Microsoft appears to be intent on pushing further into the hardware market after a series of job postings on the firm's site shows it is looking for new blood to work on the "next generation" of its Surface tablet range.
The firm unveiled the Surface tablets earlier this year, with some speculating the devices were designed to show its hardware partners the type of device it expects them to produce for its new Windows 8 operating system.
In part this expectation was based on how its long-term hardware partners would view their relationship with Microsoft. Earlier this week, Acer's chief executive warned Microsoft not to dive deeper into building hardware.
"It will create a huge negative impact for the ecosystem and other brands may take a negative reaction. It is not something you are good at so please think twice," said Acer's JT Wang.
However, numerous job listings on Microsoft's site shows that the firm appears unconcerned by such worries, as it seeks talent to help build future version of the product.
"The Surface Team focuses on lighting up Microsoft experiences with touch first computing. A fundamental part of our strategy is having desirable and powerful devices," reads one of the ads.
"The Surface development team is seeking a talented senior engineer to work on our next generation Surface. You will be responsible for overall system design and system bring-up/enablement."
Microsoft is set to launch the first Surface tablets on 26 October on the same as the Windows 8 operating system in what will be seen as a pivotal moment for the firm that has for so long dominated the IT landscape with its familiar, if somewhat bland, Windows platform.
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