Years ago Microsoft could have predicted the ascension of tablets, but in its vision, the slate was something that featured a keyboard, had tons of ports and weighed a couple of kilos. Apple changed that and now Microsoft learned a lesson from their innovation, so they came up with the Surface Tablet.

Back in the early days of the iPad, Microsoft found out that Apple had bought high quality aluminum from a mine in Australia and they used that to manufacture iPad cases. The info comes from a former Microsoft employee, who was part of the discussions. Apparently, MS was puzzled at the time by Apple’s involvement in the supply chain, only to make sure they have unique materials. This and many other lessons from the Cupertino giant lead Microsoft to create the Surface tablet, their first attempt at selling their very own computer hardware, competing with PC makers.

Microsoft and Intel have been ruling the PC market for a while now and this is exactly what the PC makers didn’t want. Manufacturers already pay big prices to license Windows and now they have to worry about a rival coming straight from their partner… I’ve already seen big companies in Asia complaining about the supposed $85 price tag of the Windows 8 license, that will make their devices cost too much. And now with the Surface they may end up not selling enough units to break even.

MS insists that it respects its partners, but the move is still one that generated one more rival on the PC market for Acer, ASUS, Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell and HP to worry about. If the Surface succeeds, some tablet makers could abandon Windows 8. If it fails, at least the many partners will keep on selling units.. Anyway, Windows 8 has all the chances of becoming big.