When Microsoft announced the Surface, they didn’t just want to make a high-quality piece of hardware that’s intended to make Windows 8 shine. They also did so to push otherwise sloppy OEMs to step up their game and develop equal — if not better — devices that are both exceptional in quality and innovative. With the exception of Acer, OEMs have been largely positive about the Surface. Dell is joining Lenovo and HP in making generally neutral/positive comments about the device, while also stating during an investor’s call that they have plans to release Windows 8 devices of their own throughout the fourth quarter and into next year.
Here’s what Senior VP Brian Gladden had to say about it:
“As you think about Microsoft entering the space, clearly, as we think about it, we’ve spent time talking to Microsoft and understanding sort of how they’re thinking about it. There clearly are opportunities for us, as Windows 8 comes through, in having differentiated products. And I think at the same time they have announced the Surface product that would be in the space, we will have products in there, and I think you’ll see a diverse set of offerings that take advantage of what Windows 8 brings to market.”
As you can see, they’re generally neutral about the Surface, unlike Acer, whose executives have been pretty bitter and negative about the device in public statements. Here’s the tidbit in which Gladden mentions Dell’s plans to launch Windows 8 devices:
“You’ll see new Windows 8 ultrabooks, all-in-one tablets and converged devices in the fourth quarter and headed into next year.”
The form factors that he hints at in this comment are interesting. I’m curious to find out what the “converged” devices look like, and how they differ from the all-in-one tablets. Perhaps they’re Galaxy Note-esque devices, which lie somewhere in between a tablet and a phone?