Microsoft has a lot going on right now, plus it's been quite a month for new hardware, which might explain why the company hasn't taken more heat than it has so far on the almost complete lack of any new info emerging regarding the Surface tablet.
The Seattle Times attempted to get Microsoft's top man Steve Ballmer to talk about it in a Q&A piece published over the weekend, but Ballmer wasn't giving too much away.
When asked directly whether Microsoft was planning to compete with the market-leading Apple iPad on price or on features, Ballmer wasn't taking the bait.
He started by emphasising that final pricing decisions hadn't yet been made, but his comments relating to the iPad gave some pretty strong hints as to the company's thinking:
“I think we have a very competitive product from the features perspective,” Ballmer responded. “I think most people would tell you that the iPad is not a super-expensive device.”
More revealing was his take on cut-price tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire and (we presume by extension) the Google Nexus 7: “(When) people offer cheaper, they do less. They look less good, they're chintzier, they're cheaper. If you say to somebody, would you use one of the 7-inch tablets, would somebody ever use a Kindle (Fire) to do their homework?
“The answer is no; you never would. It's just not a good enough product. It doesn't mean you might not read a book on it.”
In other words, the Microsoft Surface will be priced more like the iPad, and less like the Kindle Fire. But Ballmer's seemingly dismissive view of Amazon's take on tablets does make you wonder.
It's clear Microsoft is coming at the tablet market the way it always has: thinking of them as more fluid, mobile forms of the PC.
In the past, it's been battling against the direct opposite approach as personified by Apple and Google: that tablets are large-screened mobile devices.
But Ballmer's comments do raise concerns that it hasn't picked up on the emerging third vision that Amazon's mobile devices represent: hardware as service delivery vehicles. You have to wonder if he'll still be saying the same things a year from now when presented with the Surface's sales figures and market share stats compared with those for the Kindle Fire models.