Out Own-Brand Handsets

by Anton Shilov
07/09/2012 | 11:55 PM

Perhaps, Microsoft Corp. has failed to make its smartphone operating system popular and will be terribly late with the OS for media tablets. But the company is ready to fight across all segments of the market, according to chief executive Steve Ballmer. Moreover, it looks like going forward Microsoft wants to be a little more flexible with its approaches, which will likely result in unusual actions by the software giant.


"We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple. [...] We have our advantages in productivity. We have our advantages in terms of enterprise management, manageability. We have got our advantages in terms of when you plug into server infrastructure in the enterprise. [...] But we are not going to let any piece of this [go uncontested to Apple]. 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," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, in an interview with CRN web-site.

Despite of claims made earlier, Mr. Ballmer did not discount the possibility of launching Microsoft-branded smartphones that would compete against Apple iPhone, but would clearly affect success of third-party smartphones from Nokia, Samsung, HTC and Huawei. Nonetheless, Mr. Ballmer said that at present Microsoft is focused on creation of Surface media and productivity tablets.

"Right now we are working real hard on the Surface. That’s the focus. That’s our core. Look, we’ll see what happens. We have good partners with Nokia, HTC in the phone space. I love what we've got going on with the Surface. We are going to focus on Surface and our other Windows 8 tablet partners and see if we can go make something happen," said the head of Microsoft.

The comments made by the chief executive officer of Microsoft emphasizes the importance for the software giant to compete against Apple, which is much more successful with its smartphones and tablets, but is considerably less successful when it comes to personal computers. Apparently, mobile and cloud technologies seem be more important for Microsoft at the moment than traditional PCs.