Panos Panay: The Surface Line Isn’t Going Anywhere

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by Megalith, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    To the guy that heads up Microsoft's Surface products, the idea that the company is going to kill off its line of computers and tablets is laughable. "It's so far from the truth," Panos Panay, Microsoft's corporate vice president of devices, said on Monday, calling the notion the "tabloid rumor of the week."

    Panay was responding to a discussion last week by a panel of PC industry executives about the future of Microsoft's hardware business. The executives, which included representatives from Dell and Lenovo, predicted the company would kill its Surface line by 2019. "Microsoft is making a lot of money on cloud, making a lot of money on Windows and Office, but losing a lot of money on devices," said Gianfranco Lanci, Lenovo's chief operating officer, according to the report.
     
  2. c_porter

    c_porter [H]Lite

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    I think this usually goes like so:

    1. Scoop released that company is doing X
    2. People "in the know" deny it
    3. It happens exactly as originally reported
     
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  3. raz-0

    raz-0 [H]ardness Supreme

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    They seem to be selling similar items at a notably higher pricepoint than their competitors. If MS is losing money, lenovo and DELL have to be bleeding out.
     
  4. viper1152012

    viper1152012 Limp Gawd

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    I have friends that work at MS in Bellevue and they laugh all the way to work about this ...with their surfaces.
     
  5. GuruX

    GuruX Gawd

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    What's been their stance on Windows Mobile? It's not dead, it's not dead, We're fully committed....... Oh! It's dead.
     
  6. GuruX

    GuruX Gawd

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    That said, I seem to remember similar rumors about XBox (especially when the 360 was out). It was generally a money-losing segment at the time, so why would they bother sinking money into it.

    Bottom line: Analysts know nothing.
     
  7. jnemesh

    jnemesh Limp Gawd

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    Just about as dead as it can be without official announcements. They have crappy repair rates, are completely non-repairable, and people aren't buying them. MS can keep fooling themselves for another year or two, but the writing is already on the wall...more, with Surface sales dying, and WP dead, they can't hide the bleeding from their Xbox division any longer.
     
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  8. mjcutri

    mjcutri Limp Gawd

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    Not sure why being "non-repairable" matters to MS and I know plenty of people buying and enjoying their surface devices. All of Apple's products are just as "non-repairable" and they seem to be doing fine.

    This sounds like wishful thinking by executives who don't like having to compete with MS in hardware since they are also dependent on MS for software. With MS entering the hardware space and being successful, now they have two integrated manufacturers to compete with instead of just one (Apple).
     
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  9. MrDeaf

    MrDeaf [H]Lite

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    Microsoft might be losing money on the Surface product line in various ways that might not seem immediately obvious.

    The three that come to my mind, that we take for granted, is operating a physical storefront, operating an incredibly customer first support team and R&D.

    They will replace your product, absolutely hassle free, just like Apple does, if it is inside the warranty period.
    They replaced, hassle free, SP3 using the older CPU with a SP3 that was using a newer, faster, CPU.
    They replaced, hassle free, SP3/4 with backlight bleed problems.

    Their R&D is fantastic, if you think about it.
    SP1, which, while falling short in various ways, was still miles ahead of the competition offered by Lenovo, Asus, Dell, HP, Acer, etc.
    SP4 is damn amazing, considering this is only the 4th iteration of Surface. The competition has started to catch up, but I think SP4 still maintains the lead.
     
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  10. DPI

    DPI [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yep.

    "We're committed"
    "We're committed"
    "We're committed"
    "We're no longer focused on it" -- usually an obscure tweet from an MS employee's personal account
     
  11. Ididar

    Ididar Gawd

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    Yeah, but in this case it is a comment from a competitor who'd like to see it die so he doesn't have to compete with it.
     
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  12. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I truly do wish I could say this was just trolling but alas, it is anything but. :(
     
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  13. Exercate

    Exercate [H]Lite

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    When I go to read the article, I get "Looks like you're using an Ad-Blocker". WELL, yes, you are correct - next article!

    So, I started over and clicked it again. I was able to read it that time. Hmmmm
     
  14. H2R2P2

    H2R2P2 Limp Gawd

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    I think its important to keep in mind why Microsoft went into the hardware business to begin with. Windows suffered from a chicken and egg scenario. Microsoft would spend billions of dollars in research to create new capabilities in their OS (like supporting touch) only to have the OEM's not create devices that supported it. The OEM's claimed they saw no reason to support something no one was using. This would go on and on until a competitor (who controlled both device manufacturing and software) would release exactly what should have been released by Microsoft and the OEM. Now Microsofts's OEM's would implement the feature because they needed to be feature equivalent. This means Microsoft's offering was always last to enter the market and was never considered innovative.

    The next part of the answer is exactly the same reason Google started creating devices. Go back 9 years ago. Google didnt have *ANY* phones whatsoever. Microsoft was a competitor in search and Google knew they would be a competitor in the cloud world (and yes, I know for a fact Cloud stuff was on the internal roadmaps back then). Google makes money only when people use their services. How do basically all of Google's users access Google services? Through a *COMPETITOR*... Microsoft OS's, Browsers, etc.. They understood that in a services world, relying on your competitor for growth is extremely dangerous; especially when they directly compete with you on the same service offering as the competitor now controls the user experience of your users. For example, what if Microsoft decided one day to re-route all Google.com to Bing.com for Windows users? Or make people pay to unlock access to Google's sites? Google knew they needed to have a platform they controlled end to end, so they created the Chromebooks, Tables, Phones, etc. This same scenario is true for Microsoft. Google now has a foothold in the devices world and Microsoft customers use Google and Apple devices to access Microsoft services. Microsoft needs to have a device they control in order to keep Google and Apple honest with regard to access to Microsoft services. If they nerf them in some way, Microsoft has an option for users that want a best of breed Microsoft experience.

