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Is Microsoft close to quitting Surface hardware? Hardly.

Recently, the news site The Register ran a damning and bold headline that read "2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware". While the headline may seem hyperbolic, the article goes on to quote Canalys CEO Steve Brazier and Gianfranco Lanci, corporate president and chief operating officer at Lenovo to back the claim.

With the announcement that Microsoft's streaming Groove Music service was going away and what appears like a shift away from the consumer brand by Microsoft, the idea seems plausible. However, there are reasons to doubt its validity too.

What was said

The Register quotes Brazier in saying:

The Surface performance is choppy; there are good quarters and bad quarters, overall they are not making money. It doesn't make sense for them to be in this business.When the capital expenditure challenge that Satya Nadella has taken Microsoft down becomes visible to Wall Street, everyone will ask him 'Why have you gone to a low margin business?

Later, citing continuing needs to cut costs Brazier says that Surface will be the first target.

Lanci also agrees, noting he thinks Microsoft will drop Surface by 2019 (hence the headline) or maybe even earlier. His reasoning:

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.And frankly speaking, it is difficult to see why they should keep losing money. For them it is a very difficult exercise to run hardware products business, they need to be careful about every single detail as the margin on this is so thin.

Even Dell chief commercial officer Marius Haas jumped in remarking that Microsoft will likely "slow it down a bit."

None of this even extraordinary.

Going back to 2014, when Nadella was ascending to CEO status, there was a big internal push by so-called activist shareholders to get Microsoft out of the consumer market. Many of Microsoft's investors wanted them to drop Bing, Xbox, and yes, Surface. The pressure is real.

Xbox One X

For years, analysts have questioned if Microsoft should retain - or sell off - its Xbox brand. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Ever since Surface was announced in 2012 rival PC companies have doubted its success, or downplayed its significance (while at the same, riding the wave of creativity and renewed PC passion with their own products).

Why those remarks may not matter

Indeed, there should be some caution when reading those quotes. Lenovo and Dell have a vested interest in softening Microsoft's Surface impact on the PC business. They and others all make Surface clones with their improvements. The thought that these same companies want Microsoft to back out now is biased as they all have a vested interest were it to happen.

There is some hubris here, too, I think as these companies do not appreciate Microsoft outshining them or do not believe that they are, just as the CEO of Palm once dismissed the prospect of Apple making a smartphone.

Creating fear, uncertainty, and doubt is a crucial disinformation strategy, and these are not impartial players.

Second, it should be evident that none of these executives, despite their business titles are operating with any insider knowledge of Microsoft's Surface plans. From personal interaction with many of these same companies, I can tell you they had no idea about the Surface Laptop before it was announced and were caught off-guard. If anything, you dear reader are more informed about Microsoft's upcoming Surface plans through reading this site than most PC OEM CEOs.

Microsoft's Surface plans are well-kept secrets, and the company does not share its hardware plans with its partners. Not only would that be ill-advised, but it could also be illegal as a form of collusion.

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

But putting conjecture aside, all we must do is look back a week ago at what Satya Nadella told Bloomberg during an in-depth interview. Nadella specifically noted that Microsoft must continue to make its own hardware. From the article:

It's Alan Kay who said 'if you're serious about your software, you make your own hardware.' I think there's some truth to it.

Being more specific, Nadella notes that to create new device categories with new software experiences they need to do that themselves. Examples like Surface Studio, HoloLens, the original Surface, and Surface Book come to mind.

Nadella also believes in the company making its own hardware because of lessons learned in the past. Nadella rightly criticizes former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates and the earlier attempt at Windows tablets (pre-Surface) where the company merely made the software. Instead, they left the hardware to Microsoft's partners, and they blew it. In comes Apple with the iPad and the rest, as they say, is history. (The same criticism could be applied to Microsoft Windows Phone too, where a "hero" device from the company early on may have led to a different outcome).

These remarks are relevant because they are not just push back against the idea of them dropping Surface, but a precise and strategic rationale for why they must continue to make their own hardware.

Lastly, we should observe that Surface Laptop doesn't even create a new device category. If Nadella and the Microsoft board were so down on Surface as a brand canceling Surface Laptop before its release would seem to be a given if any of this were true. Surface Laptop was a device they could have nixed, and not much would have changed. A Surface Book "2" and an ARM-based Surface device, not to mention the rumored "Andromeda" hardware for mobile, are all on expected to be released by Microsoft in the coming year.

Perception is the real problem

The elephant in the room, of course, is that Microsoft – through Satya Nadella – is more interested in cloud and enterprise than the consumer market. Many people have yearned for – or been critical – of Microsoft "becoming the next IBM."

While I do think Microsoft is pulling back in some areas for consumers, e.g., fitness wearables, phone, streaming music, etc. the company is also taking more significant risks elsewhere — like Windows Mixed Reality. Getting Microsoft software and services onto all devices, regardless of the OS, is critical (see Microsoft Edge on iPhone and Android).

Dell XPS 13 vs. Surface Laptop: Which laptop should you buy?

Dell XPS 13 vs. Surface Laptop: Which laptop should you buy?

The thought that Microsoft is getting ready to pull the plug on Surface seems way off the mark to me. During our tour of the Surface facilities on the Redmond campus, the amount of money and infrastructure the company is building for its hardware development is unprecedented. Microsoft reorganized its internal leadership structure to reflect this continued push towards software that drives hardware and vice versa.

During my tour, Surface head Panos Panay effused about how with the new Surface Pro the hardware team was able to work more closely than ever with the Windows group because of those purposeful changes.

Nonetheless, the more significant issue here – as elsewhere – is perception. The idea that Microsoft could – or would – cancel Surface is not met with immediate rebuke from analysts, but instead, plausibility is the real problem.

Microsoft's tumultuous last few years with realignment, layoffs, and significant shifts in strategy create a level of expectation where anything can happen at any time. That may not come off as forged destiny, but instead, chaos and that's the worrying part.

