By making Microsoft Surface, the potential tablet and PC wunderkind, Microsoft was sort of, kind of acknowledging that PC makers, Microsoft's hardware partners, suck at what they do. And it's true! Microsoft needed to make sure the hardware was just as great as Windows 8 and not worry about other companies' feelings.
And that's exactly what Microsoft is doing. According to AllThingsD, Microsoft said:
"Our Surface devices will compete with products made by our OEM partners, which may affect their commitment to our platform."
Which translates to: either keep up with us or shut up. We haven't heard what everyone is planning on doing but it looks like some PC makers, like Samsung, will try to keep up with its own Surface competitor. Microsoft's ruthlessness here is a good thing, it needs to be on the front lines with great hardware so Windows 8 isn't ruined.