Ballmer confirms next-gen Microsoft Surface on the way

Reports are trickling out of Redmond, Was. where CEO Steve Ballmer held a quarterly town hall staff meeting at the Microsoft headquarters last week. Among the highlights – somewhat of a Surface mea culpa, and confirmation that the next generation of the tablet is under development.

Both Neowin and The Verge have reports based on information from sources that attended the event.

According to the reports, and unsurprisingly after taking a US$900 million write down on Surface RT inventory, Microsoft’s tablet play was one issue Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner discussed with employees. Ballmer admitted the obvious: they overestimated demand and built more devices than they can sell, leading to the write down and a worldwide 30 per cent markdown. Ballmer didn’t over any details on Surface 2.0, but The Verge reports devices with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor are being tested.

In other remarks, Ballmer said Microsoft needs to sell more Windows devices of all kinds and has been hampered by a lack of Windows 8 devices in retail. He also said adding apps is a key priority but they’re more concerned about quality, and getting developers to port over popular apps form other platforms.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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