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

241 Comments
  • C'mon Daniel, that would be the last nail in the coffin. After all those news from today, this is exactly what was missing.
  • A source within MS has eluded to the fact that Surface won't be around in 5yrs. It is highly likely that this will happen given the source. It is sad.
  • Where would the PC business be without the Surface line inspiration? Microsoft will end up having to show PC manufactures, 'how to make a good Windows on ARM PC'.
  • 5 years is a long time... hopefully Mixed Reality would be pervavsive at that time... also there would multiple new innovative form factors for PC... it would be a sad world if they were still making surface laptops at that time :)
  • I get the feeling they'd have no meaningful presence is consumer space in another 5 years...purely enterprise sevices company... At that time Google, FB and Amazon (and Chinese giants Baidu, Tencent and AliBaba too?)  would be so powerful becuse of the scale of data they have access to...  My crazy specualtion....they'll be forced to merge with apple (which has no meaningful presence in enterprise market) in another 5-10 years! Can't wait to see what happens!
  • WApplesoft
  • Micrapple? (Hehe!)
  • "Washington State's Initiative 502 (I-502), which decriminalizes recreational marijuana, was voted into law in November 2012. The new law allows the creation of a licensed and regulated system of marijuana production and distribution, similar to the state's liquor controls." Your source within Microsoft must be sneaking benefits of this law. Surely there will be the evolution of hardware, they may change a name but devices will be there. 
  • Was waiting for this article on windowscentral since the news started hitting other sites. :) But I don't think the main issue is perception. The main issue is Microsoft's lack of proper communication with fans and consumers. They have nixed multiple consumer products both good and bad. and they don't communicate about it. They pulled the plug off Lumia very very quickly. Many users specially in India, Brazil, Italy were taken off guard. I agree that as a company they might be doing good but I, as a fan for once will feel better if they do some communication. Otherwise, as others are saying it will be very tough to invest in any consumer device they bring in future. Anyways, personally I am going to be cautious for sure with MS's consumer tech now. Lets see how it goes. 
  • I agree somewhat with this and comments such as Nadella's Alan Kay quote, in particular "I think there's some truth to it", don't improve the company's ambiguity. Together with Daniel's last paragraph, it's challenging to be 'all in' with MS at the moment.
  • <p>I honestly don&#39;t believe a word that comes out of Nadella&#39;s mouth anymore. He&#39;s done nothing but spew lies for the past 2-3 years.</p>
  • Really?  He is being the change for Microsoft. 
  • Fact is, it's been proven Nadella lies....alot.
  • Proven? Got any sources on that?
  • I loved the original Zune app and sad that new avatar of ZUne got cancelled... I was going to get the pass after Conrtana speaker - Invoke gets released... Apparntly cortana would have Spotify skill..so it should be okay I think... But the amazing slowness of Microsoft in releasing and evolving products is just appaling... if they really wanted to compete in this space...they should have release multiple models speakers by this time...very disappointing ! Obviously it's key not for selling some stupid speakers, but putting cortana everywhere to get data that could help improve their AI! You get the feeling there is no fire...how can they expect developers and end users to support their platform?   
  • "if they really wanted to compete in this space" That's the thing, right? They don't wanna compete. I feel a company as big and as resourceful as MS can compete when they want but they just don't want to. Change in leadership and their ever increasing profit, nicely performing enterprise market make them even more lazy in consumer market. Personally, I feel next 10 months or so will be defining to say the least for MS's consumer presence. As a fan, I'd love them to be competitve again. Will take some seriours effort this time though. Lets see.
  • Daniel.... I watch alot of your reviews...and I get the impression that you prefer other labtops...ie razor hp Spector's ect. Over the surface products...an I wrong?
  • I use Surface Laptop as my main laptop these days, so yeah, not correct. There's a reason why I bought the 16GB 512GB model. I use Razer if I want to game; and HP's are also great, but Surface Laptop is bae. I just try to not over-promote my own favorite hardware over other companies.
  • Deleting that dude's comment was wrong. He is an angry fan and he has the right to be angry and express his anger, whether his way of expressing is right or wrong is secondary. You are trying to find a logic in an angry guy's comment rather than looking at the big picture of people being angry with MS. That's just my view though. You definitely know better. P.S. I am an Indian as well and there is nothing bad in calling an Indian, an Indian.
  • Why the Laptop instead of the Pro 2017 or Book?
  • Pro is amazing and I use it often, but the display is just a smidge too small when I have a 14" one next to it to use instead. Surface Book is just too big/heavy compared to Laptop and while it's nice to have that GPU, I don't always need it. Moreover, having 7th Gen Intel is nicer than Skylake.
  • "A Surface Book "2" and an ARM-based Surface device, not to mention the rumored "Andromeda" hardware for mobile, are all on expected to be released by Microsoft in the coming year.""
    .......
    Wait a minute... These three products, especially the latest, can you explain this comment?
    Is Windows Central STILL "counting" on a Mobile Surface device running Windows to be released sometime next year? What you wrote leads me to believe that you speculate a "Very Mobile Surface device" is in development as we speak... Did I read you right?
  • The more I read your articles and comments, the more I appreciate your professionalism. It's nice knowing that when I read your articles; they are pretty honest and line up with facts, not personal bias.
  • @sully9088, I agree. Daniel and team do a great job. Daniel in particular is remarkably objective.
  • Daniel, How's that Alcantara holding up ? Thinking of the 512GB model myself. I'm a long long time Macbook user that's looking to change. Love my Surface Pro 2017 but need more screen real estate. Any big -VE's ? I certainly hope MS don't kill off this line of sexy, innovative products Chris    
  • Microsoft should never abandon it's surface brand. I strongly feel it's going to make a huge impact on the market. The next iteration of devices would be the best and beast. Hope for the best and surface had already created a lot of good impact on its users.
  • said everyone since the orginal surface came out!
  • True, but Microsoft has already been successful with Pro 3 and 4. Now if Pro 2017 and later are successful, that remains to be seen. Same for Laptop, SurfaceBook and Studio.
  • This next earnings call will probably be extremely important. If sales are down it lacking after the release of the laptop and Pro, I don't see them sticking with it.
  • As long they don't lose money, like mobile, I think they will keep doing it to push innovation for the PC/laptop market.
  • The thing is the surface is a hit with business customers. My company sells dell and Hp computers to our customers but we are finding a lot of the site guys are getting the surface. For me the issue with the surface is the price I think they need to look at a lower cost device but for the work place I also don't think the surface line is aimed at joe public but the business side. Microsoft are in a massive transition at the moment imo and I believe tbh Xbox X will be Microsofts last attempt to do well in the console market and if it fails to gain market share on the PS4 pro I fear it could be there last. I also don't see any windows mobile device coming again to. I feel Microsoft want to be all subscriber based and make there money this way with Windows 10 also becoming free.
  • surface is and was needed to show off windows, and I think any copies of their product is more than welcome. They need some premium products because of Apple. ... but I really hate that they are just jumping over to next boat and leave the other one for sinking.....  
