back to article That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer

Microsoft is still going to ditch or spin off the Surface line in 2019, insists the analyst who first made the prediction a year ago, despite the line-up's annual refresh this month. 2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware READ MORE "I stand by the fact that it doesn't make sense" for Microsoft to continue …

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Really?

And Microsoft's killing Surface won't push lots of former Surface users into Apple's delighted arms? I can see it now: Tim Cook extending a warm welcome to the Surface refugees. "We think different"(1), he says. "We won't shaft you the way that Microsoft just did (2). And we're cheaper than Surface (3). And we don't spy on you the way Microsoft did(4)."

(1) "We make money on hardware."

(2) "We'll shaft you in a different way."

(3) "Amazing, isn't it? They really were more expensive than we were. We gotta raise prices."

(4) "We don't care that much, and, besides, we can easily get the info we actually want without going to their extremes."

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Re: Really?

Wonderful! Qualifies for the title of Best Application of "Doublespeak" Since Orwell!

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Re: Really?

"Surface sales were up 16 per cent year-on-year, equating to $625m more than it sold in the prior year. El Reg estimates that Surface turned over $1bn a quarter."

So why on earth would they cancel a single device range that sells over $4 billion a year and growing?! Not happening imo.

Every CxO and senior manager wants a Surface these days. No one wants an Ipad anymore as they are largely seen as tools of those without a real job that just read emails.

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Re: Really?

It won't take too long for the Surface Hub devices to blue screen at a really inappropriate moment though.

Then everyone will scream the praises of the Granny Smith Pro

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Re: Really?

And Microsoft's killing Surface won't push lots of former Surface users into Apple's delighted arms?

Apple don't make anything that can compete with Surface. "Her indoors" has a Surface and it's a great bit of kit. Nice to use as a tablet or with the keyboard. But it doesn't run an OS I want to use.

If Apple made a Surface look-a-like that ran macOS I would have bought it already. My 2008 Macbook is on it's last legs, despite a few mid-life upgrades!

Their Macbooks are full laptops, but under-powered and under-ported, whilst their iPads run iOS.

As it is, I'm actually considering moving back to W10 (or Linux, which will end up being installed onto a device designed for Windows) because Apple's hardware offerings are so lackluster.

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To kill Surface means that they would be further wrecking Windows 10 - since the testing of the UI (if there was any left) won't be done firsthand, with the middleman (the "frenemies") in there.

If this happens, then Windows 10 is about to become a whole $H!T10@D worse now. (And you thought this was it?)

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I think Windows 10 getting worse is pretty much a given, at this point, whether Surface continues to exist or not.

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Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

Ok, so I'm at a loss... I have Windows 10 in front of me now. I seriously can't see anything particularly wrong with it. It's fast, it's responsive, it's stable, it generally just works. It hasn't had most of the security issues that we've had in the past and most of the modern security issues are about users messing up.

I would say pretty much the same about Mac OS X. The real shortcoming to OS X these days is that if you want to run Linux, you need a VM and Windows doesn't need it. And the Mac OS X command line is extremely limited compared to Linux.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

And you get your pick when it comes to updates?

And the machine never auto-reboots and locks up to install updates?

And updates never failed for you?

And when they do, do they roll back gracefully?

And, my pet peeve, doesn't the machine start to slow down like a dog after a few months of Windows Update (and other app installs in general)?

I use it (not on my primary machine though). It is fast, but it IS problematic. This whole new update philosophy combined with classic Windows issues.

A more thorough list: https://itvision.altervista.org/why-windows-10-sucks.html

And the Mac OS X command line is extremely limited compared to Linux.

Totally wrong statement. Both are UNIX derivatives, with the differences being the kernel (irrelevant here) and that Linux uses GNU userland tools while Mac OS uses BSD ones with almost zero difference in invocation and syntax.

Miss the package manager? Nothing is wrong with tarballs, and you can install MacPorts and Homebrew.

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Meh

Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

@ CheesyTheClown

You really need to go to Specsavers. Seriously, you think spyware built into the OS is fine?? You think forced updates and re-boots are fine??

Go home troll.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

It's not fast though is it?

