Steve Ballmer Explains What Consumers Really Want


Even though 100 million iPads sold has its weight in a discussion about what consumers really want, Microsoft and Amazon have different opinions.

Microsoft Surface

Amazon says the Kindle Fire is the best selling product, although forgets to disclose its sales numbers. But let’s see some quick facts with the help of Rene Ritchie of iMore: the device is available in seven countries (iPad: 90 countries) and it’s book store is limited to books in nine languages (iPad: 40 languages).

On the other hand Microsoft has its own opinion about the iPad. And more important: it does know what consumers really want. They want the Microsoft Surface tablet. At least according to Steve Ballmer, who was recently interviewed by CNBC.

“I don’t think anybody has done a product that is the product that I see customers wanting,” Ballmer told CNBC during a recent interview. “You can go through the products from all those guys … and none of them has a product that you can really use. Not Apple. Not Google. Not Amazon. Nobody has a product that lets you work and play that can be your tablet and your PC. Not at any price point.

And the answer: Microsoft Surface, obviously.

“This is a first-class tablet that people can enjoy and appreciate,” Ballmer continued. “It’s a PC; it’s a tablet. It’s for play; it’s for work. It’s a got a great price. That product doesn’t exist today.”

I was wondering if you would want to buy a “PC-tablet”. It’s a hard product to sell, maybe that’s the reason Microsoft is spending $1.5 billion on stupid ads (my opinion) and he appears on CNBC to tell you what you want to buy next.

From Tim Cook’s perspective a “PC-tablet” is obviously a no-no. He said that during this year’s AllThingsD conference and emphasized it once again in a recent comment. What about you? Are you buying the Microsoft Surface tablet?


  • Jay

    Selling my ipad and finally going to have a real tablet

  • Right, consumers want a tablet that can do everything. That’s why Microsoft’s original tablet push sold was so successful and wasn’t a huge financial flop for the company.

  • Werdner

    I was considering buying an iPad but the Surface seems more appealing, mainly because what you can do with iOS is so limited compared to what a full Windows OS can do. I’ll check definitely check out the Surface this weekend, likely won’t buy any tablet though because tbh there’s no much use between my iPhone and laptop (although Surface seems like it would offer more functionality than iPad if I wasn’t using my laptop).

  • SPonticelli

    What Balmer forgot to say is that Surface Windows 8 RT will not run any legacy Windows application and with give the very limited App Store offer, people will get stuck with a very nice tablet that only runs Microsoft Office and IE

  • arhyno

    ya, thats what i have been telling myself as well, no real need for a tablet between my iphone and PC. everytime i look at them and want, i justify walking away looking at my iphone and saying, its good enough till i get to my PC.

  • excaliburca

    I’ll probably be getting the Surface Pro once it’s released and see if it can be a viable replacement for any laptops and/or iPads in my company.

  • Mark

    It looks more like a toy laptop than a tablet, to me. Sure you can discard the keyboard, but what are you left with?… Two separate things you need to carry, instead of one. If one is to go this route, then I would think that this is in the same category as the Air – which seems more practical and sturdy.

  • Farids

    After my 30 day old iPad turned out to be a lemon, and its display cracked under light pressure of my thumb to lock it into a smart case, I started thinking. The big thing for me is the cloud push of my info between my iOS devices. I decided, I’ll keep using my iPhone 5 and iPad 3 till my contract expires. Then, if Apple/iOS has nothing incredibly innovative to offer, I’ll look into Windows and Android.