  • It's called being a responsible business.  Change or die, especially in the fast moving world of tech.  Just ask the likes of DEC, Data General, Palm, etc.  IBM faced their own reality and morphed primarily into an Enterprise services company, though they still continue to develop/promot mainframes and their mainframe-like UNIX world of AIX.   Unless you're Apple or Samsung and have legions of loyal fans, you're in a low-margin consumer space, which for them is just not worth the time and resources.  I don't blame MS one bit.    
  • The Hit Refresh guy uses an iPhone Pro. Do you expect him to use a Surface Pro or an iPad Pro ?
  • He uses a Surface Pro, actually. It's well known. Also, no one who is serious uses an iPad Pro. You know this, you're just trying to be an edgelord.
  • Your statement reminds me of Balmer circa 2007.
  • Your statements remind me of you circa always And I get the iPhone reference
  • Lol!
  • It's funny because looking back, Steve Ballmer said that no one will buy an iPhone, and here we are. Karma.
  • That was the entire point of bleached's comment.   That being said,  I own an ipad,  and would NEVER use it for "serious" work.  But it kills the surface at being a true tablet!  Why?  because of apps!
  • When I started writing my comment, his comment wasn't there yet 🙂.
    As for iPad, I'm not a fan of Apple products, but time proved me that things change. Who knows how powerful will become in a few years those light products as iPad or Pixelbooks. I really think that Apple and Google are testing internal to unify OSs to target the "serious" work. We'll see...
  • What apps lol? You want mobile apps on pc like surface? Ever heard of bkuestacks? There you have the whole content of Android world lol
  • I use memu but it's clunky and ****** on microsoft....as is bluestacks.   It hack job of a solution to the problem.  and Ipad apps are optimized for IPAD.  Try using texture on B/S or Memu and they are extremely clunky in operation.  Just like the surface is a true tablet.   I know...I owned them.
  • Still I don't get the need for childish apps on fully capable PC lol. If there is something I would really need, then bluestacks would do just fine. 90% of so called apps are web ports anyway so why bother with an app. I really don't get this. But ok... I respect that others might thing different. I just like all in one solutions and pure tablet is a complete waste of money for me as it does nothing better than a phone...
  • Spoken like a true fanboy @sefin.  NONE of the apps I use are "childish" FYI...so please...try your close minded thoughts elsewhere.  Furthermore,  NO....apps on MS are web ports.  Apps on IOS and Android built for Android and IOS and are fully developed for said platforms and NOT web wrapper garbage you download on windows.
  • What Ballmer actually said was that no one would buy an iPhone that was $500 and still subsidized with a 2-year contract. He was correct, and Apple quickly dropped the price to $200 shortly after launch.
  • He was wrong actually, people will buy a $1000 iPhone.
  • I rather use $600 for charities and get a phone worth $400. People are insane to buy $1000 phone unless it can replace a PC.
  • I spent almost $900 to get a Nokia N95. Amazing product at the time
  • It'll be gone. Same with Windows. Microsoft will just focus on it's Azure program and Office. That's where the money appears to be according Satya. Even though Amazon and Google have taken the reigns from them in those areas too. Microsoft is just becoming more irrelevant because of their lack of interest in consumers. I see Xbox being spun off to it's own, while Microsoft focuses on "enterprise" even though that will be dictated by it's employees who are consumers at the heart.
  • Nothing wrong with following the money...
  • Lol seriously. The main goal for a company like Microsoft should be to stay relevant AND make money. They are only doing the last. People will start using google/amazon/apple alternatives for whatever Microsoft is left in the near future. People who are in these ecosystems won't use Microsoft products. All these Microsoft apps that they are launching on android and ios will be terminated within 3 years. Then Microsoft is completely gone from the face of the consumer market. They are making horrible decision after horrible decision. Mark my words.
  • So crise, what makes you thank that MS must "stay relevant" relevant to the consumer?  They owe you nothing.  Jettisoning low-margin lines of business makes perfect sense from a bottom line perspective.  
  • Wrong if it's a short-sighted perspective.
  • As far as I know amazon is ahead of azure but Google is pretty behind azure... :)
  • Every computer on campus runs Windows 10... You think that's not money in MS's pocket?.. Get real.
    At least Windows is safe.
  • You're not paying attention if you think "Windows is safe". The government has a back door into it. Wake the f**k up.
  • OMG.. Chill out, man. Stop panicking. Lol. Listen to yourself. None of this stuff is that serious. Everything will work out one way, or another. It always does. That's life, man.
  • All those realignments are a part of big corporates. I believe Surface to stay for the time being. At least the branding is already established.
  • I don't think Microsoft will cancel the Surface line in the near future. But I do think they will cancel some Suface products.   "Nadella notes that to create new device categories with new software experiences they need to do that themselves."   And they did. The thing is: does Microsoft need to continue to make that hardware once the category is created and embraced by their OEM partners? I'd say that the answer to that would be no.   So, going forward, what do I expect Microsoft to cancel? The Surface Laptop and the Surface Book. Let's think about it: - Surface Laptop: it has no reason to exist other than to try to make Windows 10 S a thing. Well, chances of that ever becoming a thing are slim so, in the end, we're left with just a nicely built Laptop that's no match for the laptops other OEM partners are doing. Besides, during the presentation of the Surface Laptop, Panos Panay clearly presented it more as a "fun project" for the Windows loyalists who helped the Surface brand grow more than anything else. He said something along the lines of "Our fans kept asking for a Laptop so we thought, why not make one?". The Surface Laptop fulfilled its purpose. It doesn't create any new category. As such, I wouldn't expect a Surface Laptop 2.   - Surface Book: The Surface Book is really just a beefed up Surface Pro with a different approach at a keyboard when it comes down to it. And between the Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop, it now has very little reason for existing. Not to mention it was far from a commercial success for Microsoft and didn't manage to create a new category at all. Mainly because the "Laptop that can become a tablet" had already been created by the Surface Pro. There are therefore very few reasons to keep the Surface Book alive. That *could* also explain the absence of a Surface Book 2. What exactly could the Surface Book 2 do that the Pro didn't do already? Remove the horrible hinge? That's not enough, really. And then there's the demand for it. Unlike other Surface products, the Surface Book had a far more limited release worldwide.   These are the two products I would expect Microsoft to put an end to.   As for the Surface Studio...that one is so niche and so limited in its availability that I think will get some sort of transformation. Most people (myself included) think the Surface Studio was an absolutely gorgeous display limited by its very unimpressive hardware. I think Microsoft *may* eventually ditch the "PC" part of it and transform the Surface Studio into a "Monitor that can replace your canvas". Currently the canvas on the market are just that: canvas. They still require a separate monitor. Such an evolution of the Surface Studio would make it more appealing (because people using it already have more powerful desktops than the one on the original Studio) and, again, push forward Windows inking capabilities.   The Surface Pro I believe they'll continue because they're using it to push their inking solutions (as well as things like fanless core i5 devices etc). And it's the poster-child of the Surface brand. If for nothing else, that alone will probably ensure it'll be the last Surface device to be eventually discontinued.
  • 🖒🖒
  • No certainties with MS. None.
