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Ballmer drops new hints at Microsoft hardware expansion

15 Nov 2012
Microsoft surface tablet without keyboard

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has given yet another indication that the company will soon be expanding its hardware lineup.

The Microsoft chairman and chief executive told reporters that while the company would rely on partners for most Windows hardware, it would also be looking to bring more of its own devices to market.

"It is absolutely clear that there is an innovation opportunity on the scene between hardware and software and that is a scene that must not go unexploited at all by Microsoft," Ballmer was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The comments are the latest in a string of hints out of Redmond that more Microsoft-branded hardware is on the way. The company currently boasts a small lineup of devices, including its Xbox console and Surface tablet, which will soon be adding an Intel-powered model.

Earlier this month, reports cited company and manufacturing industry sources in claiming that Microsoft was developing both a 7in Surface tablet model aimed at the gaming space and a branded handset model which will run the company's newly released Windows Phone 8 operating system.

Meanwhile, a lawyer in the US has filed suit against Microsoft over the stated capacity of the Surface RT tablet. Andrew Sokolowski filed against the company in a Los Angeles court, claiming that Microsoft failed to adequately note that his 32GB surface tablet would ship with 16GB worth of software pre-installed.

Microsoft has countered that it explains the capacity of the tablet on its website, and that users can add additional storage space to their tablets via an SD card expansion slot or external storage drives.

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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