back to article 2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware

Microsoft will quit its loss-making Surface hardware business by 2019, according to execs from PC manufacturers and a channel watcher. Talking at the tenth Canalys Channels Forum in Venice, Canalys CEO Steve Brazier said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella would exit the product line because he is a “software guy, a cloud guy” and …

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    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Hmmm

      Where’s the intern?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm

        Surface is now a $4.3 billion a year business that has grown year on year so it seems unlikely they would drop it. And bearing in mind the prices / high margins how can they possibly be loosing money on it?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't it obvious

    Surface works well and the customers like it. Of course Microsoft will drop it.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Isn't it obvious

      Right, so HP, Dell, Lenovo & C. can be back to make and sell cheap, ugly hardware...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Well, I like my Dell Latitude E7470s"

          A line which, not surprisingly, is offered in models with Surface-like features. While Dell started to deliver something better with its XPS line trying to match Apple products, without MS introducing the Surface for a long time we just saw moslty dull business laptops - Surface shacked the industry - and it was needed.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: Isn't it obvious

      Apparently they don't live very long and have an inability to wake after sleeping, and always have done.

      Microsoft must be using the Xbox 360 guys for their quality control on the Surface tabs...

      1. Naselus

        Re: Isn't it obvious

        "Apparently they don't live very long and have an inability to wake after sleeping, and always have done."

        Neither of these is particularly true, in my experience. There's some serious heat problems with the higher-spec models, though, and the Surface Book's keyboard segment is ropey as hell. But other than that, they're actually pretty solid devices. I'm also not entirely sure that anything at the price of a Surface Pro can be considered 'low margin'.

        SatNad probably will drop it by 2019, though, simply because he seems determined to kill everything aside from Windows, Office 365 and Azure.

        1. Vince

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          @Naselus

          Well "low margin" has nothing to do with "high price"

          You can sell something for £20,000 and if it costs you £19,999 it's low margin. If it costs you £1,000 to make, it's high margin.

          It's not clear to me what sort of margin on a unit sale of a typical surface there would be, but I imagine it is still loss making.

        2. robin thakur 1

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          Serious heat problems and the keyboard is dodgy. Just what you want on a 3k laptop. I think overall it's low margin because it is relatively low volume overall, especially at the higher end. Who would trust MS to support a piece of hardware enough to drop that amount of money on one.

      2. CheesyTheClown

        Re: Isn't it obvious

        I read that article as well. I didn't agree with it then either. It was written without any regard for causality. People were more likely to return Microsoft devices because... wait for it... it's actually possible to return them. Microsoft actually has a really great return program and while I didn't make use of it, I did manage to walk into a Microsoft store and walk out with a replacement PC in 5 minutes without any hassles. Try doing that at. Best Buy in America or a Curries or Dixon's. In fact, compared to Apple in store service, it was amazing. My average waiting time for service at Apple Stores is 45 minutes. Microsoft was always better. And even better, instead of waiting 30 minutes to get an appointment with and appointment scheduler who will schedule you time with a Genius in 2 hours, the Microsoft store helps immediately.

        As for broken devices, I bought three Surface Pro, a Surface Pro 2, a Surface RT, two Surface Pro 3s and a Surface Book. All of them are still in heavy use. With the exception of Microsoft's fairly poor magnetic power connectors, they have been absolutely amazing. (Apple's magnetic connectors were much worse).

        Like my Macs which are still good even though I run 2011 models, the Surface Pros last and last. And I run older models because they last and last.

        I am perfectly happy to pay Apple Care and Microsoft extended warranties because I love having the long term support. I always buy top of the line models as well... because if you will use it daily for 4-8 years, $400-800 a year is completely reasonable.

        As for HP, Lenovo and Dell. I never bought a PC from them that had any love from the maker a few months later. Consider that ASUS releases an average of 1-2 BIOS updates per laptop. HP releases updates... sometimes. Dell has improved, but their updates don't need to come out more than 6 months later... that's because unless you bought "next day on-site service" the machine won't be running by then anyway.

        I'll leave Acer out of the discussion because... we'll they're Acer. It's mean to beat up the slow kid.

        Microsoft should stay in the game because if nothing else, even though Microsoft forced the vendors to raise the bar, they're still selling "lowest bidder shit". Yes, the market needs $129 laptops for the poor people... but anyone who can qualify for a credit card should be able to qualify for buying a $2500 laptop if they can't just pay cash. It's a long term purchase and investment.

        As for corporations, I have no idea what kind of idiot would buy anything other than MS these days.

        1. Wensleydale Cheese

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          "anyone who can qualify for a credit card should be able to qualify for buying a $2500 laptop if they can't just pay cash."

          Maybe in your country, but not everywhere in the world.

        2. The-Spinner

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          I agree with you 100%. But also, speaking from my perspective, I owned the original Surface Pro (2012 edition) and that bad boy immediately upgraded to Windows 10 when Windows 10 was released. And from that point worked even better than it previously had. Then when the Surface Pro 4 came out, I bought it. I was in love with it until all the issues it was having. And not just me, but almost everyone was having all the similar issues. I toughed it out and waited. They continued to issue firmware updates, and soon after, little by little, all the problems were disappearing. That device has become something truly amazing. I would never use anything else out there. Mine is still in mint condition, everything works, I consistently put it on sleep mode, and doesn't I'll my battery and wakes up in an instant. Again, I would never go back to using any other Windows hardware. And no, I strongly believe and am 100% certain that Microsoft would never stop making devices. I believe that from this point they will only get better. The writer of this article was probably someone very unlucky whom probably encountered massive problems with his Surface or has mishandled it all this time and broke or began to fall apart on him.

          1. robin thakur 1

            Re: Isn't it obvious

            No offence, but you sound like a fan boy, and I am a fellow surface owner. Most people that experienced problems on a device as expensive as a Surface (I will not say overpriced because Microsoft is losing money on them) would send them straight back to the store, and this is what the return stats tell you. The return rates, combined with the cost of manufacturing at low volume, loss making business and general reputational damage of products with problems means that the cool factor is the only benefit to Microsoft.

            The palpable novelty of seeing Microsoft unveil hardware, like it's a dog walking on its hind legs is tempered by the fact that they are not all-in on this business in the same way that Apple is and can leave it in a heartbeart if Satnad decides that they've made the point with Surface, i.e. they've moved the market on for Windows hardware enough when they don't need to prop it up with expensive reference designs.

