Yesterday was a big moment in Microsoft’s history, as the company unveiled its own tablet computer, Surface, moving into the PC hardware business for the first time.

After unveiling the tablet on stage in Hollywood, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sent a memo to the company’s employees, expressing his enthusiasm for the product and offering his take on Microsoft’s past few months.

Ballmer also hinted at some upcoming Windows Phone news (likely to be revealed at an Windows Phone developer event in San Francisco tomorrow) and to some unspecified news coming from the Microsoft Office team.

Here’s the full text of the memo.

From: Steve Ballmer
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 4:31 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG)
Subject: Big Day, Big Year

I love this company.

I love that we have brilliant engineers with brilliant ideas. I love that we aren’t afraid to make big bold bets. I love that we are persistent – after all it’s our passion and tenacity that bring our dreams to life. And right now, I love how so much of our hard work, passion and tenacity are coming together in the products we are bringing to market.

Today, we made an exciting and significant Windows announcement — we revealed Microsoft Surface — a new family of computing devices from Microsoft. Surface complements the work of our OEMs and fulfills the Windows 8 vision. You can learn more and watch the event video tomorrow on the Microsoft NewsCenter.

This great news comes on the heels of an incredible few months. Just think, we celebrated the one year anniversary of the Skype announcement. We shipped the Windows Release Preview. Dynamics delivered key updates, and continues to crank out double digit growth. We made search more social (and we did it the right way!) with a significant redesign of Bing. We announced that we’re making entertainment more amazing with Xbox on the phone, PC, tablet and TV with the coming releases of Halo 4, Internet Explorer on Xbox and SmartGlass. We shared our vision for a new era of cloud computing with Windows Server 2012 and important advancements to the Windows Azure services. And in the next few weeks we’ll see more great news and momentum from the Windows Phone Division and the Microsoft Office Division.

Our plans are well underway to unleash an incredible pipeline of new devices and services that consumers love and businesses need. Our work is getting noticed and our customers are excited.

We still have a lot of hard work to do. But today, I encourage you to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come over the past few years and how much further we’ll go in the next one.

I’m incredibly proud of the work this company is doing and incredibly optimistic for what’s ahead.


Also on GeekWire: Microsoft’s Surface tablet: A bold and necessary risk — and some very long odds

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  • Guest

    Great memo! Microsoft is delivering and dazzling daily, and the employees ought to be proud of what they have done. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    • recursive

      good one!

  • guest

    Anybody, including I’m sure most MS employees receiving it, can take this memo apart point by point and show it for the joke that it is. If Ballmer really loves the company, he should step down. Because he sucks at running it.

  • guest

    The business groups still seem like total snake pits, especially now that everyone’s getting their calibration / review scores in anticipation of more layoffs. I don’t see much pride there – just lots of sharp elbows as they grind down to a smaller size. Glad they’re shipping something like this despite the culture.

  • guest

    Too bad that not a single MS employee cared enough about the company to hit “reply all” to Steve’s message and let him know that calling losing “winning” just insults their intelligence. And that his minimimum obligation to employees is honesty, if not an apology and explanation for everything that has gone wrong during the past decade plus of his tenure – along with his resignation.

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