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Backtracking Ballmer admits huge Surface RT mistake

29 Jul 13

Uttering the immortal line… "we built a few more devices than we could sell," Steve Ballmer has admitted to what everyone has been thinking.

Of course the Microsoft CEO was talking about his huge error of judgement regarding the Surface RT tablet, and of course the backtracking Ballmer was his unusual quiet self following the admission.

Given that the company's gamble on the device appears to have flopped, with the software giant taking a huge US$900m hit on the products, Ballmer's acceptance of the situation is a rare move for the usually charismatic CEO.

Often branded salesman like in his approach, for Ballmer to public admit the mistake speaks volumes of the error made by the company.

Speaking during an internal town hall event last week, according to The Verge, Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner both addressed the issue of Surface RT.

Microsoft also cut the price of its Surface RT tablets by 30% worldwide, in a desperate bid to boost poor sales and shift existing stock.

"Ballmer and Turner reiterated in the internal meeting that the huge writedown was a price adjustment that was necessary to sell Surface RT devices," The Verge reports.

"While Ballmer didn't provide a sneak peek at the next Surface, we're told he confirmed new devices are currently being tested with incremental improvements.

"We understand Microsoft has been testing Surface devices with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor."

Moving onto Windows, Ballmer again laid his cards on the table, admitting "we're not selling as many Windows devices as we want to."

Ballmer's comments reflect those of new CFO Amy Hood, who claimed "we now have to do better" following poor financial results this month.

In the wake of the major reorganisation by Microsoft, a new 'One Microsoft' philosophy, poor financials and now an admission of error, Techday’s David Williams asks whether the CEO is on his last legs?

Is Steve Ballmer on his last legs? How big of an error has he made? Tell us your thoughts below

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