            NO company as traditional as MS will keep a loss making business indefinitely if it's future value does not justify it, the shareholders simply will not allow it. MS isn't going for world domination with the Surface, that's not its strategy, and to the consumer, that is a weird strategy. Watch out xbox, you are on notice.

            1. Orv Silver badge

              Re: Isn't it obvious

              Most people that experienced problems on a device as expensive as a Surface (I will not say overpriced because Microsoft is losing money on them) would send them straight back to the store, and this is what the return stats tell you.

              Yeah, that was how it ended with the one my friend bought. The last straw was buggy/laggy pen drivers. She's an artist and wanted it for running things like Adobe Illustrator on the go -- something no Apple tablet can do -- but the digitizer lacked the consistency needed for such things. Its repeated failure to wake from sleep also convinced her it wasn't going to be much good for quick use on the go, either.

              1. WolfFan Silver badge

                Re: Isn't it obvious

                She's an artist and wanted it for running things like Adobe Illustrator on the go -- something no Apple tablet can do

                You can most definitely use the Affinity stuff (Photo right now, Designer before the end of the year, others later) on an iPad Pro. https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          In fact, compared to Apple in store service, it was amazing. My average waiting time for service at Apple Stores is 45 minutes. Microsoft was always better. And even better, instead of waiting 30 minutes to get an appointment with and appointment scheduler who will schedule you time with a Genius in 2 hours, the Microsoft store helps immediately.

          Well, duh, that's because the MS stores are basically empty. No surprise there.

          I am perfectly happy to pay Apple Care and Microsoft extended warranties because I love having the long term support. I always buy top of the line models as well... because if you will use it daily for 4-8 years, $400-800 a year is completely reasonable.

          Good point, although it's easier to get global service on an Apple device than a Microsoft one on account of more locations. I fear that if MS pulls out from Yet Another Hardware Venture you'll be stuck with a machine you can no longer get serviced.

          As for corporations, I have no idea what kind of idiot would buy anything other than MS these days.

          Sjeez, thanks, we will still buy Macs. Apple has only been making those for over a decade now so I think they're a bit more stable on the hardware supply side than Microsoft and per user TCO still works in their favour.

        4. Dr Mantis Toboggan
          FAIL

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          "Yes, the market needs $129 laptops for the poor people... "

          What a tool...

          Those £129 laptops will do the same as your £2500 bling (bing) machine..... Pleb...

          Do you want to buy some magic beans? £1200 each and I only have a few left

          1. d3vy

            Re: Isn't it obvious

            "Those £129 laptops will do the same as your £2500 bling (bing) machine..... Pleb..."

            Yeah... no they wont.

            Those £129 laptops will have at most 4GB of RAM, they will not have an SSD and if they do it will be criplingly small (Such as the HP Stream laptops 64GB Hdd... honestly!) they will also have (AT BEST) an i3 CPU... at worst some celeron crud from over a decade ago (Again HP Stream, Im looking at you)

            Now, I know that this isnt the use case for most, but I run visual studio, SQL Server office and at least one VM from my laptop... its (as mentioned before in another comment a 4 year old yoga 2 pro - 8GB Ram with an i7 CPU) it struggles sometimes when Im working so please do tell me how a £129 machine can do the same job?

            1. Philippe

              Re: Isn't it obvious

              Actually the HP Stream has got a 32Gb Drive.

              It's unusable.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          how snobbish, rude, republican .. trump voter right there .. that's the same repub attitude, "your're poor, you're ill, you die. Your fault, I don;t give a shit." FFS, where do you get the idea that anyone can afford 2 and half grand for a sodding laptop. And besides, laptops aren't an investment, they don't appreciate in value and for personal use, they don't earn you an income - they are cost pure and simple; they break down and their out of date almost as soon as you've bought one.

          1. robin thakur 1

            Re: Isn't it obvious

            It's perfectly reasonable to point out that a £129 laptop is not going to be functionally equivalent to a £2500 one. You pays your money and you takes your choice. Laptops are indeed a depreciating asset but:

            a) Some people like having nice things and there's nothing wrong with that, one's cloth is cut according to one's means.

            b) Some people do use their laptops to actually earn money.

            Most people have learned through experience that corners will be cut on cheap laptops in the form of slow HD, old CPU, low ram, poor screen, and installed bloatware. If you can only afford £129 for a laptop, you probably don't care about these things, and nor should you as there's not much you can do about it. That's the whole reason why Microsoft created the Surface line to showcase Windows on a reference design in a sea of shoddy landfill bound laptops that strangled its performance and customer perception.

            People don't replace their computers or tablets as often anymore, it makes sense to raise the purchase price correspondingly if manufacturers don't want to see their profits crater.

      3. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Isn't it obvious

        There were also a lot of issues with stuff that makes sense on a desktop not making sense on a tablet. For example, you'd pull the tablet out at a coffee shop expecting to get some work done, and it would decide it was time to expend the entire battery trying to install mandatory OS updates. The user experience was pretty awful, starting with the moment you took it out of the box. A friend bought one new and reported it spent two hours installing updates before she was allowed to do anything with it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          "spent two hours installing updates before she was allowed to do anything with it."

          A lot of BS in these comments.

          Did they also pay you to comment, because mine certainly wasn't that quick!

        2. The Original Steve

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          Having to install patches as soon as your friend got the unit sounds entirely reasonable to me. I'd much rather devices are fully patched as soon as possible as the device has probably been sitting in the channel for 6 months or so.

          And not wanting patches to be applied at the coffee shop - I'd suggest going to Settings -> Updates & Security -> Windows Update and click the "Change active hours" link.

          You can specify what time of day you want to exclude any patching. I have mine set between 7am and 10pm, so any patching gets done when my laptop isn't in use.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Isn't it obvious

            That is if the user can get into the thing, what if they are using it for the first time and you are faced with "we are getting things ready"? (or whatever the current phrase is).

            I'm not defending first use in a coffee shop but I'm guessing other brands/OS's may survive it better, hell you could probably install and use Ubuntu on a separate bit of kit get your work finished then spend an hour browsing while waiting an MS OS to get ready, woe betide you if you want to then quickly shut down.

            1. d3vy

              Re: Isn't it obvious

              "That is if the user can get into the thing, what if they are using it for the first time and you are faced with "we are getting things ready"? (or whatever the current phrase is).

              I'm not defending first use in a coffee shop but I'm guessing other brands/OS's may survive it better, hell you could probably install and use Ubuntu on a separate bit of kit get your work finished then spend an hour browsing while waiting an MS OS to get ready, woe betide you if you want to then quickly shut down."