Try running Virtualbox with Debian 8 inside it on a Win10 machine, runs like a dog even on a spangly i7 machine, Debian 8 runs 10x faster on an old i3 under Linux and is fast under OS/X + Parallels on an old i5.

The difference in speed between Virtualbox under Linux or Unix and under Win10 is epic.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

“It's not fast though is it?

Try running Virtualbox with Debian 8 inside it on a Win10 machine, runs like a dog even on a spangly i7 machine, Debian 8 runs 10x faster on an old i3 under Linux and is fast under OS/X + Parallels on an old i5.

The difference in speed between Virtualbox under Linux or Unix and under Win10 is epic.”

It is certainly slower under Virtualbox/Windows compared to Virtualbox/Mac. Not unusably slow though (and not exactly epic). I’m currently giving Hyper-V a try, but that presents its own challenges.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

"You think forced updates and re-boots are fine??"

If you don't force an update most (non technical) people don't bother and end up running an unpatched and hence very very vulnerable machine. Fortunately inconveniently timed forced reboots are now a thing of the past as the "active hours" settings on the update settings page seem to be honoured.

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LDS
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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

Yes. How much data it slurps from user activities. It may be the best OS ever written, but if does slurp, that makes it wrong.

I don't want free stuff, I'm ready to pay for software, as long as it does not send anything to anybody without my full consent.

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"Try running Virtualbox with Debian 8"

I'm not surprised VirtualBox is much more optimized to run on Linux. If you look for performance, and not compatibility, running the native OS hypervisor is recommended, there's good chances it's far better integrated with the kernel.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

Your think the OS is the worst offender when it comes to slurping data? What about Google, Facebook and all the others? As you rightly say 'free' Software only makes sense for it's owners if it slurps and they sell, or leak by mistake as the case may be.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

"And you get your pick when it comes to updates?"

With Win 10 Pro, the answer is YES. You can defer feature updates by a year and other updates by a few weeks, enough time for any issues to be ironed out.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

If they are trying to optimise and improve the OS used by a billion people then of course they are going to need to collect diagnostic data! Stop being so paranoid.

However, if you have mega-secrets, then you need to use a military hardened version of Linux....and hope that the military are not snooping on you....or use an OS that no one uses any longer such as CPM or Sinclair QL.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

@Cavehomme_

That's not a straight answer.

!y question was, "Do you get your pick when it comes to updates?"

That means: Do *you* choose what updates get installed, an explanation of what each update does, and a choice to not install a given update at all (as opposed to "Delay My Poison" aka Defer Updates?

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

'Your think the OS is the worst offender when it comes to slurping data? ' sic

Why not come up with a solid argument? Something dosen't magically become good because someone else does it worst. I stab you in the gut. It's good and fine because some other thug would have cut your throat.

Please defend like an adult and stop making lame excuses for wrong doing.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

There is nothing wrong with Windows 10. Just put it in a virtual machine on you Linux host and launch it when you need it. Sure you need to remember to turn it on every six months and let it run for a day or so to update itself, but that's a small price to pay to have a perfectly functional virtual machine to do those occasional task you can't do in Linux.

This is how I run my classroom. Once I get the students used to Linux (very quickly), they very rarely ever load Win 10. BTW, I give my Admin students the choice to study either MS for the MCSA or Linux+ and Server+. Most pick Linux. But I do encourage them to use the vm Win 10 to talk to the Windows Servers I keep around so they are familiar with what being trapped in an overly complicated server is like.

And for those pesky piggy apps like Autocad, I dual boot. Thankfully, I don't need that often.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

Everything is wrong with Windows 1 0. An OS should not have ads, it should not do its own thing without your permission, it is there to do your stuff, not Microsoft's.

The fact that some people find it fast and responsive is like liking a drug lord because he doesn't shoot you.

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LDS
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"Your think the OS is the worst offender when it comes to slurping data?"

Yes, because I can't protect from it (sure, you can try to sinkhole a lot of domains and IPs, but you can't kill the offending code most of the time), and has a total knowledge of what you do on a PC:

I don't use Chrome, I don't use Android, I don't use Facebook, and I do my best to run blockers in the browser to keep them away when Google, Facebook, and many other infest the site I visit.

