) management is the first to admit it: there is risk in developing
the upcoming Surface tablet. The company revealed this information
in government documents filed with the Securities and Exchange
On page 14 of its annual report, Microsoft stated that its
Surface tablet computers may weaken support for Windows among
partners in the industry. At the risk of damaging important
relationships, the company has decided to move forward with Surface
Partnerships that could potentially be affected by the new
tablet's sales could include original equipment manufacturers
(OEMs) such as Dell (NASDAQ:
) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:
). Individually, partners will have to choose whether or not to
continue their relationship with Microsoft, who will now fill not
only a supplier role but will also provide some competition at the
Microsoft has laid down the gauntlet in its most recent
admittance, as the company said specifically in the report, "[Our]
Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM
partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform."
With such a gamble in place, questions have been drawn from
Microsoft followers ranging from "Why would Microsoft choose to
enter the tablet market with its
" to "Where will OEMs go if they
Only time will tell, as Microsoft's Surface has yet to find
itself on store shelves. Attempting to keep Windows 8, its OEMs and
the new tablet in good graces, Microsoft's management has remained
tight-lipped on the situation, and will likely continue to do
The New York Times
, the most direction the company has given in terms of partner
relationships was when CEO Steve Ballmer was prodded for answers at
a recent Microsoft sales event.
"The importance of the thousands of partners that we have that
design and produce Windows computers will not diminish," Ballmer
Fans of the software brand can only hope so, as the competition
melting pot has risen to a dull boil pre-Surface release.
Microsoft was trading up almost one percent Friday morning near
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