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Steve Ballmer has re-iterated Microsoft’s commitment to making more hardware.

Promoting Windows 8 ahead of today's launch in New York, Microsoft’s chief executive has repeated the undertaking he gave shareholders in October.

Asked the obvious by enquiring technology minds at the BBC – whether his software giant would make more hardware – he answered:

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.

In his annual letter to shareholders, Ballmer said more or less the same.

“There will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes, as we have chosen to do with Xbox and the recently announced Microsoft Surface,” he wrote and we reported.

The thing getting everybody excited is the Surface tablet, which follows the various iterations of Xbox as the second Microsoft-built and -branded piece of equipment for running its software.

Unlike Xbox, Surface takes Microsoft into competition against PC partners who’ve traditionally been responsible for making and selling Windows PCs.

Today should see the release of the ARM-based version of Surface running Windows RT. The Intel-powered Windows 8 Pro Surfaces are slated to arrive in January. ®

Bootnote

Ready for Windows RT on ARM? Find out what to expect from The Reg's Bill Ray here. Follow the road to Windows 8, all the way from Windows 1.0 through Windows 95 and the rest here and if you've read all you need and fancy upgrading then best see what Reg regular Tim Anderson has to say first.

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