Microsoft dispels rumors that it will abandon Surface lineup by 2019

By Cal Jeffrey ยท 6 replies
Oct 10, 2017
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  1. Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft's devices group, denies that the company has plans to pull the plug on the Surface line.

    During a panel discussion on Monday attended by Business Insider, Panay said that talks of Microsoft shutting down the Surface by 2019 are nothing more than “tabloid rumors,” and are “so far from the truth it’s laughable.”

    His comments were in response to reports that industry analysts do not see a future for the Surface past 2019.

    Canalys CEO Steve Brazier hosted a panel at the Canalys Channels Forum last week. During the discussion, Brazier predicted that Microsoft would pull production of Surface products by 2019 or sooner. He cited “choppy performance” from a sales standpoint as the primary indicator.

    “Overall they are not making money,” Brazier said. “It doesn’t make sense for them to be in this business.”

    He insists that the margins are just not there for Microsoft and when they realize that, the Surface will be the first to the chopping block.

    Brazier was not alone in his views. Lenovo COO Gianfranco Lanci and Dell CCO Marius Haas agreed that the Surface was a money-losing venture for Microsoft. Barring a sudden sharp boost in market share, Lanci said that he would not be surprised to see an exit before 2019.

    "Frankly speaking, it is difficult to see why they should keep losing money."

    Not everyone agrees with this assessment. Our own Rob Thubron pointed out that Microsoft is not likely to want to suffer the hit to its hardware reputation, especially after its smartphone failure. With the latest Surface offerings released just last June, a 2019 exit seems too soon.

    Furthermore, the Surface is more important to Microsoft than just sales. It is a platform Redmond uses for improving other products as well. The Surface Pen is a good example. Improvements in the software for the stylus have bled into Windows 10 so that now the Pen works better even on PCs from other manufacturers.

    A weak quarter here and there is not going to deter Microsoft from producing the Surface. Panay points to the $900 million loss suffered in 2013 with the Surface RT. That was a “short-term setback” that only served to make Microsoft try harder. The company is set in its resolve to keep the Surface on the market and continue to improve it.

    Panay reflected, “[Microsoft] is in hardware for the long haul, and Surface isn't going anywhere.”

    Surface image courtesy Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld

    Permalink to story.


    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,407   +531

    The Surface is a great piece of hardware, I hope to see it continue to improve (and there is still plenty of room for improvement). Too bad it is often let down by their Windows 10 OS. Unfortunately no other desktop OS is really making any effort at a touch friendly interface so if that is a big deal to you, you are stuck with Windows.

    That being said I don't see tablet PC's going away. They are so powerful from a business standpoint I see no reason they can't replace desktop/tower PC's for 99% of users, and eventually replace a good portion of laptops as well. The only real reason to keep a desktop/tower is internal expand-ability with PCIe cards, storage, etc. Serious gamers are really the only thing that will keep the desktop/tower alive for longer than usual.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,279

    Well, just maybe their persistence and optimism will eventually pay off but it waits to be seen. There's no use flogging a dead horse. I enquired about their popularity here and was told that they're only available by special order (will make them extremely expensive) because nobody, even corporate enterprise seems really interested in them whereas the Mac Books are reasonably popular.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,992   +2,473

    Of course in this age "the long haul" could be as short as a New York minute .....
    JaredTheDragon and senketsu like this.
  5. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,847   +879

    Many have "bought in" to the Surface, market reports notwithstanding. I know my school board (Toronto District School Board) has purchased hundreds, and plans to continue purchasing for the long term :)
  6. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Maniac Posts: 364   +232

    Given their pointless and pathetic departure from WinPhones, I wouldn't believe a word these clowns say about their own stuff anymore. The Surface is kinda cool but nothing special. There's no reason the market won't crash on them despite their wishes.
  7. JaymondoGB

    JaymondoGB TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +12

    Microsoft haven't got a very good record on this, and I type this as a sore windows phone owner.
    JaredTheDragon likes this.

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