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 …

  1. WolfFan Silver badge

    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."

    1. Waseem Alkurdi
      Thumb Up

      Re: Really?

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

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      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.

      1. TwistedPsycho

        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

    3. rg287

      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.

  2. Waseem Alkurdi

    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?)

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

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

      1. CheesyTheClown Silver badge

        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.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi

          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.

          1. Cavehomme_

            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.

            1. Waseem Alkurdi

              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?

            2. HolySchmoley

              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.

        2. King Jack Silver badge
          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. HolySchmoley

              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.

            2. Handle123456

              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!

        3. MrReal

          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.

          1. Jason Hindle

            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.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              "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.

          2. Tomato Krill

            Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

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

          3. visualsan

            Re: Is there anything wrong with Windows 10?

            Blame the implementation of Virtual Box on Windows then..

            Try running it with VMWare Player - it runs so well.

            Windows is safe, fast and good.

        4. LDS Silver badge

          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.

          1. vistisen

            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.

            1. King Jack Silver badge

              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.

            2. LDS Silver badge

              "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.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              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?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            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.

            1. LDS Silver badge

              "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.

            2. HolySchmoley

              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.

        5. DerGoat

          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.

          1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            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.

        6. Handle123456

          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.

        7. alpensturm

          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...

      2. HolySchmoley

        >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.

  3. Franco Silver badge

    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.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      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.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        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.

  4. djstardust Silver badge

    Sounds promising

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

  5. myhandler

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

    1. Waseem Alkurdi
      Joke

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

  6. tekHedd

    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.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      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.

      1. td97402

        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.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        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.

        1. HolySchmoley

          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.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: So the logic is

            I've seen 2-3 Surfaces in use

            Yes, but have you ever seen anyone using it as a tablet? I NEVER have, while i have seen them used as a laptop, which is what it really is - a laptop with a really terrible keyboard.

            You say you've never seen an iPad Pro, but how do you know? You can barely tell them apart unless it is the larger model...

      3. LDS Silver badge

        "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.

    2. David Glasgow

      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.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: So the logic is

        Where do you meet these people?

        Maybe he lives in Redmond?

      2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        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.

      3. aje21
        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.

      4. Persona

        Re: So the logic is

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

        I know of 5 plus myself all with 3+ year old 640XL windows phones. One of the phones died last week :-(

        and needed to be replaced with something else. I haven't hear from the owner since. She's probably grieving.

      5. visualsan

        Re: So the logic is

        Am one :) With a Nokia Lumia 730. I still keep it and use it... Running a SIM which is used mainly for Incoming messages.

        I love that fluidity.

    3. Mike Taylor

      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.

  7. IGnatius T Foobar !

    Give the desktop some love.

    Come on, Microsoft ... 99.999% of Windows users are sitting at a keyboard with a mouse. Enough with the Apple-wannabe experiments. It's time to make Windows a desktop operating system again. Windows 7 finally achieved a usable quality level, and then you went and ruined it in 8 & 10 with all of this touch-first nonsense. Windows needs to be desktop first.

    1. MGJ

      Re: Give the desktop some love.

      Sitting at my Surface Book 2; earlier I was watching a film and allowing kids to scribble with the pen with the screen turned around. It just works, Yes it was expensive, but it does everything I need it to. Grand Theft Auto V to Word

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Give the desktop some love.

      "99.999% of Windows users are sitting at a keyboard with a mouse"

      I use my tablet most evenings and my desktop during the day. When I go on holiday the tablet with it's keyboard comes with me to cover all eventualities. I don't think I'm a 1 in 100,000 use case. Keyboard, mouse, touch and to a lesser extent voice, together give the best user experience.

  8. ecarlseen

    Microsoft should stay with Surface.

    Several problems with this article:

    1) The blame for the relatively weak PC (and Mac) sales over the last half decade rests squarely on Intel's shoulders. Outside of gaming and some corner-case multicore-happy professional applications there simply isn't a good reason to upgrade. My current desktop device is six years old, and if I were to go out and buy a top-of-the-line replacement I get maybe 25% more single-threaded performance absent any other bottlenecks. It used to be that you upgraded for a serious performance boost. Now you just replace machines that break.

