Today in Connected Consumer

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Microsoft bought a display company yesterday so I think we can assume that the Surface is not just a reference design for a Windows 8 tablet and that Microsoft is genuinely committed to the hardware business, regardless of what its OEM partners may think. In an interview with CRN in fact, CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged that the old division of labor between OS developer and OEM meant Microsoft and its partners had “ceded some of the boundary between hardware and software innovation” to Apple, and vowed that would end. “We are trying to make absolutely clear we are not going to leave any space uncovered to Apple,” he said. Microsoft’s new-found focus on blending hardware and software development has even attracted one unexpected fan: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Speaking at the Entel conference in Chile, Woz quipped, that maybe Steve Jobs “came back reincarnated as Microsoft.”

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