  • I partially agree with your post, I do think that Microsoft should and will streamline their Surface Line, but I don't think it will be as drastic as you pointed out. Yes the new categories were created and they should focus on more innovation and leading the way for their partners.... HOWEVER Even though the Surface Book was not as huge success as the Pro is, remember it took 3~4 generations for the Pro to actually become a "thing".... the Book is a new concept and I totally disagree on your definition of it.... I used the Surface Pro 3 for work for almost a year, and I got a Surface Book of my own after that, and to be honest, the user experience is completely different, and it is basically just as they were designed for... The Pro is a Tablet that can become a true laptop, and the Surface Book is a laptop than can become a tablet occasionally The Surface Pro was really inviting to use as a tablet, specially since the touchpad was mediocre and the kickstand is awesome, however with the Book, I only use as a tablet when I truly need to share something, draw, or consume media from my bed... otherwise it's a Laptop with a touchscreen for quick Inking. In my opinion they should stick with the Pro, Book and Studio but I agree that they should transform the Studio in a Monitor Canvas... it would make much more sense for a lot of people, and it would also make it less expensive, even if its a premium Monitor. But the Pro and Book line are marked differenciators. In my eyes the hinge is an engineering marvel and I love the industrial look, though I understand why it doesn't get universal appeal.   They should stick to their promises and only release hardware when true innovation comes along and have something different.... the "Performance Base" should have been delayed until Kaby Lake...   
  • The Surface Book is hands down the best laptop I have ever owned (business use, not games).  The hinge is brilliant.  The dock, however, is sketchy.  It's a premium product and that will affect sales volume, but it really brought the concept to a new level. 
  • If anything, the way how consumers perceive them is most damaging. They may have good ideas, but they *almost never* follow through. And Microsoft is hit by this notion in product and services sales. Therefore, it's safe to say we're at a point in time where anything Microsoft related, sans Windows on desktop, Office and Azure may be dropped at any point. Including UWP.
  • What if these comments by Dell and Lenovo are recommendations or even threats instead of prophecies?
  • I think that happened back in 2012/2013 too when Surface first happened. I don't see them doing anything different this time.
  • Both companies have partnered and delivered Azure Stack appliances last month.  They aren't threatening anything.  This is prophecy.
  • the surface mini was canceled. not far fetched. Satya was all about the ultimate mobile device, now look at the ecosystem with the hope that PWA takes off.
  • It was canceled because the mini RT would've failed hard.
  • As noted, Windows RT was a bad bet and canceling something with like 1GB of RAM back when tablets were waining in the market was the right one.
  • my point is that a "surface" product was canceled, albeit before it saw the light of day.
  • Sure, but it's weird they didn't cancel Surface Laptop if they were pushing out Surface as a brand. It's literally he most expandable one of the lineup today.
  • Cancelling or discontinuing a product and terminating an entire product family are two different things.  Dell discontinued the Dell XPS 10 tablet, but the XPS family still remains.  
  • That's Dell, we are talking about Microsoft, which you know is an entirely different story.. Breaking news: Looks like the Aristotle by Mattel has been canceled. Dan can you preface the story on the Aristotle with " Threw in the towel" I did like how you referenced it in the Groove headline.
  • I realize that we are talking about Microsoft, but you are speaking of a single product in a product line.  Products get cancelled and discontinued all the time. I'm simply pointing out that you cannot refer to one product cancellation and imply that the entire product line will also be shuttered.
  • When the CEO of a company uses logic like, "Did not see the need to have a 3rd ecosystem" You most certainly can use that to understand the thought process. And so questions get asked. Is the Surface laptop/book/pro in the top 3 or top 5 sellers in its category? True, it does not mean a product was be cancelled but you still have to ask the question.
  • WTF. 'One' product. Are you asleep? The one product is just the latest in a string of products cancelled before or after release.
  • Nadella doesn't have any idea what a "ultimate mobile" device looks like and, chances are, whatever he comes up with will be greeted with a universal "meh" by customers.  Why? Because it will miss the mark on a number of areas (because Microsoft is now SO disconnected from customers this is all but assured) and people are now so entrenched in the iPhones and Galaxy devices they won't even it this thing as much chance as they gave Windows Phone.
  • "iPhones and Galaxy devices..." Um, you do realize that globally, the majority of devices are mid- and low-tier Android phones, don't you?  Why do people seem to limit their view to Apple and Samsung as being the only relevant smartphone makers?  SMH.
  • I believe that this is because while the vast majority do not use flaghship Galaxy devices, I bet the vast majority would get one if they could afford it. iPhones are iPhones. They come in at one price point, expensive. Samsung at least has low/mid range Galaxy phones which give those users that want the latest Galaxy S device but cannot afford them, affordable versions of said devices. Those who do not have a Galaxy S phone, most of the time do not want to spend the crazy amount of money for them and definitely don't want to spend money on iPhones. Samsung is the most loud Android device maker at the moment and pretty much is the gold standard of Android phones in the common end-user's eyes while iPhones are iPhones. So yeah, ScubaDog could have said "iPhones and Android devices" , but it was easily understood what he was trying to say. I have yet to hear anyone say, "I can't wait to get that new Kyocera phone" or, "I really want that Huawei Glory". No, those same customers would still say, "I want that new iPhone / Galaxy S8 but they get one of these phones due to budget. Regardless, if the vast majority were rocking the Huawei Glory, they are still entrenched in Android and will most likely not give Windows phones a chance due to Microsoft being percieved as uncertain in the consumer space.
  • Now im being asked about the Surface hub future. although the hub is all business focused, who knows...
  • Can't believe apple or google dosnt try more with there oses ms is on the ropes if one of them brings the right product to enterprise its all over...or it could be both are putting there eggs in mobile because that's the future?
  • Look at even the argument from them about mixed reality and vr for the Xbox.....they said they didn't think being tethered in you living room was a good ideal....hence holo lenses...yet the main draw they keep hammering is holo lenses is MOBILe...ms makes no sence these days.
  • Well, being tethered IS stupid. It just goes to show you how immature the tech is...and how expensive.  The examples Microsoft gave on using MR to interact with Windows itself was just horrible!  It was beyond laughable.  Right now, the only valid use for MR/VR is games and a few other niche programs.  And walking around a room with a leash is NOT smart.
  • Well, I returned my surface pro... But because it's not great, but because due to being burned so many times, Groove the last one, I'm not investing anymore in any consumer ms product unless there is substantial traction. Now the Surface line does have that... But, I feel butt hurt over all these things lately and I was as "loyal" a customer as they come.
  • Yet, if ANY other company were to make these moves, they'd be lauded as heroes 🙄😒😠
  • As Daniel said it's all about perception... Who would invest in a Microsoft hardware product with their track record? Once these rumours spread this could seriously affect sales...
  • testing
  • I think most of the commenters here are here solely to complain and herald the death of Microsoft. I've been around long enough to know that MS is not becoming the next IBM (watched that decline in real time) and they aren't going through the Apple "please save us" years. I see this for what it is, HP and Dell sucked at design till MS gave them a kick in the ass. Look at "Tablet PC" until the Surface, Dell had nothing except old pivot and lay down models, HP had the Slate (which was a joke in design). MS took a good idea out there in Android (Asus Transformer was a good example) and perfect it over successive generations. Now all the OEM make Surface clones and that is where their sales come from. MS drove the adoption of the Pen for Ink and now the OEM bundle them in. HP and Dell like to grouse because MS showed them how lazy they were. If MS left the hardware space they would go back to the same behavior. Even if it isn't a blockbuster money maker it is a thing they will keep so that they can drive the hardware conversation. Written in Continuum on my 950 BTW