But at least I wish my local activities aren't tracked and slurped.

It's clear that Chrome OS and Android aren't better than Windows 10.

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"If they are trying to optimise and improve the OS"

Is a great improvement and optimization releasing an update and revoking it four days after because it deletes user file? Maybe their trying just to improve their testing costs by shifting testing to users?

They would be fine just with the telemetry from user accepting it - and it's not only "diagnostic" telemetry - they collect far more data for pure marketing needs. Do they really need my browser history and contact list to improve the OS? And the idea they can get files from my PC without my knowledge is really worrisome.

It's not having mega-secrets (although my company may not like some of its IP are read by MS at will), stil my PRIVACY IS MORE IMPORTANT than any improvement in the OS. It's not being paranoid, it's being aware of MY RIGHTS - which MS is breaking to improve and optimize its profits only.

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>I think Windows 10 getting worse is pretty much a given

Yep.

Ditto Mac OS / OS X, iOS, Android, Chrome OS.

They've all been increasingly 'cloudifying', taking control away from users, spying, restricting, for years, and all seem to get worse as each year passes, data lock-in ratchets up another notch, and UIs change for little reason other than to persuade the masses that there's something New and Significant about the latest release, which there hasn't been for most people for ages.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

"If you don't force an update most (non technical) people don't bother and end up running an unpatched and hence very very vulnerable machine."

True, but only part of the picture. MS and Apple have also used updates, for years, to erode / remove users' control of their own hardware.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

'"And you get your pick when it comes to updates?"

With Win 10 Pro, the answer is YES. You can defer feature updates by a year and other updates by a few weeks, enough time for any issues to be ironed out.'

It's not under the users' control if it's merely 'defer'. And I've yet to see any 'ironing out' of spying / controlling concerns of users.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

'If they are trying to optimise and improve the OS used by a billion people then of course they are going to need to collect diagnostic data!'

Stop being so paranoid.'

No one doubts they are trying to optimise and improve the OS. Only the naive imagine that's all they're doing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

> Your think the OS is the worst offender when it comes to slurping data? What about Google, Facebook and all the others?

I can choose not to use these (and I don't). How can you get so low?

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

Yes that's basically the reference workload that benchmarks ought to be based on...

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

One thing that's insanely wrong is its insistence on restarting on its own "to install updates". I really hope I never find out what braindead idiot decided it's OK for an operating system to "decide" to restart.

The bloody thing is wiling to go far as waking up from hibernation to fsck you and restart.

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

Even nontechnical people restart from time to time.

Actually nontechnical people restart more often than technical people.

I would not mind if after some days after a security patch is released I was forced to install it while shutting down or restarting the computer, but automatic restart is simply insane. "active hours" or no active hours.

If the computer restarts without me telling it to, it CRASHED!

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Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

I pretty much agree with you. I am typing here on my 8 1/2 year old (!) Dell XPS 13, running Windows 10 (1803). I am using this laptop as my daily driver and dev machine, including the W10 Ubuntu Linux subsystem. It runs 8 hours plus a day, without any issues, stable and fast. No issues with drivers, nothing, it just runs...

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I can't see why they would, other than XBox and some of their peripherals Surface is (now anyway) one of the few hardware successes for Microsoft. They might make a quick buck selling the Surface brand to someone, but it would be short term only.

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one of the few hardware successes for Microsoft

Seeing as they're not releasing any details about whether they make any profit on the line, you're just guessing. You need huge volumes of these prodiucts to make money which is why Canalys (and this is the CEO and not just a Gartner monkey) is making the call: the volumes don't justify the investment.

In the PC market margins are traditionally very thin and the market itself continues to shrink.

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I'm not guessing, as success in this instance is not purely measured in terms of finance. Yes, they have their issues with updates, battery life and repairability but even the tech sites that hate Microsoft and Windows admit that the Surface line are nice devices.

They are not, and never were intended to be, high volume low cost machines but they give Microsoft a level of brand recognition and desireability as high-end devices that they've never really had before.

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Sounds promising

Whoever takes it over might actually get the bloody thing to actually work with Windows.

