But Microsoft has also tried to calm OEM jitters. Last month, CEO Steve Ballmer argued that Surface was simply a "design point" for OEMs, not a replacement for what they might design and sell themselves.
"Surface is just a design point. It will have a distinct place in what's a broad Windows ecosystem," Ballmer said. "And the importance of the thousands of partners that we have that design and produce Windows computers will not diminish."
Microsoft has promised to start selling the Surface RT -- its Windows RT-powered 10.6-in. tablet -- Oct. 26, the launch date for the more inclusive Windows 8 operating system.
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