  • Surface was created to be the "stage for Windows". And as it seems to me Windows 10 isn't such a high priority for Microsoft anymore. Do they even make a lot of money with the licenses? They didn't reached their goals with Windows 10 and the Store doesn't look to be successful either. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft will put Surface on "life support" and finally sell off their Xbox business as was rumored a long time ago.
  • MSFT make money on Windows.  However, the rate of sales is falling.  MSFT tried to create a mobile WIndows OS, to capture a share of the smartphone OS market.  Unfortunately, there is no money in a mobile OS.  The money is in Apps sales.  Does Google make any money on android?  They make most of their money on search ads.  Where does Apple make its money?  Hardware sales, which they plow into a better iOS and various services. So MSFT is just using profits from Windows, Office, Server to build Azure.  Surface is a way to push the creative energies of the Windows ecosystem to find new avenues of interaction and the value of the cloud ecosystem.
  • Well, business is ruthless, and good on other OEMs trying to benefit from Microsoft's failures. Here's the thing, Nadella has now shown that he will say things just to please consumers while knowing good and well that he doesn't support the very things he has said. He has demonstrated this with the Nokia deal, and his lack of commitment to having the best Microsoft experiences on Windows.    When Nadella became CEO, he made it clear that Microsoft would focus their mobile hardware efforts by streamlining Lumia offerings and creating distinct hardware categories (i.e. for business, and hardware that the fans will love). Later he contradicts himself in his book, stating that he never supported the purchase of Nokia devices and services or the idea of competing with a device that doesn't define a new category. So why tell the fans that you are committed to mobile hardware?   Nadella further claimed that he would make Microsoft software available on any platform, but Windows would be the best experience for Microsoft software. Time in time again we have seen that Microsoft was more committed to developing their apps for other devices while making Windows users wait. Skype is an excellent example of this. iOS often gets the latest Skype features far before Windows devices get a taste.   Nadella has proven that his comments are often half-truths, and while he proclaims his commitment to specific products and services, he knows within himself that what he has said is simply not true. There is probably no better time for other OEMs to go on the aggressive and paint a bad picture of Nadella and Microsoft, and frankly, I don't blame them one bit. Nadella created this problem, now he needs to do damage control, and fix Microsoft and his poor perception.
  • Excellent comment, Andrew.... and here we are talking about how good the Hit Refresh guy is for the company.
  • "Nadella says otherwise"? Is there really anyone that believes what Microcrap, and especially Nadella, says in terms of commitment any more?
  • The author of this article.
  • Hey it's Microsloth and Nutella, get it right!
  • I am up voting @covfefe not for the comment but for his name....GOLDEN!
  • Indeed Daniel, I agree perception and the fact Microsoft have not remained true to the words in many cases combined with the crazy amounts of miss steps really give the notion of lack of direction and chaos. Unfortunately, Satya's book in my opinion was really poorly timed, you don't say you were / are questioning why the world needed a third ecosystem whilst trying to build a third ecosystem and stiffling mobile growth into non-existence. Combined with all that, it will be incredibly hard for people to trust Microsoft after all they burnt so many bridges in the mobile space alone. Then you had the trickle down of bad news, "they will make phones if no one makes them", but then proceed to kill the lumia brand, then retrenching and then ultimately foregoing the consumer market. People won't blame or mistrust share holders or other companies but Microsoft and by extension the CEO - that is the worst place to be. Without consumer confidence, people will be reluctant to buy products. The golden rule is one should under promise and over deliver. In this case it's the opposite, over promise and under delivered - which gives Microsoft's competitors and activist investors ammunation to hit them back with and make sound and logical arguments - which fuels a cascading snowball effect. So now it's harder to distinguish what is true and what is false when it comes rumours about products or potential products being axed.
  • Daniel, an interesting article from you would be the 5(?) things MS should have done differently to remain viable in consumer/mobile space. Any chance you have thought this in your head and would pen it?
  • 1) Magic wand to change negatively biased media coverage of anything Microsoft to objective reporting. 2) Asteroid hits on Apple & Google headquarters 3) Slap idiotic developers like Snapchat who refuse to develop for Windows "on principle" until they agree. I'm not sure much else would have helped. The deck was so incredibly stacked against MS in the mobile arena once the iPhone came out, due entirely to perception and media coverage and not functionality. A Windows Mobile phone could do so much more than the original iPhone.
  • Yeah I figured that the Surface brand ending was ridiculous. Thanks for this Dan.
  • Dan nor anyone else on this site knows, but the question still has to be asked. The Mattel Aristotle was just canceled, it included a plethora of Microsoft services, what other Microsoft services affected the launch of a category defining product like Aristotle?
  • I'm debating if we read the same article...
  • Dan said surface plans are well kept secrets, if HP calls up Intel and orders 50k processors, and are told, btw we can now supply the other 50K you wanted last week, would that mean some other unknown customer could have canceled an order? It could mean that they also underestimated yield as well. Intel isn't going to tell them either way.. I am talking purely hypothetical scenario.
  • That you think it's ridiculous, is ridiculous.
  • Daniel, this was a well needed article. Thanks for showing us a different perspective.
  • With Surface on ARM right around the corner, I'd be absolutely amazed if Microsoft DIDN'T make a plot for schools. 
  • Surface on ARM? LOL
    Nobody will touch that thing.... if it ever comes to the market.
  • A day late, a dollar short.
  • It should have been released yesterday. Anyone can go and get a Chromebook with +10h battery life for under $500 USD. There's nothing equivalent in the Windows world. 
  • Here's another example of how critical thinking works. Mattel just canceled the Aristotle, is the Harmon Kardon speaker next?
  • Two different products, one was an always on baby monitor designed to accumulate data over time for marketing purposes and the other is not a baby monitor.
  • They are both consumer products that rely on Microsoft technology and services...And if you haven't noticed lately, some Microsoft services/products have been getting the axe.
  • Wasn't the Aristotle cancelled over privacy concerns for children? This seems like a grand conflation to me
  • @Monte Constable1. Akira X is conflating the two lol.
  • Nah the Aristotle was designed to generate audio training sets to use in deep learning neural network algorithms to identify Microsoft fanboys.
  • @Akia X. Well yes, but Microsoft didn't develop or push the Mattel Aristotle. So that is on Mattel, stop conflating the two lol. If a company develops using Microsoft services and cancels it for some reason, it's not automatically Microsoft fault.
    It's like saying, you develop a platform and someone develops a product utilising your platform but somewhere down the line that product becomes defective. Now by your reasoning, the liability of the defect falls on your door step as it is your platform and not the company who developed the defective product. That is not very reasonable is it (to say the least) lol.
