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Software maker shows its dexterity

Updated: 2013-01-24 09:33
By Gao Yuan ( China Daily)

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With a constant gracious smile on his slim face, Ralph Haupter, the first non-Chinese chief executive officer to run international software provider Microsoft Corp's China business, likes to show the public he has everything under control.

"China is a very dynamic market for Microsoft and its strong desire to improve is fueling the nation's drive forward," said Haupter, vice-president of Microsoft and chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China.

"Working in China is like riding a wave," the 43-year-old said.

Software maker shows its dexterity

A Surface tablet computer advertisement on a street in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. In October, Microsoft Corp launched the company's first self-branded tablet to challenge Apple Inc's iPad. [Photo / China Daily]

Confidence is the key to success. It is especially true as Microsoft is on the brink of rebuilding itself into a company driven by mobile Internet, the next battlefield for global IT giants including Google Inc, Apple Inc, IBM and Samsung Electronics Co.

"The PC market is slowing down. Tablets are attracting more and more excitement. The mobile sector in 2013 will be extremely dynamic," the CEO predicted.

On Oct 26, Microsoft launched Surface, the company's first self-branded tablet, to challenge Apple Inc's iPad.

On the eve of Surface's global debut, Haupter handed the first unit of the device to a Chinese customer at an electronic goods retail store in Beijing.

"Surface is the product of our dreams, what a device should look like in addressing the capabilities of Windows 8," he said, adding that the company's Surface strategy "worked very well".

Haupter declined to predict the sales volumes for Surface in 2013, saying there are too many unknown variables in the equation.

Analysts argue that Microsoft's new gadget will face strong challenges from Apple and Samsung.

"Surface will have a limited impact on the sales of iPads because, as a software company, Microsoft's lack of hardware-making experience will eventually hinder its Surface strategy," said Li Yanyan, an analyst from industry research company Analysys International.

However, that is a notion Haupter dismisses out of hand. He said Microsoft is drawing up a new and bigger strategy.

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