Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer indicated that the design of the Surface is intended to be a reference design point to show what the software is capable of. The PC manufacturing partners should not take it as being snubbed. Microsoft expects the PC manufacturing partners to effectively compete against the Surface.
During a keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference, Steve Ballmer said that ?Surface is just a design point.? He added ?It will have a distinct place in what?s a broad Windows ecosystem. 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.?
He said that Microsoft is here to stay in the hardware business, but is not out to supplant their partners.