  • Before Surface, mobile PC devices and AIOs were rubbish. Now, they all had to step up their game a lot. We finally have enjoyable PC devices!
  • mission accomplished, so do they stay in or get out? I like I assume most thought they would maintain some presense after lighting a fire under the OEMs. Fire lit, now what?
  • Well honestly I think their work is not finished yet... Yes, we now have amazing hardware with great designs and cutting edge tech, but OEMs are not yet on par with Apple with customer service and reliability... and that is the real issue here... The Surface line is far from perfect, and definitely not the most reliable... however in my personal experience, the customer service has been great, given how I only have to deal with one company, and so far they have been knowledgeable and helpful. Before my Surface Book, I had an Asus since 2011 (now with a dead display) and before that a Toshiba from 2007 (with a dead keyboard)... both laptops lasted what was expected from them... the Asus about 4~5 years until the display gave up... and the Toshiba had a keyboard failure recently, both issues are bearable with a external monitor/keyboard, but I feel that today I wouldn't really know what Brand to look for... they all seem so unreliable and with a bad service. So hopefully Microsoft continue offering their Surface line, cause a vertical approach is the way to go and to show how it's done.
  • If these stories are not fake news and these executives did say them, then I think it would be time for MS to come clean, make an announcement on the future of Surface and Surface Fold to shut their mouth!
  • We've been waiting for years on them doing the same for Windows mobile so I wouldn't hold your breath. Coming clean isn't in their nature
  • There was a time when I was excited about everything MS; In a way, still waiting, but reality is starting to hit. They messed up when they didn't see mobile coming....but there was still time to correct it. They did not put the might of the company behind mobile. The best mobile features came out of Nokia before the purchase. Then after the purchase, Nokia became Rare....
  • There was a time when I was excited about everything MS; In a way, still waiting, but reality is starting to hit. They messed up when they didn't see mobile coming....but there was still time to correct it. They did not put the might of the company behind mobile. The best mobile features came out of Nokia before the purchase. Then after the purchase, Nokia became Rare....
  • After cancelling mobile, whatever Nadella says is not trustworthy. If they didn't want to manufacture hardware they could sell hardware from a chinese manufacturer. Make a windows image for one of xiaomi models and sell it for 100$. But Nadella didn't want to take a 50 million risk. It was easier to take a 25 billion risk on linkedin. The error of retrencing will cost microsoft in the next bear market.
  • the are jumping the technology curve.....not sure though where they will land, but if history tells us anything, it'll be far far behind the competitors.
  • Can't wait another reliable sources to tell that Microsoft will abandon Surface Line: Apple Ceo just told us not to buy Surface Studio.
  • If there will be no Surface PCs, then certainly there will be no Surface phone.
  • I remember Nadella saying "if no one is going to build windows phones, we will"
  • I remember that too....but maybe under his break he continued ".......we will terminate it"
  • @SeeVuPlay, Funniest Post of the day.. LMAO!!!!! good one...
  • We remember, man. We all remember. "Hit Refresh" guy is not trustworthy.
  • @seevuplay,   He actually coughed *suckers* after that comment.    And he was right...Kept alot of people hanging on and on and on...to keep stocks and hopes up.   I saw through his bullshit however.
  • I used to be all in with MS...was going to order the Invoke, but forget that....I just cancelled XboxOneX....probably get an Xbox One S to save money and see what might happen with xbox......you are talking to a guy who bought a Zune 80, Zune HD, xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One Day One, band 1 and 2, WP HD7, Nokia 925, 950xl, a bunch of surfaces....planning on the Studio (but now questionable), uses Skype, Groove, outlook, Office 365. I loved those products....they work well together. The MS foundation is shook for me, even as big a fan as I have been. I am still on my 950 xl, and love it still....but the end of the road is approaching. Im thinking iphone now. I think MS does not realize the damage they have done here with consumers like me.....I am likely the lone windows phone user out of 4000 employees. The perception from me now.....don't trust MS. They drop a chicken in a bowl of egg yolk and claim "I bathe you in your children"......that's my view of MS on the consumer side......on another note though, Teams is pretty cool!
  • I gotta say, I agree with you.  I've gone from one of the biggest cheerleaders for Microsoft to telling people not to bother.
  • @scubadog ,  me too.  But I just started a little over a year earlier than you.....Welcome to the realists club!
  • Agree. Same. Shocked. Ashamed. Annoyed.
  • I wish 'people that mattered' at microsoft would read stuff like this. (SeeVuPlay)  I work at Apple. I have an iPhone because MS kicked the WP to the curb, and failed at getting a real App store. I absolutely LOVE windows 10 desktop OS (although i have a few complaints here and there) I even quit MacOS because I liked Windows 10 better.  Window phone OS made iOS seem like a childrens OS, but, like everyone else in the world, i wanted APPS. I bought the WP HD7 & Nokia 1520 but I saw that even at its (WP) peak, MS was never going to get apps. I Quit MS and went neck deep into MacOS & iPhone. I even bootcamped Windows instead of buying Anything MS. I basically have given up hope for MS at this point. I use Windows now mostly because i am a gamer.  As much as i love Windows 10/Edge/Onedrive etc. I will be going back to MacOS/iCloud etc as soon as the iMac gets coffee lake and Vega.  I am super excited for Fall Creators, but MS as a company seems to be a rudderless ship that if not for office and enterprise, would be a Sinking ship. I will play around with W10 using bootcamp. my dream of xbox, W10 mobile (with Apps), W10 desktop, Surface Laptop/Studio etc is dead. I really wanted this since I use Apple stuff ALL day at work. Having a different ecosystem at home was an escape for me.  Yes, Apple employees can also like Windows and Android too.  Apple doesn't require anyone to own a single apple product as long as you can speak intelligently about the products and present the best solution for the customers needs. Myself, I just like everything. Windows, Mac, Linux, ChromeOS, iOS, Android ... all of it. I think it's really stupid to pick one brand and hate everything else. People miss out on so much fun doing that.  4 Years ago, if Microsoft would have built a store in my city, I would have quit apple and went to MS in a heartbeat. Now, I wouldn't work there if they paid double what Apple pays. People now look at MS as a necessary evil because work Forces them to use it.  If Apple were to Ever get enterprise to invest in MacOS, MS would die a quick and painful death. ( i don't see that ever happening because apple won't sell MacOS separately from their hardware )  if MS did quit all their 'Surface' products and backed out of everything but OS and Office, they will become irrelevant except in enterprise. 50% of Windows phone orphans went iOS. After having iOS, I see many of those people getting a Mac sooner or later.   
  • @mayconvert,  I am the same way.  NOTHING is perfect,  and I enjoy using all the platforms....but recently I am thinking I am pulling my money from microsoft to support either apple or google.  The new pixel stuff looks awesome,  how it all works together.   But I will have a hard time using MacOS starting out tho.
  • Nadella also said they will make phones for consumers, business, and the fans, but look at where we are? With windows as a service, it is plausible for Microsoft to quit the surface business, because enterprise customers do not upgrade hardwares frequently, consumers do that. So as the consumer mindshare in windows as a whole diminishes, and with it the consumer desire for windows powered hardware, it is quite plausible for Microsoft to exit that market, and just provide windows as a service to predominantly enterprise. Windows and office have always done well in entreprise prior to Microsoft getting into hardware, so Microsoft doesn't need surface to sell windows to entreprise. The margins on Surface are thin.