              Utter horse shit.

              The "We are getting things ready" screen is windows setting up applications, user profiles etc... This is why it happens AFTER you have entered your login details for the first time.

              "hell you could probably install and use Ubuntu on a separate bit of kit get your work finished then spend an hour browsing while waiting an MS OS to get ready,"

              Again - horse shit.

              Unless ubuntu now installs in less than 5 minutes and you have no real work to do...

              My laptop is an old (4 years) yoga 2 Pro... I can do a fresh install of windows and be at the desktop in around 20 minutes... Unless you're installing it on an old 486 there is no way that you are waiting that long for windows to get ready...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Isn't it obvious

                Thanks for adding your manure to the discussion " I can do a fresh install of windows and be at the desktop in around 20 minutes..." you missed

                "On a fast internet connection with no updates"

                People on here, OK unpaid people on here, know the truth.

                Get your shovel the roses are calling.

              2. Pompous Git Silver badge

                Re: Isn't it obvious

                "Again - horse shit.

                Unless ubuntu now installs in less than 5 minutes and you have no real work to do...

                My laptop is an old (4 years) yoga 2 Pro... I can do a fresh install of windows and be at the desktop in around 20 minutes... Unless you're installing it on an old 486 there is no way that you are waiting that long for windows to get ready..."

                Back at you: horseshit!

                When the Gitling gave Mrs Git a Le Novo Thinkpad with w10 there were issues. So I broke my oath to have nothing to do with w10 for the second time. In for a penny, in for a pound... I installed w10 on my main desktop machine. Core i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz, 16 GB RAM, Samsung 850 Evo SSD, Radeon RX550 graphics. Booted from the USB I'd made following original DL of w10 and I have no idea when the install finished. It was still going 12 hours after I started... It was finished when I returned to the machine 24 hours after commencing the install.

                My "Ubuntu" is Mint 17.2 and took less than 30 minutes to install from DVD and apply updates.

          2. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Isn't it obvious

            About the "active hours" thing... I just love the idea of having a setting to tell a computer that I own what time it should allow me to do what *I* want, subject to the limitations MS imposes on the hours that I can reserve for myself. The rest of the time is Microsoft time, and only after they have done whatever it is they want with my PC during those hours will I be allowed to have control over my own property.

            The symbolism is clear-- Microsoft is the alpha, and the alpha gets to eat first. The beta gets to eat once the alpha is finished, and he should be glad he gets anything at all. Microsoft's "generous" allowance of a block of time you can set to get first shot at your own PC actually forces the user to admit, point blank, that MS is in control, because you're forced to allocate part of the day for Microsoft whether you want to or not. You can't set active hours without tacitly admitting that Microsoft is the authority who gets to dictate the terms of the deal, and you can only pick from within the choices Microsoft chooses to allow.

            As Hall & Oates said... I can't go for that. No can do.

          3. d3vy

            Re: Isn't it obvious

            "You can specify what time of day you want to exclude any patching. I have mine set between 7am and 10pm, so any patching gets done when my laptop isn't in use."

            You also get the option to deffer to specific dates, Ive been deferring the creators update for a few months now (takes a few seconds a week to select a new date from the drop down).

          4. WolfFan Silver badge

            Re: Isn't it obvious

            And not wanting patches to be applied at the coffee shop - I'd suggest going to Settings -> Updates & Security -> Windows Update and click the "Change active hours" link.

            And this kind of thing is a major reason why I'm seriously considering getting a MacBook Pro to replace my current Windows laptop. Apple has automatic updates, too... but Apple notifies you that you have updates. If you ignore the notification, or if you click on the 'do it later' button, it waits until _you_ want to update. (You could turn 'background updates' on; then it will silently download the update, at very low priority, and only if you're not on a 'metered connection', and will install the update only when you tell it to.) Apple doesn't insist on your updating. They don't grab your connection and use up your bandwidth without first asking for and getting permission. They don't force you to restart without warning (the install will state that there will need to be a restart before it starts, and will give you the option to install at a more convenient time) and for some updates don't force you to restart at all. Microsoft has been quite irritating wrt updates for quite a long time. I foresee a future where I have an Apple laptop, and have Windows in a VM which has zero network connections on that laptop. I just have to save up enough cash to buy the damn thing. Given that a Surface laptop equivalent to a MacBook Pro would cost close to if not more what a MBP costs, and given that the Surface will be lumbered with Windows update nonsense, it is quite unlikely that I will ever buy a Surface.

      4. Daleos

        Re: Isn't it obvious

        My Surface Pro 3 is still going strong after 3 years. It's the longest usage I've had out of any machine and it still looks new.

        My first HP Elitebook 2730p lasted about 8 months before I had to RMA it. The replacement's keyboard fell apart after a another year and all the fake stainless steel finish peeled off. My Dell Latitude E4200 needed a replacement ssd after 18 months and always had a glitchy screen.

        Anyway, my point being, my experience has been the Surface Pros are above par as far as QC and longevity are concerned. Sure there's been a few missteps along the way but my SP3 is still getting active support from MS and for that, I'll find it really disappointing if I have to go back to a provider that ditches firmware / driver support after about 18 months.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't it obvious

      They are unreliable overpriced garbage and users universally dislike them... Are you surface book PM???

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Isn't it obvious

        "They are unreliable overpriced garbage and users universally dislike them"

        Not sure what gives you that idea but in my experience execs and managers that can justify the cost overwhelmingly prefer them to ipads or laptops.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: Isn't it obvious

          Well, they're distinctive and look cool, they stand out from the Apple stuff most people have now. It makes sense that people who don't actually *use* their tablets to do anything would like them a lot.

  3. Timo

    I see a lot of them

    I keep seeing more and more of these Microsoft tablets. In fact my company just splashed out a ton of money to buy them for all the managers. They're flashy enough for the management types, but they can also get real work done.

    I bet they are pricey but does anyone know how much they are losing on each one? Is a small price increase (or cost reduction) all it would take to make things balance?

    At one time Microsoft was somewhat interested in selling hardware as it was a tangible product and visible for people. But it is hard for a software company (that can change their answer on a whim) to have patience for hardware. There's also the legacy cost and EOL and supporting stuff that has already shipped.

    1. Naselus

      Re: I see a lot of them

      "I bet they are pricey but does anyone know how much they are losing on each one?"

