Here's Why Surface Beats Apple's iPad: Ballmer

Thursday, 25 Oct 2012 | 10:58 AM ET
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks at a news conference launching the company's Surface tablet computer.
Jonathan Alcorn | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., speaks at a news conference launching the company's Surface tablet computer.

Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer trumpeted the company's new Surface tablet on Thursday, classifying the device as a twofer that — unlike some of its competitors — can be used both for work and entertainment.

"I don't think anyone has done a product that I see customers wanting," Ballmer said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box".

Microsoft is hosting an event for its new operating system, Windows 8, in New York City on Thursday. At the confab, the tech giant is also expected to show off its new tablet, which will hit store shelves on Friday. (Read More: Is Windows 8 the PC's Best Chance to Stay Relevant? )

Comparing Microsoft'stablet to those on offer from its competition, including Apple, Google, and Amazon, Ballmer touted the Surface's virtues just days after Apple released two new iterations of its market dominating iPad. (Read more: Apple Unwraps iPad Mini Along With New, Full-Sized iPad.)

Neither of those companies "has a product that you can use, that lets you work and play, that can be your tablet and your PC. Not at any of those price points."

While the tablet space is getting pretty crowded, Ballmer predicted that Windows 8 and the design of the Surface tablet will give Microsoft an edge over its competition.

"There is really a unique opportunity. What we've done with Windows 8 is really re-imagined Windows end to end," Ballmer said.

Microsoft's New Look: Windows 8
CNBC's Jon Fortt talks with Steve Ballmer, CEO & Director of Microsoft, about the company's new product, and how it's "Surface" tablet is going to measure up against the competition.

"We knew our partners who make computers were going to do a great job. But we weren't going to let any branch of information go uncovered, so with the Microsoft Surface we have ventured out to do an innovative new design for the tablet PC [personal computer]," he added.

Windows 8 is different from previous versions of Microsoft's operating software upgrades because it is designed for a more touch friendly interface.

However it remains unclear whether or not consumers will be drawn to the new OS format. Ballmer, hover, said he believes it will breath new life into the PC market.

"Windows 8 is really all about enabling new, creative, imaginative devices," Ballmer stated. "PC Notebooks, PC desktops, PC laptops and now PC tablets as well, that you can touch and interact with and that are alive with information in a way, that frankly, no other device is available on the market today."

email: tech@cnbc.com


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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.