  • I am one of those people who think a 2 in 1 like A Surface is a consumer product like an iPhone X or a Galaxy Note 8, the main issue where I live is that you have to pay import taxes, I wish I lived in United States and I would own a Surface Pro 
  • Isn't that the model W A N G (by the way why does that get caught up in the filter, they were an actual top tier company?) tried? How did it work out for them. MS is going down the same road and will suffer the same outcome. Watch and see.
  • Microsoft is building new catagory's and after a few years leave it to the OEM's, then they continue to the next. This way Windows keeps interesting as an OS, what is their main bussines. 
  • Microsoft started the Surface line to showcase new OS features and capabilites to OEMs. Microsoft will exit this arena if and when these OEMs can do it better and cheaper.
  • Which is already happening.
  • Which is good then. It doesn't matter if MS keeps Surface if their OEMs did a good job. We consumers still can buy a kickass PC or laptop. The problem is mobile, which we don't have a good software and hardware to choose from.
  • Wow. Lol thanks for the laughs wow lol can't wait for surface phone so I can dump Google cuz i I hate fascists and thought police.  
  • I think it's ridiculous to assume Microsoft is in the long haul for anything, particularly hardward. AND I think it's ridiculous at this point to be confident that third parties are going to just keep supporting Microsoft when there is ZERO guarantee Microsoft won't dump something else.  Look at HP.  They've made it clear they don't see Microsoft doing anything worth their time in mobile.  Developers are dropping like flies, almost as quickly as Microsoft can drop a platform.  Microsoft has gone so hard over into iOS and Android, what entices anyone to develop for Microsoft now?  This is all Nadella's doing.  I think he'd be happy if Microsoft had NO front-end platform at all and just provided cloud services and "sample apps" to show how Apple and Google can best take advantage of them.  They'll drop more hardware.
  • Just you writing about it is a cause for concern.
  • I've said it a thousand times, that CEO's like this are the kiss of death. It is extremely easy to make companies look profitable and stock holders love it when they cut costs here, there, everywhere. It helps give the illusion that money is flowing in when all they are doing is cutting spending. And any company not investing in itself and its products is dead in the water when the next CEO is brought in. He may be "making" them money now but he is essentially gutting this company's future.
  • With the current management, nothing can be considered certain. That's the biggest problem here. A company isn't about shareholders, it's about products and customers. Ignore this to their own detriment. Disgusted about loss of Groove. Can't believe I'm being forced to use Spotify. As I have said, I am planning step by step to not have to use MS products now.
  • Of course Microsoft is quitting the Surface hardware. Anyone who knows Microsoft's corporate culture and has studied their track record in the consumer space (XBox excepted) can see the handwriting on the wall.  Look back at the archives of this site and you'll find people like Daniel Rubino claiming that Microsoft is NOT discontinuing (fill_in_the_blank)" in response to such claims.... only to see lack of action by Microsoft to the contrary and then a final announcement by Microsoft that it is indeed ending "x".
  • Or worse ... no comment at all, just a slow strangled death like Windows Phone.
  • @beameup50,  They did make a comment....just that fanboys everywhere, instead of listening,  ran around with their fingers in their ears screaming "I'm NOT LISTENING".   The word RETRENCHMENT.....was used instead of CANCELLED.   
  • Of course they are quitting Surface, which is fine with me now as I'll be quitting Surface before they do. What's that web site number? Oh yeah www.Apple.com. Can't believe we're at this point but there is no way in he!! I'll go to Google so my choice has been made. Have fun watching MS kill off one line after another. Phone, Surface, XBox it's just a matter of time.
  • Please forgive us if we don't entirely trust much of what this leadership has to say now days.
  • Pretty sure that is what the last section is about specifically, no?
  • Good. We are in agreement then.
  • Dan, you are missing the fact that Microsoft could kill off the consumer Surface brand and create B2B only. Think Surface Hub. With the cost of Surface devices they are very quickly moving into a space that only enterprise/schools would be interested in investing for productivity, Microsoft's speciality.   Blackberry turned things around by flipping to only software and licensing the hardware out. They were a hardware company to start with... Microsoft has always been a Software company, so sure they will create some premium hardware to set the bar and leave hardware to others, and focus in Software. 
  • Yes sir they are; with Gates switching to Android and Microsoft developing soley for Android/Apple now it's practically a shoe in with Satya being only interest in the cloud....the department he was in prior to becoming CEO. I don't know why they're having a developer conference, but I guess to give out free lesson on how to code for Android and Apple as well. It won't be long before Android invades the enterprise Satya is so focused on especially since Satya killed continuum and has now allow both Samsung and Google implement it on Android mobile devices. I've tried holding out hope for Microsoft to even release a series of surface phones or whatever you want to call them with a custom Android ROM made by Cyogenmod the company they invested in back in 2015, but by the time Microsoft does anything, we'll be at war with North Korean and the world will be in shambles. The mistake Ballmer made is nothing compared how Satya mobile mistake will be seen as, but don't worry, we'll always have the, "cloud" as supports of Microsoft.
  • Yeah, like Gates or Nadella were using WM anyway. Even Belfiore wasn't. Cloud is where MS shines, and that is their future. Korean War? Lol. Non starter.
  • The ONLY hope for Microsoft is if Gates does a Steve Jobs maneuver and steps back in.  No one could sell like Gates and we tend to forget that he put Apple into bankruptcy.  He had to save them because of Big Brother and anti-trust issues.  When Gates talks about technology people listen, but I would bet that 95% of the public cannot even name the CEO of Microsoft.  They have no voice and no presence in the marketplace.
  • Microsoft should debunk the rumors if they are not true; otherwise silence is Microsoft's pattern of confirmation and so far I would go with the credibility of the rumors unless I hear Microsoft debunk it directly ... citing a reference before the rumor is insufficient.
  • Dell, HP, Lenovo ASUS, and others benefit from Microsoft's R&D.  Microsoft is the only one in the group that can "waste" money on pushing the tech forward.  
  • I don't know why these uninformed, negative comments merit an explicit response, to be honest.
  • They are getting rid of groove, which completely is going away from an all in platform.  Hey Microsoft, drink some lattes and quit working on stuff before you accidently succeed ok?
  • I guess Microsoft will have to figure out how to get it's "Groove" back.... 
  • I did say in the grove article, hardware will be next.
    And eventually Microsoft will die.
  • As soon as consumers stop buying surface devices because they are not inovative enough, which seems to becoming the point, Surface will be dumped just like the many other MS products of late. Microsoft have gone down the software on other platform route and cloud now.Me personally couldnt give 2 hoots about Surface anymore after having several products and being underwhelmed by them all.
  • unfortunatly Natella has gone for very short term gains with cloud and such, quick revenue to make shareholders happy, but long term Microsoft are in trouble. If the surface line continues to drop in sales of units, especially after the release of the laptop and pro, more hardware will be chopped or axed in the future. All of their profit is starting to come from enterprise sales and you will see that more and more. The consumer side of Microsft is going away. Microsoft were quick to jump into VR and MR and AI, but many companies are involved now and they work a lot faster than Microsoft in developement and this will be just another thing that Microsoft will actually come last in again. I am also sure that cloud will be a tough thing going forward for them also with the competition. I really cant see or say anything good about Microsoft these days.