      Microsoft's figures aren't that detailed, but I doubt that Surfaces are actually losing money on each unit now. Most insiders suggest Surface has actually been something of a financial success story since the Surface 3, helping to hide just how abysmal a state WP was in.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I see a lot of them

        For a software company, controlling the hardware is a way of demonstrating your software as you intend it to be.

        To develop pen-based UIs, you need a good stylus. If MS stumbled upon a brilliant AR UI and application, a hardware wing would let them show it off.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    SadNad should call his book Alt-F4, given the amount of closing stuff down Microsoft is doing.

  5. returnmyjedi

    That's a spicy meatball

    and a whopping $361bn dive on full year sales.

    Really? Seems a tad over inflated.

  6. King Jack

    History

    M$ have a golden track record of abandoning stuff. I don't see why the Surface should be any different. It is what M$ do. They enjoy shafting people and piss their pants laughing as suckers buy into the next creation.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: History

      "They enjoy shafting people and piss their pants laughing as suckers buy into the next creation."

      all snark aside I doubt it's THAT bad. I'd just blame the usual incompetence and "bubble world" thinking.

      They're trying to out-Apple Apple. It ain't working.

      The *BIGGEST* problem with Surface is the 2D FLATSO Win-10-nic. If they'd just go back to a Windows-7 or Windows-XP UI, I think people would *LOVE* it!!!

      But you know, they've invested SO much in the 2D FLATSO "the metro" UWP fiasco, that changing direction NOW would cause too many people (including HER) to admit they were WRONG in the process, such that it just ain't gonna happen. Dammit.

      Abandoning Surface might still happen though.

      Micro-shaft: Acting like Communists since the early noughties i.e. "You will take it or we shove it in anyway, because one size fits all, everyone is the same, you can't be different" and "We know best what's best for you, the proletariat" [yeah nothing like top-down dictating instead of 'customer knows best']

      1. wallaby
        FAIL

        Re: History

        Oh Bob....

        you did so well I nearly gave you an up-vote

        but it had to happen "Micro-shaft" - did the meds stop working ?

  7. TVU Silver badge

    "2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware"

    A lot of the really bad investment ideas and decisions were made during the Ballmer years and that's left a huge toxic financial legacy for Nadella to resolve. The logical thing to do would be to let the manufacturers innovate and produce these devices while Microsoft concentrates on the operating system, software provision and services, Azure, etc.

    1. Buzzword

      If it's good enough for Google and Apple

      > The logical thing to do would be to let the manufacturers innovate and produce these devices while Microsoft concentrates on the operating system, software provision and services, Azure, etc.

      Just as Google are concentrating on services, and not rolling out their own line of Nexus phones, having bought up Motorola in 2014 and HTC in 2017 ?

      Not to mention Apple, whose tight integration of hardware and software has long been the envy of Microsoft.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: If it's good enough for Google and Apple

        The problem with aping another company's business model when you are not a direct competitor is that you do not understand the pitfalls of the other model as well as you understand your own. 'Little details' that Apple, Dell, Google, etc have dealt with will often trip up Slurp as these 'little details' are important to the customers of the aforementioned companies.

        For example, I would not expect Apple or Google to get into the manufacturing of self-driving cars. I would expect them to develop the software and license it the automakers as the automakers already have the expertise to build a car.

      2. Frank Oz

        Re: If it's good enough for Google and Apple

        Well, yeah .... but Apple have always been a hardware company (that also happens to do pretty seamlessly integrated software), whilst Microsoft has been primarily a software company (that has recently gotten into the hardware business).

        Microsoft's business strengths have relied on it not being as capital intensive as Apple, of producing product that is replicable at pretty much low cost, and nowadays distributable at no cost - which gave/gives it margins that were the envy of everyone else.

        Apple sees software as a value-add to its hardware - hence its freebie core value software and operating system strategy. They make no money at all on most of their software.

        Microsoft software is produced across platforms, and hardware configurations, and runs on same very well ... whereas Apple only has to write the software for its limited hardware range(s).

        Apple might be worth more in a share value/individual customer value sense, but Microsoft beats Apple on the profit per unit sold and percentages. When it turned its attention to hardware, Microsoft was never able to tap Apple's economies of scale, or own-chip fabrication capabilities ... which meant that Apple's margins were better on the hardware.

        Better to stick to their strengths ...

    2. LDS Silver badge

      "let the manufacturers innovate"

      The issue was exactly that: they weren't innovating. They were just churning out mostly dull systems.

      Maybe the first HP Slate could be seen as a precursor of the Surface (Pro), but it lacked the keyboard, and of course the software.

      After all the Surface forced Apple to return on its decision not to make pens for the iPad...

      But Windows 10 on Surfaces is less friendly to use than Windows 8 - Nadella is mono-dimensional, he can't think about products in different dimensions at the same time, so he will kill the Surface...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blimey, what the hell are Microsoft going to sell in their new store. Is even Xbox safe?

    1. Flakk Silver badge

      Is even Xbox safe?

      I don't think it will be. Microsoft have indicated that they don't have the appetite to price the "Xbox One X" competitively to the "PlayStation 4 Pro" at launch. The other (and perhaps bigger) problem is that a significant chunk of first-party titles are no longer Xbox exclusive. Microsoft continues to offers gamers fewer reasons to either buy into or stick with the platform.

      1. robin thakur 1

        It is the obvious question. To me there has been a change in Microsoft's dedication to Xbox since the Xbox One underperformed (flopped really). Expensive first party games like Scalebound and Fable were cancelled and others were delayed. The studios like Lionhead that Microsoft had paid top dollar to acquire were quietly folded. Halo seems to be the only major platform exclusive that sells in any numbers and third parties are starting to take note.

        They stripped the Kinect off of the main SKU and are now completely screwing up, by late releasing the Xbox One X which is basically mostly expensive custom parts and high performing PC parts along with zero games that take full advantage of it. This is hard to turn a profit on, even given that most new consoles make a loss (Nintendo aside) and make it back on software. Besides which, Shareholders hate the Xbox business, because it was loss making for a long time and got them terrible PR during the RROD era. Even now its not exactly making money hand over fist when you take into account the R&D costs.

        This is not easy to sell like a whole new generation launch with exclusive games, it just means that the same games will generally run fine on the older Xbox Ones, they will just look a bit better on the Xbox One X if you also own a recent expensive TV i.e. they are turning it into a PC-esque ecosystem.

        I honestly cannot see there being another Xbox after this. Yes the preorders might have sold out, but how many are they producing? Are ordinary people going to pay that much for a console when you can get the PS4 'equivalent' so much cheaper.

