Microsoft's Surface is a 'design point,' says CEO

The software maker tells PC manufacturers not to worry -- they can still be partners despite the company's launch of its snazzy tablet.

Microsoft's Surface tablet Josh Lowensohn/CNET

PC manufacturers shouldn't fear that the debut of Microsoft's flashy Surface tablet might shut them out of future device making for the company, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

During this week's Worldwide Partner Conference for Microsoft, Ballmer addressed the crowd and said Surface is the software makers' aim at creating a device heavily focused on design, according to All Things D.

Here's what he said:

Surface is just a design point. It will have a distinct place in what's a broad Windows ecosystem. And the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish. We have a mutual goal with our OEM partners to bring a diversity of solutions, Windows PCs, phones, tablets, servers to market. And what we seek to have is a spectrum of stunning devices, stunning Windows devices. So, every consumer, every business customer can say, "I have the perfect PC for me."...We're excited about the work our OEM partners are doing on Windows 8.

In a nutshell, the jig isn't up for Microsoft's partners. This likely comes as good news to PC makers who have been griping about the high falutin Surface since its launch in June. Now they'll still be able to create devices for Microsoft, including those with Windows 8 hardware.

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