Microsoft has built a dedicated factory in China to produce its new range of Surface tablets, according to a source close to Microsoft employees familiar with the matter. The factory is said to be “huge” and will also be used for production of retail devices in addition to producing the prototypes.
Building its own factory may have enabled Microsoft to cut down on leaks, thereby enabling the software giant to keep the Surface secret till its official unveiling in June earlier this year. However, since Microsoft’s other hardware products, which include mice, keyboards and the Xbox, are manufactured by contractors like Foxconn, this move seems rather unusual â€“ even Apple, which has notoriously tight control over its supply chain, uses contractors to build its devices.
While this would indicate that Microsoft is indeed serious with the Surface tablets â€“ as opposed to only positioning them as a “north star” for other OEMs to follow â€“Â it also fits in nicely with rumors that Microsoft is developing its own Windows Phone device, as reported by BGR and WPCentral.
Indeed, in his recent letter to shareholders, Ballmer said that “there will be times when we build specific devices for specific purposes”. Our source also mentioned that “Surface is just the beginning of a new product range”, though it didn’t go into any more detail.