        The Xbox brand will become a byword for a service offered through Windows to play PC games on, and MS's empire and influence will shrink once again.

        1. TheVogon Silver badge

          "are now completely screwing up, by late releasing the Xbox One X which is basically mostly expensive custom parts and high performing PC parts along with zero games that take full advantage of it."

          Custom parts made in the millions become cheaper parts. And it's circa 1/3 the cost of a 6TFLOPs PC with an HD BluRay drive. Forza 7 takes full advantage of it as an obvious example, other optimised games are coming and many current games are being patched do do so.

          Here is a good example of what it can do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kPSl2vyu2Y

          1. robin thakur 1

            That assumes that it will sell millions long term which is far from a given. It is priced as a bargain pc as opposed to being a console. Forza has never been a system seller on its own for Xbox in the same way GT has for Sony and making a driving game pretty (4k, 60fps) ain't exactly difficult because it is more or less on rails. Other exclusives like Sea of Thieves and the rest are nice but not system sellers. All the games for it will run happily on an Xbox One S, so they are limiting the market to people with 4K TVs who are happy to pay £449 for the privilege of a slightly higher resolution assuming devs take full advantage of this and reproduce the textures and geometry to take advantage of the extra power. I've cancelled my orders for the Scorpio Edition and the regular Xbox X until I see what the reception is going to be like especially amongst developers and not just rabid Xbox fans.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      XBOX doesn't compete with the channel 'partners' in the way that PCs and tablets do.

      So yes, XBOX will be safe (or at least be allowed to live or die on it's own merit).

      Surface quickly - and imho rightly - became the preferred Windows device, which annoys the other Windows PC vendors. It was a rude shock to them, and they had to lift their game, or suffer.

      Now that Dell, HP & Lenovo are all making excellent hardware, perhaps Surface isn't needed anymore. It's achieved what it was meant to achieve.

      Personally, I reckon Surface will be retained for at least one or two more generations, because MS need to get the ARM devices into the market. A Surface tablet running Windows-on-ARM? Here, take my money.

      But after that?

      1. LDS Silver badge

        "A Surface tablet running Windows-on-ARM?"

        The Surface RT? Didn't go far... lettings some x86 application work by emulation IMHO won't change its appeal.

    3. Dr Mantis Toboggan
      Megaphone

      Xbox is surely the prime contender for the chop, it's never made money, racked up huge losses in the tens of billions and current models have flopped so badly, Microsoft refuse to mention sale numbers and even have them removed from quarterly earnings reports... Essentially telling the world even the best estimates from third parties of how badly it's doing are way off the mark to the true floppage...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Xbox is surely the prime contender for the chop, it's never made money, racked up huge losses in the tens of billions and current models have flopped so badly"

        Not the case - Xbox has been profitable for many years now, and selling over 36 million units of the Xbox One isn't exactly a flop...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Microsoft refused to give sales numbers, so you made that up, or copies it from someone that did....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Microsoft refused to give sales numbers, so you made that up, or copies it from someone that did...."

            They were leaked from Microsoft France.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Xbox one isn't profitable, Microsoft have armies of accountants that can play games with numbers to send whatever message they want to Investors. The "reserved" 2.1bn dollars in one quarter for RROD and made a massive loss that quarter, but then claimed 100k profit the following quarter. Its utter nonsense. They don't factor in r&d costs and other costs when proclaim a division is profitable.

          It's safe to say, when you look at the big raw picture, Xbox never made Microsoft a dime, just rented the books, they are just masters of covering that up to keep shareholder happy. I want to know how that fits i with SARBOX

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Xbox one isn't profitable"

            Xbox has been profitable for years now. Microsoft have said so many times and selling 36 million consoles with a high attach rate isn't likely going to be a money loosing position.. Xbox Live has tens of millions of subscribers all paying too...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Xbox one isn't profitable, Microsoft have armies of accountants that can play games with numbers to send whatever message they want to Investors. "

            Microsoft would be breaking many laws in various countries including ones potentially resulting in prison time in the US if they deliberately misled investors. Therefore as Microsoft have said Xbox is profitable for many years now it is rather unlikely to be a lie.

  9. TVU Silver badge

    "Blimey, what the hell are Microsoft going to sell in their new store. Is even Xbox safe?"

    If it's profitable then hopefully the answer will be yes. At the start of this year, Canonical employed an external consultant and in his report he basically said concentrate on doing the stuff that makes money and drop the stuff that doesn't make money otherwise you will go bust.

    It sounds like Microsoft's in the process of doing something similar.

    1. Robert Grant

      I wish I got employed to say things like that. Make money! Don't NOT make money!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Entertainment and devices division (which Xbox lives in) is doing really badly almost exclusively because of the XFlop One and XFlop One X. (the X presumably adding extra floppage due to it encroaching on gaming PC space but without the games or upgradability..)

      1. d3vy

        "XFlop One "

        HUR HUR HUR You're so funny... stop, I cant take it...

        No, really, Stop. Its pathetic.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          But it pretty much has flopped, so he isn't really that far off the mark, last time I looked, Sony were selling 4 PS4 consoles for ever 1 Xbox, and that will only accelerate, as friends buy the same console as all thier friends have, and development focuses towards the faster and more popular PlayStation hardware

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "But it pretty much has flopped, so he isn't really that far off the mark"

            Nope. It's not first place, but being second @ 36 million + sold isn't exactly a flop...

            1. d3vy

              "But it pretty much has flopped"

              Even if it had flopped which I strongly contest.... What I was referring to was the childish renaming "xFlopOne", its in the same vein as Crapple, Microsuck, micro$oft and the more recent "Slurp" which seems to have missed the point altogether by not even attempting to be a play on the original product or company.

              So regardless of the success or not of the product, stop with the ridiculous renaming of products, it was funny once*.. its not now.

              * that one time it was funny was when it was spelled "flops" so it at least SOUNDED like box.

            2. robin thakur 1

              You're right, it is trouncing the Wii U, that qualifies it as a success right?

              1. d3vy

                FFS

                I am not commenting on the success of the product, it could do better, it could be worse I dont really care.. . What the commenting about is the childish "X Flop One" "Microsuck" "Crapple" shit that ceased being funny quite some time ago.

  10. J J Carter Silver badge
    Boffin

    HP got our pennies

    We evaluated a range of devices inc. Surface Pro and went for Elitebooks

  11. Bob Vistakin
    Facepalm

    This is shocking

    Microsoft still make hardware?