    2) Yes, Apple has low single-digit percentage of unit sales. They have a much higher percentage of industry profits. I recall some time ago that while their market share in laptops was small, their market share in laptops over a price threshold like $1000 or $1500 so was absurdly high (I forget the exact numbers, but something like 90%). Their philosophy remains "Why should we dilute our brand fighting over a tiny amount of additional profit and a huge amount of additional support costs?" It's a spectacular place to be if you can pull it off, and they have.

    3) Microsoft needs a similar halo, even at a loss. Not just for their own brand, but to show they can actually commit to something outside of Windows/Office/XBox. What killed Microsoft in mobile is that nobody believes them anymore. They switched strategies every few years, breaking compatibility and screwing over their customers and partners at every turn. Now they're pushing into the cloud big time, and we still eye their new ventures a bit warily because of their long history of abandoning projects and product lines and leaving big piles of wreckage in their wake.

    For my own devices, I live in the Apple ecosystem because I can get away with it. But a world with one top-tier vendor is not a stable world. Similarly, we need better competition in Mobile. Ideally, this would be Microsoft but they simply committed market suicide there. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to be competitive in the high-end mobile market on an anti-privacy platform like Android.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft should stay with Surface.

      Ideally, this would be Microsoft but they simply committed market suicide there. Unfortunately, I don't think it's possible to be competitive in the high-end mobile market on an anti-privacy platform like Android.

      If Microsoft used AOSP Android with their own services replacing Google's it could be done. Unfortunately, Microsoft has gone the data whoring route with Windows 10 under the new CEO, so you'd simply be trading one data grabber for another. Still, all else being equal if I had to have my data snarfed I'd rather have multiple companies getting some of it as opposed to one getting all of it.

    2. td97402

      Re: Microsoft should stay with Surface.

      Jusr added an SSD to my 7 year old ThinkCentre M92p office desktop. It rocks. I have no plans of replacement it. Ditto my 5 year old Thinkpad. The difference in performance between Intel gen 3 and 7 isn’t significant. The SSD made all the difference in each case.

      When new technologies come along that require a completely new chipset there may be a compelling reason for me to buy a new machine until then I am happy where I’m at.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft should stay with Surface.

      Microsoft needs a similar halo, even at a loss.

      No it does not. Loss-leaders only ever work for temporarily to grow market share, or because, like Amazon's spybots, you're using them to drive services. Neither applies to the Microsoft's Surface.

    4. simonlb

      Re: Microsoft should stay with Surface.

      @ecarlseen I completely agree with point 1 of your post: Unless you absolutely must have top-notch processing or graphics performance there is no justification to buy a new PC if your old one dies. Considering that prices for PC's and individual components have also risen over the past year along the security design flaws present in the CPU's themselves, I'd be loathe to spend my cash on a new PC with a design flaw which has to have it's performance compromised by fixes to resolve those flaws.

      There are plenty of sellers on eBay who can provide two-year old fully refurbished HP, Dell or Lenovo PC's with a better spec than my nearly five-year old PC for a very competitive price, so for me it's a done deal. And the OS installed isn't an issue either, you decide whether to keep the copy of Windows 10 already installed or install the OS of your choice - it's only a couple of hours work for most users anyway.

      My days of building a new PC for myself are long gone.

  9. John Jennings

    I love my work surface, to be honest. Its a 3, I7 8GB 256 model. Best laptop I have owned, bar none.

    I had to evaluate dell, HP and some other tablets for work - and none - none at all 'got' how windows 10 is meant to work on a tablet/laptop

    I do use a mac for my personal computer - its grand, but, ya,know.....

    My wife just gave up her winfone. as discussed above. I could not see why she would keep it almost 2 years past her contract 'upgrade' - but it takes all sorts. She is changing for an Iphone 8 plus.

  10. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Linux

    Memories

    Commercials featuring legions of young people smiling and using their Surface in a mini mob acting as if they're getting high just off the vapors makes me now laugh how....again......Microsoft has demonstrated all the commitment of a pre-pubescent to their latest 'solemn' vows. They are just NOT serious about hardware.

    1. Jason Hindle

      Re: Memories

      Six generations of Surface would perhaps suggest otherwise.

