Ballmer vs the OEM’s – Microsoft Surface – a delicate balancing act

Speaking at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Canada this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that he believes Microsoft “may sell a few million” of its tablets over the next 12 months.

This as part of a forecast for 375 million Windows total PC shipments for the coming year.

I believe that Ballmer and Microsoft are trying to walk a fine line between testing Surface and placating OEM’s. He can’t seem too optimistic about Surface but he also can’t seem less than excited by it.

This is going to be fun to watch the cat and mouse game being played.

I think Mary Jo Foley is right when she points out that Microsoft are going to need some time to sort out all the supply chain issues regarding manufacturing of the Surface Tablets.

This means that Microsoft genuinely will need OEM’s to compete and sell Windows RT. At least in the short run.

I think we’ll have a clearer picture of Windows RT’s success (or not) by the end of 2013.

This will be fun to watch…

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