    Microsoft does not trust anyone... and the scenario I outlined is never going to go away. The only way Microsoft can get out of the devices market is if they make some strategic merger deal with someone who makes devices. For example, say Microsoft sells 10% of Microsoft for a 40% stake of Dell or something along those lines.

    In summary, being in the devices business is a cost of doing business in the cloud services business.
     
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  15. oldmanbal

    oldmanbal Gawd

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    I've wanted a surface for a long time to take place of my ipads but just haven't pulled the trigger. I see them used all the time on craigslist but people usually want what they payed for them since they literally never used them after purchase. I do a lot of traveling in the winter and would love to have one for emulator play on rides and in hotels.

    I just can't see myself paying full price for the hardware unfortunately.

    Anyone here own a newer model that would like to share their experiences?
     
  16. gunbust3r

    gunbust3r Gawd

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    Bye Bye Surface, I wont miss your non reparable, overpriced, obtusely supported (Drivers and Firmware on the whim of the OS) and to top it off generation 15 of the industry worst WiFi/Bluetooth.

    I would be considering shutting them down too after their botched pivot into Enterprise and SMB with the surface line.
     
  17. jnemesh

    jnemesh Limp Gawd

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    If by "doing just fine" you mean "sales tanking by over 26%" then sure. https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/27/microsoft-surface-sales/
     
  18. SGTGimpy

    SGTGimpy Limp Gawd

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    I have personally owned a Surface Pro 3, Pro 4 and now a Surface Laptop as well support multiple clients that are either using now or soon to be migrating to Surface products. While each version has had it own quirks/bugs to work out when released, I can honestly say that they are some of the best if not the best products on the market. (Are they the best priced, No.)

    But before you just go out and get one. I suggest to anyone that is interested in getting a Surface Pro, go to a store that has one on display and actually take sometime playing with it. Most users that I know that bought a surface and didn't like it, were the ones that thought it was going to operate and function just like their old brick laptops and never even touch one before buying. While it is 100% a laptop replacement device, it will come down to personal preference whether it will work as a laptop replacement for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
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  19. steakman1971

    steakman1971 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've seen plenty of Surfaces being used in the wild. I know a few people that love them. Some of these people tried iPad's a few years ago - they had the bluetooth keyboards and went all out. It was painful to watch them.
    With the Surface, you get real programs and can plug in USB devices (as well as an external monitor). I hope Microsoft stays in the market - who is their competition? iPad Pro?
    (For me, I'd rather use a 13" laptop instead of any of these devices. I am way more productive and can get a 2-3lb laptop so it's quite portable - just no touch screen which I am not a fan of anyway)
     
  20. HoffY

    HoffY Gawd

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    Or they simply are not losing money adn just want that impression to be given while they gouge the fk out of everyone and DEL etc are still making money because they spend less money on marketing B.S. and Diversity Hire'sso they can charge less for their devices and still make bank.
     
  21. hmz

    hmz 2[H]4U

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    Great products, but out of warranty you're asking for trouble.

    I have exchanged twice the SP4 due to a shaky screen issue. Its all over the internet. The MS did not address this issue. So I sold it while it was good and bought the Surface Laptop. If something happens out of warranty - its a paperweight.
     
  22. lazz

    lazz Limp Gawd

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    I mentioned this in the last thread, but my team is rolling out SP4s to the entire business unit of the energy company I work for. We just purchased 8500 of them, complete with two 2k monitors for each, and Surface kb and mouse sets.

    At least two other large energy companies here in Calgary are looking at doing the same during their Win10 migration.

    They are becoming very popular with the Enterprise crowd where they can replace a laptop *and* an iPad, and that's a hugely profitable sector.

    In short, the rumours of their demise strikes me as frankly ridiculous.
     
  23. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nah, you just setup a support case with MS. At which point, they'll give you a refurb unit. The problem is, it's expensive. I have an SP3 and dropped it, breaking the screen. I think it was like $600 something to replace. That or I spend $800 and bought a new SP4 that's similiar in specs. The touch no longer works, has some cracking, but overall still works. So...I just opted to wait to see if they release a new Surface Book with a like GTX 1060 or something.

    We'd be buying Surface Pros, if not for the processor. We have certain approved procs we can use and none of the SPs have them. Otherwise, we would ahve purchased around 200 of them. Definitely not 8500. We've got VDI for desktops.
     
  24. lazz

    lazz Limp Gawd

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    Oh man, don't get me started on VDI. My organization tried that wint Win7, and the amount of issues we had with thinapp packaging was ridiculous. 1000 deploys into the migration they shifted gears and reverted back to physical desktops.
     
  25. hmz

    hmz 2[H]4U

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    The $600 is a lot of money to replace the device considering you get no warranty on the replacement.
     
  26. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

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    Wish we would have gone back to physical desktops. It was a massive headache the first 2 years, but it's not bad now. It's simply getting to that point. I still wouldn't want it as my own systems. Too much limitations for a power user.

    Yep. Soon as I saw that price, said,"Nope". Waiting on an that Surface Book 2 announcement and if nothing comes up this year, will just buy the current Surface Book with performance base. It'll replace my SP3 and Alienware laptop.