  12. DougS Silver badge

    Thin margins are their own fault

    The original Surface was basically their attempt to copy the iPad, and it was a miserable failure. No one wanted tablets from Microsoft. So they did an about face with the brand and turned it into an ultrabook on steroids. While it was still "technically" a tablet, it was sold for and purchased as a laptop in almost all cases.

    At first the Surface Pro was a premium line priced in Macbook Pro territory, so margins wouldn't have been an issue. Unfortunately some dim bulb at Microsoft decided they needed to move it downmarket, so now you see low end versions for as little as $799. Given the cost of making it so thin and light, there can't be much if any profit at that price. Sure, they probably get a bit more market share that way, but less overall profit - many low end buyers would have bought a better spec'ed version at twice the price if the low end version didn't exist.

    Yet another self inflicted wound.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Thin margins are their own fault

      "Unfortunately some dim bulb at Microsoft decided they needed to move it downmarket, so now you see low end versions for as little as $799."

      You can get good kit at that price. My Lenovo Yoga for instance. Does everything I need it to. Not sure what I would need to spend three times that for.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Thin margins are their own fault

        My point was that Microsoft was successful at first selling Surface Pro at only premium prices. When they offered a lower priced version, a lot of people who would have bought the premium priced version bought the cheaper one - the main difference being a lower spec CPU and less memory, which for most doesn't matter a bit since they don't have demanding needs. After all, if they needed a powerful laptop they wouldn't be buying a convertible at all, but a full fledged laptop that came in a version with a quad core CPU.

        Just because there were cheaper alternatives like the Yoga doesn't mean Microsoft needed to compete with them. You weren't willing to spend 3x as much, but many were as evidenced by the fact Microsoft was selling a fair few of them at 3x the price - until they offered a lower priced version of their own because they wanted to chase people like you who weren't willing to pay as much. Though airlines make a good effort of it, it is really difficult to charge everyone the most they're willing to spend, you either need to charge a lot and lose sales to people who won't pay that much (the Apple model) or offer a range of models and know you'll sell a certain amount of lower end products to people who would have paid you for the higher end product if that was their only choice.

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Thin margins are their own fault

      "The original Surface was basically their attempt to copy the iPad, and it was a miserable failure. "

      Not really - it's a rather different device - and among many other reasons, it was an attempt to head off the Ipad Pro - which has had terrible sales - far more companies are going for the Surface - so it seems they have largely succeeded!

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Thin margins are their own fault

        The new Surface Pro looks very interesting from the POV of a digital artist. It comes with a Wacom stylus with the erasing tip, it runs Photoshop and Corel Painter, and it has a trackpad. The iPad Pro is anaemic by comparison.

        1. robin thakur 1

          Re: Thin margins are their own fault

          It doesn't come with a "Wacom Stylus" it's made by N Trig, and also it is sold separately along with the Keyboard. The pen for Surface has come on quite a bit since the one released with Surface pro 3, but is not as good as a proper Wacom made digitizer or the Apple pencil + iPad Pro for drawing in my experience, owning both of the devices in question. For some reason, my usage of the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil and it's zillions of Adobe apps, Including Photoshop Sketch (which I couldn't live without) works better than the Surface running full Photoshop, possibly because it's designed for a tablet and is better to just sketch something out quickly and easily. Adobe don't seem to make their apps like this for Windows, you're just expected to run the full Windows version on the tiny Surface's screen and go slowly blind. Therefore I wouldn't exactly say this makes the iPad Pro look anaemic, it's closer to being the right tool for the job for many people's workflows and everything is touch optimized from the ground up, not as an afterthought. Windows 10's touch support seems worse than 8 as MS know they can't jettison it totally but they know that very few people use it.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Thin margins are their own fault

            @ robin thakur 1

            Thanks for the heads up. Clearly the reviews I was reading were incorrect. I take it then that the stylus that comes with the iPad Pro does have the eraser on the end like my Wacom stylus then. I'm not the kind of artist who works with his media out in the open air. I use a camera rather than a sketchbook. My artwork is made indoors using Corel Painter and a 27 inch Dell monitor my son gave me, or pen and paper.

  13. IGnatius T Foobar

    "mobile" revenue

    Also, Microsoft's "mobile" revenue will drop like a stone once their bogus patents expire and they have to stop extorting Android vendors.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "mobile" revenue

      "Also, Microsoft's "mobile" revenue will drop like a stone once their bogus patents expire and they have to stop extorting Android vendors."

      The patent on say exFat was issued in 2013. It's going to be a while!

  14. YARR

    Flat surface sales

    If high end hardware is considered "low margin" how is Apple so wealthy?

    Microsoft always take several versions to get their products working right. Having invested so much in Surface R&D, once the design is mature, it takes less investment to upgrade the silicon each generation. Sacrificing the Surface before it's time could end in closing their (physical) stores.

    So if they want to attract more customers in-store they could diversify into:

    - Hololens experiences. A different experience every month.

    - Windows bootable USB sticks (who has a Windows USB stick ready when their PC gets corrupted or infected? Read-only or physically write-locked by default would safeguard against infection)

    - Cortana AI assistants, perhaps for the workplace / public environments rather than the home? They could replace their shop assistants with Cortana kiosks.

    - Copies of "Hit Refresh". What better way to get people in store if you couldn't buy it elsewhere?

    1. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Flat surface sales

      If high end hardware is considered "low margin" how is Apple so wealthy?

      I have two theories about that:

      1. Apple have been doing it longer.

      2. MS aren't making sufficient units to benefit from economies of scale enough to make a profit.

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Flat surface sales

      Apple has always primarily been a hardware company. Microsoft hasn't, and doesn't really want to be. With the exception of the Xbox, they generally create hardware in order to showcase a certain software platform they want to sell, then abandon the hardware once either others have taken up the platform, or it becomes obvious others won't. They have a short-term mentality when it comes to hardware.

    3. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: Flat surface sales

      Problem with the bootable USB is updates - as being the likeliest cause of a bricked PC, and MS refusing to acknowledge that THEY are the problem.

    4. wallaby

      Re: Flat surface sales

      Apple are so wealthy because they own the supply chain from start to finish. Bought in components are off the shelf and easy to source the specialised bits are made in house or by companies who are so tied in to apple that not performing would sound the death knell. The lock in on apple products also heavily contributes to this - not being able to go where you want when you want for software without invalidating warranty means they have a monopoly - even if the people don't purchase an apple app the major players are paying to be in the store in the first place.