  11. Daleos

    Ah lovely tho see El Reg readers are just as deluded as the Apple users they pretend to hate. The simple fact is that the Surface line is profitable, is now the number 5 seller of PCs in the US and is now 1/3 of the sales of Apple Macintosh's. Yeah I know it's only a third but for a PC seller with all the competition that's hardly bad going. They beat Acer in the US FFS. The Surface is absolutely not the disaster. That analyst F'ed up big time. I have an SP3 and will hang on to it until it craps out. After that, I'll most probably get another SP. The format suits me down to the ground and I can't imagine going back to a standard laptop format if I have any choice in the matter..

    1. The Average Joe

      SP?

      Yo, dude, how do you like your 12 month warranty???

      With a Mac you can get Apple care for 3 years. Some devices have been current for over 6 years... Have you seen ANY SP1 owners? They all got tossed in the garbage pit when the SP2 or SP3 came out...

      Hardware is tricky and on the high end even more so!

      1. Waseem Alkurdi

        Re: SP?

        Apples to oranges.

        You're comparing a standard hardware warranty to an extended warranty?!

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "Yo, dude, how do you like your 12 month warranty???"

        Depends on where you live. I live in EU, so I have a two years mandatory warranty without having to spend more to buy it...

        SP1 wasn't a success, so probably it's difficult to see one. I'm still using my SP2 Pro, anyway, and I'd like to replace it with a new Surface - what I don't like is Windows 10, and frankly, I like the Wacom digitizer more than the newer Bluetooth pen.

      3. Deltics
        Coat

        Re: SP?

        You , dude... how do you like living in a territory where a manufacturer can abdicate their responsibilities for producing a product of reasonable quality after some arbitrary time period and then charge you extra for the privilege of ensuring that the product does indeed last a reasonable period of time ?

        Come to NZ where the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) provides every consumer the assurance that every product sold in NZ will last for a "reasonable" length of time (literally what a "reasonable person would expect") taking into account how the product has been treated by the consumer, it's price and typical longevity of the type of product.

        The CGA also applies a reasonableness test to whether replacement or repair is acceptable - e.g. if a product breaks after a few days of use (possibly weeks, depending on the cost of the product), or out of the box, then a new replacement is warranted (the consumer paid for a new product and is entitled to fair use of a new product). After a few months or years, then a consumer may need to accept a repair or reconditioned unit. Consumers may also exercise their right to entirely reject the product as being of merchantable quality (for a full refund) if it is not capable of performing as advertised/claimed or if the product suffers repeated failures (the CGA continues to apply to any replacement or repair).

        Manufacturers must replace or repair within that period regardless of what they may say in their warranty terms and conditions - it is impossible to opt or contract out of the CGA. Even Apple.

        AppleCare or no AppleCare.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Facepalm

      The simple fact is that the Surface line is profitable

      So you're privy to numbers that MS itself doesn't release?

      1. Daleos

        No sales figures but there's this Gartner report.

        https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-10-10-gartner-says-worldwide-pc-shipments-experienced-flat-growth-in-the-third-quarter-of-2018

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Holmes

          re: Gartner Report

          Gartner report on what their customer for the report wants. If MS commissioned the report then it would come out as positive towards MS.

          Many of us have been reading Gartner and IDC reports for years. The operation is always done with a huge pinch of salt. I personally look for who commissioned the report first. Just so I know what sort os slant it will have. Some companies never use the likes of Gartner or IDC. Guess which ones usually come out bottom... Go on guess... It isn't hard... /s /s /s

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course

    Canalys, who employ this guy, predicted that by last year, iPhone and Windows Phone would be neck and neck in market share, so they maybe harbour a grudge against the company that let them down by not living up to their prediction

    https://mspoweruser.com/canalys-predicts-windows-phone-and-iphone-to-be-neck-and-neck-in-2017/

  13. Joe Gurman

    Wasn't Steve Ballmer....

    ....also responsible for the Zune?

  14. PhilipN Silver badge

    Will die - no

    Judging by the number of punters at the Surface counter at the local digi-shop compared with those at other counters, it is already dead*

    *Save for corporations finagled into buying them in bulk

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very nice hardware...

