Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer is anything but subtle, unless when he has to give us some bad news. While the Surface tablet was described with much optimism as a “design point” that will “sell a few million”, Ballmer toned it down a notch, now saying that the company’s tablets are “real business”.


The CEO did a brief interview with MIT Technology Review and avoided answering Surface sales questions, but he did claim that he’s glad that Microsoft created the Surface, as an important piece of the Windows ecosystem. He also claims that in an environment with 350 million PCs sold, the Surface isn’t likely to dominate, but it’s still good business. On the winning list Ballmer places PCs, Office suites and Xbox, as key consumer winning areas. He did also mention that Microsoft did a fine job monetizing the enterprise compared to the consumer area.

Ballmer also claims that Microsoft has been discussing “pen computing for years”, but also that it was hard to bring to life with OEMs that didn’t get enough incentive. The Surface Pro includes a Wacom pen display which is why he brought this up. There was no mention of the Windows Blue upgrade, but we know that it’s coming, later in the year.