Microsoft's chief boss has confirmed he plans to release more devices.
Steve Ballmer told the BBC: "Is it fair to say we're going to do more hardware? Obviously we are... Where we see important opportunities to set a new standard, yeah we'll dive in." The chief executive's comments came ahead of a Windows 8 launch event in New York, following which Microsoft's Surface tablet will go on sale. News other devices are likely to follow may worry some of the firm's partners. Mr Ballmer caused a stir when he revealed in June that his company was making its own family of tablet computers - one offering extended battery-life powered by an Arm-based chip, the other using Intel's technology to offer a deeper Windows experience. Until now Microsoft had focused on software and relied on third-parties to make hardware, with a few exceptions such as its Xbox games consoles and Kinect gesture sensors. The chief executive of Taiwanese PC-maker Acer told the Financial Times in August that the Surface would have "a huge negative impact for the [PC] ecosystem and other brands" adding that he had been in touch with Microsoft to discuss his concerns. A look at Microsoft's Surface tablet But Dell - the world's third largest computer maker - was less bothered by the move. "The announcement of Surface was necessary to have a proof of concept and to get people excited about what was coming to push application development and create some buzz out there," Kirk Schell, vice president of Dell's client and consumer product group, recently told the BBC. "They've invested so much in Windows 8 it was important to make it work, so I felt Surface was the logical thing to do."