    That’s crippled by the awful bloatware foisted on it. Imagine one of these running Mint. Now that would get Apple worries.

  16. baggins84

    I've been a long time Surface user and I think the products are great. People will have views on each and every operating system until the cows come home; there will never be one that everyone is happy with.

    As an out of the box device, the Surface is very good. The build quality on them is excellent and while they aren't cheap I think they're worth it. I used one at my previous company (both 3 and 4) for a couple of years and never had a problem with either. I've run VMs on them as well and while the limiting factor was the lower spec of the machines (i5 and 8GB RAM) they did what they needed to do. Previously working in Digital Forensics, Incident Response and Cyber Security.

  17. 0laf Silver badge
    Pirate

    Hmmmm Success Vs MS

    I don't have a Surface I think they're overpriced plus sized tablets but I know lots of people with them that like them a lot.

    We've bought into a lot of Surface devices for senior people and they, in general, are happy with what they are getting. I'm also increasingly seeing Surface devices being used by conference presenters etc. The sorts of people who like to have 'Influencer' somewhere in their CV or profile.

    So on the surface (fnar fnar) the Surface appears to be a bit of a success for MS.

    Which isn't to say they won't fuck it up totally soon or that Nedella won't just throw the entire product line in the skip at a moments notice because he woke up and decided that MS aren't a hardware company. This is MS after all.

  18. pear

    best in class

    Problem is no one is really producing high end windows alternatives to surface, so if that's what you're looking for - you buy the surface.

  19. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Trollface

    Surface will die in 2019

    Based on our experiences with the hardware, that "Surface will die" seems to be an accurate prediction, whether or not MS discontinues them.

  20. shaunhw
    Stop

    I'd be pleased actually.

    Having had three of these devices, they are actually quite mediocre unreliable devices. The most reliable (which I still have) is the surface pro 1, (i5 version) which was pretty good in it's time, but never excellent, for a device in its technical class, and its 128GB memory is actually quite limiting.

    Then I got a surface pro 3 (i7, 512GB, 16GB ram) which was a complete disaster. The screen was magnolia in tint instead of the pure white it should have been and no proper correction was available. By proper, I mean independent of the OS. Then it kept losing its WIFI and I had to reset it almost daily. Then the OS got borked on an update to windows 10, and then when I finally got it working again it slowly lost all its windows store apps, including the start menu, and settings etc. Microsoft didn't have a clue, and all they could suggest (as usual) was "reset" the thing, after which it worked for a day or two and then repeated this bizarre desire to be more like Windows 7. It ended up being some bug caused by the fact that I'd not used a Microsoft account on the wretched thing, just my local account to log into it. Of course they never tested this did they ? The screen however was still magnolia, and correcting this somewhat with the RGB sliders made any connected monitor lilac in colour. It went back, because it was so bad. Of course a replacement in the early days was of course magnolia tinted as well. There was also an episode where they had declared 2 years warranty on the thing and then changed the details to show only 1 year, after I'd bought it. Even evidence in the form of a URL from the "Way-back machine" which had helpfully archived those details, wouldn't convince them, that this was true and they wouldn't honour the two years I thought I'd got. Disgraceful.

    Then I got a surface pro 4, from a popular retailer, (i7 256GB, 16 GB Ram) which at first seemed a dream. Until the screen started showing a cloud of horizontal, brighter streaks on the top right, which I'd done nothing to cause, then the power supply failed at the connection, needing wiggling to work, but then failed completely. Both these just out of warranty. 80 pounds for the power supply, and I guess I have to live with the (now) sub par screen, which of course, was initially perfect with no magnolia tint on peak whites at all. So it should be at 1500 pounds.

    So, if they stop making these things, then I shall be happy, because then I won't be tempted to get another one of these wretched things, in the vain hope that they might have improved them a bit and be deemed insane by the lady of the house for doing such a ridiculous thing!

    Meanwhile all my real work is still being done on a Windows 7 based i5 desktop box with an ASUS mother board, from mid 2013, which (touch wood) has given me sterling service and owes me nothing at all. Even the OS has been ultra reliable and the machine has never been tainted with Windows 10, apart from the usual attempts of MS to force it on me.

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