With the launch of its own Windows 8-powered tablets – the Surface – Microsoft is seeming increasingly optimistic regarding the number of Surface tablets it intends to sell. While speaking at the recently-held Worldwide Partner Conference opening keynote, CEO Steve Ballmer said that the software giant aims to sell ‘a few million Surface PCs’ in the coming year, ZDNet reported. According to the report, Ballmer added, “According to estimates, there will be 375 million Windows PCs sold in the next 12 months.” What this may mean is that there would be lots of OEMs manufacturing and selling Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT devices.

It seems that Microsoft may be taking it upon itself to boost its market share and sales. “Some Microsoft watchers have been claiming Microsoft's goal is to catapult itself to the top of the Windows PC supplier heap as soon as possible. These folks have claimed Microsoft has lost all faith in its OEMs and now believes the Apple model — one hardware supplier doing end-to-end software/hardware systems — is the only way to advance in this market, going forward,” the report added.

Partners aren't going to be pleased by the recent unveiling

Plans to sell 'a few million' of these tablets?

Microsoft yesterday revealed plans to acquire large-screen multitouch display vendor Perceptive Pixel. This development, when seen in light of the statement at the WPC keynote, seems like Microsoft is all set to go full-power on the hardware front. Perspective Pixel may be used to develop large touchscreen displays for Microsoft, but not much has been revealed yet. According to the report, Giovanni Mezgec, general manager of Office product management, said that Microsoft is still in the process of mulling how best to produce new Perceptive Pixel displays. Microsoft hasn't ruled out involving OEMs in the process in order to bring down costs, he said. But nothing final has been determined, other than the fact that Perceptive Pixel Founder and Chief Scientist Jeff Han and his team are going to become part of Microsoft's Office business unit if and when the purchase receives regulatory approval.

Microsoft's new line-up of tablets includes a Surface running on the ARM processor that features Windows RT and another running on a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro. The company is touting Surface as “PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows”. Company executives stated that the Windows tablets and accessories feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail.

Some of the features of the Surface tablets include:

Surface for Windows RT:

  • OS: Windows RT
  • Weight: 676 g
  • Depth: 9.3 mm
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType HD Display
  • Energized: 31.5 W-h
  • Connectivity: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB

Surface for Windows 8 Pro:

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Weight: 903 g
  • Depth: 13.5 mm
  • Display: 10.6-inch ClearType Full HD Display
  • Energized: 42 W-h
  • Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB

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