Microsoft Admits Surface Tablet is Risky Business

Paul Lilly

Microsoft can no longer stick its head in the sand and claim ignorance to the fact that its Surface tablet could, and probably will, incite anger among its OEM partners who aren't keen on the idea of competing with the company in the tablet space. That luxury went out the window when Microsoft filed a Form 10-K with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, admitting in black and white print what's been obvious since the get-go.

"In addition, our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform," Microsoft stated as one of its Risk Factors.

The entry appears on page 14 of the greater than 100-page document and was first spotted by The New York Times Bits blog, which notes this is the first time Microsoft has fessed up to the obvious as it gets ready to bite the hands that feed it.

Regardless, Microsoft is forging ahead with its Surface strategy, and will for the first time be competing with OEMs in what could be a major market segment. On the flip side, there's been chatter that Microsoft is employing a one-and-out strategy, whereby Surface will be the one-and-only tablet Microsoft makes.

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