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There was a rumoured Surface phone in the works too, or was that vapo-rumo-ware?

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Joke

Yeah, it's almost ready for release, and so are the phoenix, the dragon, the chimera, and the Apple car.

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So the logic is

... Surface isn't making ALL THE MONEY so you should just cut it. Never mind the halo effect, any future possibilities as Microsoft refines their hardware production savvy. Forget the high end--rich people don't have money, and their opinion of your company doesn't matter. What matters is that this other division has a bigger upside this quarter and we want to see your FPE increase for the next 2 quarters.

I keep meeting people who absolutely love their Windows Phones and protect them like human babies, terrified because there are no replacements.

It must be good business to establish a brand, acquire and develop hardware/software expertise to support it, restructure your bread-and-butter OS to include this product as part of your core strategy, spend millions on marketing, establish a loyal core fan base, and then kill the product. Microsoft does it over and over, and look how successful they are.

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Re: So the logic is

I'm not sure if Surface makes enough revenue to pay for development/production/marketing costs or not, but it certainly isn't a goldmine for Microsoft. The big problem is that it takes market share away from their most important customers, the PC OEMs - and takes share at the most lucrative end, too!

If no PC OEM steps in to make something comparable, well, its their loss. This isn't remotely comparable to axing Windows Phone because Surface runs Windows 10, and that is going to stick around. They'd just stop making and selling the hardware themselves. Dropping Windows Phone meant that OEMs couldn't make compatible phones either, that's not true with the Surface.

What are Surface buyers going to do, switch to Apple? An iPad Pro is only a substitute for the five Surface owners who actually use it as a tablet. Sure, a Macbook can run Windows, but with the performance of the A12 it looks more and more likely that Apple will be leaving x86 behind on the Mac line before long.

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Re: So the logic is

“I keep meeting people who absolutely love their Windows Phones and protect them like human babies,”

Where do you meet these people? I haven't met anyone who has a Windows phone for a very, very, long time.

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Re: So the logic is

Where do you meet these people?

Maybe he lives in Redmond?

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Re: So the logic is

"Where do you meet these people?"

You could fit all the Windows Phone owners in a phone booth. Which just happens to be where they make their calls from.

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Re: So the logic is

Licensing Windows to PC OEMs is not as big a market for Microsoft as you think. They sell a lot of licensing to Enterprise, at full price, OEMs get steep discounts.

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Re: So the logic is

Yup. The day my 1520 died was truly horrid. No device I've had since, whether Android or iPhone, has come near it.

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Thumb Up

Re: So the logic is

An iPad Pro is only a substitute for the five Surface owners who actually use it as a tablet.

Have an extra upvote for this. Also, while Apple does make a tidy profit with the I-Pad Pro, it doesn't sell that many of them.

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LDS
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"away from their most important customers, the PC OEMs"

Actually, the real OEMs don't really care if a PC is built for Microsoft, Dell or HP - if you mean that those who rebrand Chinese-made PC with US brand names may lose some money to MS, that's true.

It's also true that HP made a Surface-like PC before MS, but it lacked an OS to make it appealing, and HP didn't go much far in customizing the OS to make it a real working tablet/laptop combo. That's the issue, this kind of devices may need a strong coordination between hardware and software design.

For how long Dell, HP & C. churned out so-so PCs - up to the point that building your desktop machine gives you better value for the money? They awoke only when Apple beat them with its MacBooks (only then Dell awoke with XPS line), and now that MS delivered the Surface.

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Re: So the logic is

'An iPad Pro is only a substitute for the five Surface owners who actually use it as a tablet.'

I've seen 2-3 Surfaces in use (amongst hundreds of independently purchased PCs I see most weeks). The 1 person I've talked to about it loves it. I wouldn't. Too expensive / restrictive.

I've yet to see an iPad Pro.

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Unhappy

Re: So the logic is

Still using my Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone 8.1 and getting more pissed a M$ every month because the few apps which I do use are gradually falling by the wayside.

Whatever I choose to do next, I feel cheated that my choice has been limited so badly because I won't buy into the Apple world of iPhones and Android pisses me off every time I have to use it.

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