Three word response from Steve Ballmer to my recommendation to stop being nice to notebook/tablet partners

I’m no Microsoft cheerleader or fanboi (though I am a former Microsoft MVP). But, after reading reports like this one in All Things D about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer seemingly trying to placate notebook and tablet hardware partners, I had to vent. And, since Ballmer often gives out his email address and tells people he reads his own email, I figured, why not send it to the man himself.

Ballmer: “Surface Is Just a Design Point”

I’m not convinced that the Surface RT (Windows 8 ARM based hybrid tablet-notebook) will be a success. But, it does look interesting and generated more buzz than Microsoft has seen in a long time. We still don’t know key information like availability date, price, performance, and battery life. However, none of Microsoft hardware partners seem to be producing anything half as interesting. So, I told him that it was the wrong message to send partners who had designed failures in the Tablet PC, UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC – aka “Origami”), and netbook categories for the past decade. I suggested these four points should be the message sent to these underwhelming hardware partners.

  1. Do nothing and let Apple keep winning.
  2. Keep producing the same crap you’ve been designing since the Tablet
    PC days. And, oh yeah, let Apple keep winning.
  3. Make an Android tablet. Oh yes, you’ve already tried that. How’s
    that working out for you? Apple seems to be winning.
  4. Look at the Surface RT, make something better, and maybe, just
    maybe, take the game to Apple for a change.

If other bloggers can make for days of blog articles over terse responses from the late Steve Jobs, I figured I might as well make something out of my three word response from Steve Ballmer: Thanks good input. It may not be much. But, he didn’t tell me to buzz off 🙂