We first heard about the rumor surrounding Microsoft’s rather “mysterious” event last week. As it turned out, Microsoft unveiled its Surface tablet that almost caught everybody off-guard. While everything about Microsoft’s tablet is amazing, a new report sheds light into how the tablet reportedly shocked Microsoft’s very own PC partners, with some long-time partners learning about it only a couple of days before it was officially announced on Monday. Reuters said that Microsoft’s secrecy with the Surface tablet poses a big risk to the company’s hardware partners. Microsoft’s partners reportedly said that they were only informed about the tablet on Friday last week, just merely three days before it was introduced.

Sources with knowledge of the subject said that Microsoft’s main partners had to monitor the news for details while they remain in a “in wait-and-see” mode. Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky reportedly gave only the finest of details on Friday, not revealing the name of the tablet nor its specs. “No senior executives heard about the news last week. We’re quite surprised,” an Acer executive said. Check out our initial impressions of the Surface tablet here.

Meanwhile, ICT Vice President Andrew Milroy commented that the strategy might affect the willingness of device manufacturers to work closely with Microsoft, as it will now be viewed as a competitor as well as a partner. The announcement of the tablet marks a significant milestone for Microsoft as it departs from its tradition of working closely with its hardware partners in testing new products. It also underlines how the software company has ingeniously adopted the strategy of Apple of keeping its doors closed.

Filed in Tablets. Read more about Microsoft, Surface and Windows.

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