Microsoft wants to be more like Apple, plans to launch more own-brand devices

By Dan Graziano

Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday published his annual letter to shareholders and revealed a new direction for the world’s largest software company. In addition to the Xbox and upcoming Surface tablet, Ballmer hinted that Microsoft may build more own-brand devices in the future. “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. BGR exclusively reported earlier this month that the Redmond, Washington-based company plans to release its own Windows Phone 8 smartphone in the coming months.

Microsoft is interested in tightly integrating its high-quality software with its own high-quality devices, similar to what Apple (AAPL) has done for years. The CEO noted that the company doesn’t plan to abandon its partners anytime soon, however.

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