      Add into that the mark-up is huuuugggeeee but you have the fanbois who will happily pay a premium for the badge and not because its something they need - you end up with one happy fruity company.

      I'm just glad to see that Apple's days of trying to dictate to consumers what they will have rather than listen to what they want have backfired and some people are jumping ship.

      1. James O'Shea Silver badge

        Re: Flat surface sales

        "The lock in on apple products also heavily contributes to this - not being able to go where you want when you want for software without invalidating warranty means they have a monopoly"

        errm... you _can_ 'go where you want' to get software for Macs. You have somewhat more of a point for iOS devices, but jailbreaking, installing, and then unjailbreaking is easy enough. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOS_jailbreaking

    5. d3vy

      Re: Flat surface sales

      "If high end hardware is considered "low margin" how is Apple so wealthy?"

      Well... The first problem with your question is the assumption that apple sell high end hardware...

      Im not saying they are bad.. its just this years iPhone is last years Galaxy with a new jacket.

      Also.. Sweatshops help alot... but MS and others will also be using these.

      1. robin thakur 1

        Re: Flat surface sales

        Umm...have you seen the benchmarks for the iPhone 8/X CPU/GPU versus Android? An iPhone 7 still beats this year's Androids in any test that matters and the 8/X proprietary chipset simply leaves the Note 8, the S8 and any other Android you care to name in the dust. The software even exists in the App Store to use all that power! How novel. Samsung do make nice screens, and storage I'll give them that, the rest (Bixby, plastic pencil, Iris recognition, exploding batteries, slow processors) they can keep.

    6. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Flat surface sales

      "- Windows bootable USB sticks (who has a Windows USB stick ready when their PC gets corrupted or infected? Read-only or physically write-locked by default would safeguard against infection)"

      You can easily make your own:

      http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=691209

      With WIndows 10 you would normally have a recovery partition anyway, and a completely reset or a refreshed install takes only a few minutes.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Given that MS make their own servers for Azure and their own networking hardware I'm going to go out on a limb and say they have great relationships with hardware manufacturers, so Surface is unlikely to be a huge burden. Internally there are 200k devices purchased every couple of years and there are lots of customers starting to ramp up Surface estates.

    Surface matches well with the MS mission statement too, so I don't think it'll be canned any time soon. My Surface Book is genuinely the best laptop I've had, but it is ugly, heavy and crazy expensive!

  16. forcing_you_to_think

    So long Microsoft....

    They aren't making money on the Surface line because they don't have a whole ecosystem for end users. End users want a seamless transition from desktop to tablet to phone. Microsoft doesn't have a phone or anything that remotely works as long as a tablet as Apple or Android.

    This is the end of the road for Microsoft in the end user arena. Buy Apple stock. They are the only game in town with an almost seamless transition from desktop to tablet to phone.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: So long Microsoft....

      "They aren't making money on the Surface line because they don't have a whole ecosystem for end users. End users want a seamless transition from desktop to tablet to phone. Microsoft doesn't have a phone or anything that remotely works as long as a tablet as Apple or Android."

      What? Que? Theres so much wrong with that its untrue.

      Do Apple have a thing that works seamlessly from my phone (Android) to my desktop (Win 7) to my laptop (Win 10). No.

      Do Apple make a laptop that is also a tablet? No. Does my laptop double as a tablet? Yes.

      Can I use all my applications on all my devices? Yes. Could I use my applications on Apple devices if I wanted to? Yes.

      Could I use Apple applications seamlessly on nonApple devices? No.

  17. John Jennings

    Look at who is at the meeting

    Its vendors hoping that MS drops out of the market - spreading FUD.

    These devices are as good/better than most win10 tablets from these suppliers.

    MS entering the market forced these suppliers to shape up - and they have got better.

  18. Kev99 Bronze badge

    "Surface works well and users like it". Sounds like someone who has never used a real computer. We had a Surface Pro where I worked and the only way it was usable was when it was plugged into to a dock with a real monitor and real keyboard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And you sound like someone who's actually tried to use one.

      I got one for free (work), and was still disappointed. I'd rather use my phone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "the only way it was usable was when it was plugged"

      Short sight and fat fingers?

  19. Boohoo4u

    Microsoft doesn’t need to make a profit on Surface for it to be a success. Microsoft’s future (profits) is in the Cloud, but Azure is difficult to market that promote the Microsoft brand (to Joe consumer).

    To maintain mindshare Microsoft needs something more flashy for their commercials than Azure. That’s the Xbox, VR, and the Surface products. Microsoft probably doesn’t care all that much if you buy a Surface after seeing the commercial. What’s important is people will research it, and think about buying products with Microsoft OS inside (after doing comparisons). It’s about maintaining the ecosystem that’s important.

    The way Microsoft prices Surface is obviously it’s overpriced to not harm their OEM partners. I bet the OEMs benefit more from the Surface “competition” than Microsoft does...

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surface, the Apple iPad/MacBook wannabe

    It's the same reason why Microsoft stores are popping up in some cities.

    The Surface device's only real success is fracturing the friendly relationship with Microsoft's OEMs.

    1. Pascal

      Re: Surface, the Apple iPad/MacBook wannabe

      Another way to see it is that Surface's goal was to give the OEMs a solid kick in the behinds, and wake them up from all the terrible, terrible hardware they were making.

      Just look at screen and storage.

      As apple was coming out with retina displays and ssd storage in their laptops, it was still considered a premium, high-end, "costs 100s of dollars more" feature to get an 1920x1080 display from Dell, HP and the like: they were very comfortable still peddling those 1366x768 pieces of junk in overweight laptops with storage that felt slower than my old 20 Mb RLL drives from the 1980s.

      The current surface line-up clearly has those heat / etc. issues but calling them iPad wannabees is ridiculous.

  21. Vadar

    This is news?

    None of the commenters in the article have a vested interest in hoping Microsoft will fail in hardware :)

  22. johnwworth

    Shame - the Surface is excellent

    It would be a crying shame if the Surface line went, it is a truly excellent device if one travels and presents a lot as I do. A poweful lightweight and ultra portable machine with fabulous battery life is incredibly useful, the keyboard is attached with magnets so one has a useful notepad too (I avoid paper these days).

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    loss-making Surface hardware

    how can it be loss making when it sells for 1000 - 1500 squid?

  24. sz54c8

    Double "Hmmm"

    Hey El Reg, nice to see you've deleted my post (which was originally the first one on this article) pointing out the error in your proof-reading,, after you corrected it. Censoring criticism much?

