I think the key to Balmer's statement statements is the phrase "that I see customers wanting". I think that the market has spoken in the past and what Mr. Balmer sees customers wanting does not always line up with what the customers actually want (all companies have misses). While sales have shown that customers want iPads, time will tell if Microsoft's Surface, when released, will meet the needs, expectations and/or "wants" of customers.
I may be wrong, but does't Windows RT also fall under the banner of "Surface", and thus probably will not be able to run the same applications that the customers are currently running? And, if so, what, then, makes Surface the solution?