    1. Duffy Moon

      Re: Double "Hmmm"

      I believe that the preferred method for notifying them of errors, is via the 'send corrections' link at the top of the comments page.

    2. James O'Shea Silver badge

      Re: Double "Hmmm"

      sz54c8, vultures not known for the ability to spel or gud grammur use.

  25. Uberseehandel

    Last generation components

    The top end devices, specially the Surface Book and Surface Studio are eye-wateringly expensive, and use old tech components. How can this be a low margin activity, unless the fixed and marketing costs are out of wack?

    Show me a Surface Studio user who wouldn't like to have a second matching monitor. Yet where is it?

    Why cripple the processors with too few cores? And can they stream 4K films/TV that is protected? DDR4 memory? Thunderbolt 3?

    There is other stuff missing too, but detailed specifications appear to have been removed from the MS web sites.

    Why they didn't design it to use the the next gen hardware and release once the components were generally available, is a rookie error.

    If a user needs a top end workstation or ultrabook, it is almost guaranteed that the user will need more than one screen. Even spreadsheet jockeys need multiple screens.

    Maybe marketing types are unaware of this, MS appears to be completely overwhelmed by them.

  26. Sil

    The PC industry sure needed Surface to remind them how innovation looked like

    Microsoft needed Surface because PC makers were not innovating, still focused on selling crap with horrible hard drives and HD screens at the same time smartphones took off and tablets were introduced.

    Then they tried to sell horrible tablets too. with crappy hardware, horrible design, no autonomy.

    Surface showed them that touch could be interesting, that pen could be interesting, that 2 in 1 could be interesting and that good build quality and design could sell.

    The only problem with Surface is that they went from premium pricing to extortion pricing, and customers did not follow.

    I hope Microsoft will come down to earth and offer more realistic pricing, because while PC makers did tremendous progress, I fear they'll get complacent again.

    I was very satisfied with the RT, the SP3 & the Surface Book. Like any products, the Surface products can't be everything to all people. However, they are damn fine and unique products if you have a need for it. I absolutely could use a Surface Studio if the pricing wasn't that elitist.

    1. robin thakur 1

      Re: The PC industry sure needed Surface to remind them how innovation looked like

      The high pricing of the Surface and its accessories build in a few different factors including the weak pound, the high return rates, the development and marketing costs, and also the low volume which they sell. There is also the point that they do not want them to be the go to choice for people also considering HP, Asus, Lenovo or (shudder) Acer laptops. They are marketed to compete directly with the MacBook /Air/Pro line and make MS seem relevant. I can't imagine they have made much profit off of my Surface purchases due to the number of returns.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amount of Surface / Surface books I've seen in use recently - loads

    Amount of ipad Pro's I've seen in use ever? - none.

    Yeah lets abandon something that is finally starting to catch on. Stupid Microsoft.

    1. WolfFan Silver badge

      Amount of Surface / Surface books I've seen in use recently - loads

      Amount of ipad Pro's I've seen in use ever? - none.

      Interesting. Where do you live? I've seen some Surface systems. Not many, but some. I've also seen some iPad Pros. Again, not many... but at least twice as many as I've seen Surface systems. The vast majority of tablets in active use around here are various non-Pro iPads and assorted Samsung tablets. Those two categories account for more than 90% of the tablets in use around here. YMMV.

    2. robin thakur 1

      Since Apple started making 9.7" and 10.5" iPad Pro's you've probably seen more than you think but just assumed they were iPads. I've grown to love my iPad pro especially after iOS 11's changes and getting the smart KB and Pencil really adds far more to the experience than I anticipated. I still have to use the Surface pro for work stuff until my new MacBook Pro arrives

  28. rmullen0

    Who wants a poorly constructed piece of garbage

    I have no idea why anyone would want to buy one of those. It has a vinyl keyboard. And you have to prop up the screen. Looks like garbage to me. The odd hinge looked like it would easily break also. Bottom line, you really can't trust Microsoft. Look at all the years of incompetence with Windows.

    1. d3vy

      Re: Who wants a poorly constructed piece of garbage

      You're getting several product lines confused....

      "It has a vinyl keyboard. And you have to prop up the screen" thats the surface pro, its a tablet with a keyboard cover - similar to an iPad.

      "The odd hinge looked like it would easily break also" thats a surface book, thats a.. laptop with a fully functional detachable tablet.

      There is also the new surface laptop which I didnt see the point of until I used one last week... really its just a windows PC, nothing special to see.. but the keyboard is great, the screen is great, its fast.. its just generally a decent machine.

      1. robin thakur 1

        Re: Who wants a poorly constructed piece of garbage

        The Surface Pro has an odd hinge too actually like an aircraft flap. It failed on my first Surface pro 3 but the two replacements haven't had issues (with the stand) however, it's definitely a compromise if you need to type on your lap, doesn't really work well. The surface Laptop would be good if it was priced normally and didn't have the stain magnet keyboard or Windows 10 S.

  29. steviebuk Silver badge

    Mine...

    ...is OK but I regretted buying it pretty much after it arrived. Got the high end Surface 4. Was supposed to be for drawing but I haven't used it much. Wish I'd got a Wacom instead really. It's OK but the mouse pad on the keyboard is crap. I still think they should of supplied the keyboards with the device.

    1. robin thakur 1

      Re: Mine...

      I'm not quite sure why *nobody* apart from Apple can manage to get trackpads with gestures working properly even now.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The intern says: This news is not true

    I am a Microsoft full time employee. Believe me - I had a chat with a colleague from the Surface Product Team today about this.

    This bullsh..article is fake news :-D

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The intern says: This news is not true

      and also Satya has just been named as Rex Tillreson's replacement.....

    2. nkuk

      Re: The intern says: This news is not true

      Unless your colleague is able to read senior executives minds, he does not know the future of the product.

  31. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Holmes

    Real Problem

    .....is based on MSs very real history of dumping products giving rise to speculation that they will repeat it with the Surface......

    "Dorothy ignore that man behind the curtain!"

  32. Jimmy2

    Shocking News: Dell and Lenovo Hope Microsoft Kills Surface

    It should surprise no one that Dell and Lenovo want Microsoft to discontinue the Surface line. Microsoft is the only place to buy a Windows machine that is not full of crapware. The Surface Book and Surface Studio look amazing to me. The main problem with the Surface line is Windows 10. I don't want an operating system with telemetry I can't turn off. And I don't want mandatory feature updates. And feature updates should be separated from security updates. The Microsoft employees responsible for Windows 10 should be tarred and feathered.

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