  • As a computer service owner in Turkey I have never seen someone knows about Surface, especially shop owners and technicians. I only heard of 1 person has surface book and he's bought when he was America. Desperately contacted me by my friend asking for how to firmware update.
  • Why can't they see that people will drop windows, office and cloud if they dont have the others that make it a whole package?
  • To busy buying business facebook to care @metalfan777.
  • Fake news capitalizing on Microsoft's perceived weak resolve.
  • If you are over the age of 40 you have been here before, and history does repeat itself.  IBM thought it could exit the consumer and just be an enterprise and consulting company because of Microsoft.  What Microsoft management does not grasp is that when the cost of training exceeds the cost of hardware/software, then enterprises move in mass.  Another pressure point becomes employee pressure and their desire to work on the same devices at home and work.  Microsoft was the beneficiary of this in the past, and now they are about to be the victim.  Apple and perhaps others are about to be the beneficiaries of all the miscues at Microsoft.  Another thing that happens is that both consumers and enterprises hold off on purchases when the marketplace seems to be in turmoil.  This hastens the change and it begins to snowball, just ask IBM. Technically Microsoft is a great company.  But sinice Gates' departure no one has been able to market their technology.  Short of a Gates return it looks like the company will be the next IBM and take a back seat to Apple and others.  Heck, maybe they can put IBM out of their misery a second time.
  • Coming from webOS the HP/Autonomy deal springs to mind.
    A few years ago HP would stop making hardware and focus on software, they bought Autonomy and lost like 9 billions.
    Stock value plumeted and Leo Apotheker had to go, webOS development already got the nail in the coffin, later sold off to LG who use it for their smart TV's.
  • If they wanted to get out, they would have after the $1billion Surface write off. They believed in Panos and his team, and they finally got it right. Of course the OEMs are hopeful they will get out, since hardware companies got out-innovated by a software company. It's time for Panos to get the mobile hardware back, and make that next mobile device category that we fans are waiting for. Even if it is more enterprise like, it doesn't matter. Blackberry had its day as the enterprise device that even consumers wanted.
  • Well here is the crux of the matter, and a way to tell their direction.  Microsoft is one of the greatest software developers in history.  They have thousands of emplioyees and coders, and leverage on many, many more.  If they wanted to be in the consumer space they would have formed a division to develop nothing but apps for mobile and the desktop.  They could unleash a flood of software on the market to compete.  But while other hardware makers were doing it they just sat back and tried to market their "concepts" hoping others would do it for them.  If they were serious abouut mobile and desktop apps they would be in there competinig, but they have shown time and time again that they want out.
  • I first read the news about it and immediately went to look back at the office productivity future concept and thought about Microsoft pursuing that type of technology. Seeing the fluid animations, the pen and surface style dial, and the virtual assistant represented by Cortana-like rings. It would be so amazing to see Microsoft realize this future.
  • I'm not sure one would be able to speculate regarding the future of Surface devices, if one were to base it on comments from Satya Nadella. His track record on pontificating about Microsoft hardware is pretty terrible.  Do we need to go back over every single comment he made about mobile? If Nadella is saying that there'll be a bright future in the Surface line, Id take that to mean that he's ready to sunset the product line ----and you *know* those Microsoft stores dont have long for this world, particularly in the current tough retail environment.
  • I don't see MS trying to kill the Surface line. I am expecting a Surface Mobile/Mini LTE/ARM and I believe MS will deliver a great product. But, with the path of these days, if MS doesn't embrace mobile, then that will probably be the end. I will encourage MS to keep pushing for UWP and help developers to wrap Android apps within it. But, for the mean time, I will recommend them to include the option to install Android apps in Windows 10 as native apps. They may be able to include them in the Windows Store, like Amazon did it once. If they don't do that, then I see even the Surface line (or at least the Surface Pro, Book and Mobile/Mini) in danger. Why? Who wants a mobile device (tablet or phone) without the capacity to control all the iot solutions nowdays (AC, surveillance, locks, lights, switches), or many enterprise solutions that can be used only on iOS and Android in all the areas (medical, transportation, education, everything). I've been a loyal Windows phone user for years, and It is a shame that I am using my Lumia 950 just for my Office 365 and make phone calls and I need an Android phone (disconnected) just to control all the other electronics I use every day. In order to survive in the mobile era, Microsoft has to kill the lack of apps problem.
  • It may not happen, but I see nothing from todays Microsoft that Surface line-up will be around in the near future.  I hope so, because I'm typing on my SP3 at this moment but I do believe the rumors may have some merit. 
  • I agree Daniel I live this article because it shows details to the why not instead of just jumping on the bangwagon of saying it's all dead. Surface is a billion dollar business that is pushing windows into the eyes of both consumers and businesses that previously only saw it for low end to mid range laptops. Xbox pushes it even more I to the gaming arena where as we all know Windows is one of the if not the biggest gaming platform
  • Until Nadella ceo of MS, everything bad can happened. I not surprised already for anything
  • Actually, I think the elephant in the room is that we cannot believe a word Microsoft says any longer. They've walked away from so many consumer focussed products in the last 3 years that it absolutely feels like they'll continue to retrench from that market segment. Just because they've given Panos a flashy office and a big shed full of tools doesn't mean they'll flip the switch and kill it. Proof. That's what we want. Samsung, Apple, Google....when these guys are building new hardware they let the world know about it. They don't want their customers wondering if they'll build another device. They want to assure their consumers. Microsoft should try that. And Daniel, let's cast our minds back a couple of years to Nadella saying they'd continue to build phones. His words were barely out of his mouth and the phone business was killed. Just because he says Microsoft are going to stay in hardware absolutely does not make it so. The guy is highly flexible with the truth 
  • I think you are right on track.  If MSFT thinks it can compete long term as just a cloud company they are mistaken.  Cloud computing and storage are almost at the commodity stage, and recent security breaches will make enterprises reassess just how much data they are willing to place outside their walls.  It is a ship with no rudder, or at best a rudder with no compass.
  • They will kill it. It's in their nature to FCk up users and stuff. It's what they do best. PATHETIC!
  • That clown Nutella will just keep chopping everything off until MS is nothing more than a company that makes an office suite for various platforms.
  • I love the fact that he named his book "hit refresh"....what happens when you "hit refresh"?  You get the exact same webpage.  So enjoy the same MS all over again.  Crappy with more crap coming.
  • Well if they dump the surface line of portable devices I will be doing the same with Microsoft when it comes to choosing what mobile pc to acquire next upgrade.
  • I wouldn't be surprised at all if they cancel it. MS will switch to be a company for services. And they are preparing for the day when windows will die on desktops. Either the phone powered by Android or ios will be so powerful to run desktop apps or Apple will take over with macs in coming 20 years... I sounds crazy perhaps, but MS is rushing stuff. They make great product with child illness, but they don't fix it fast. Instead they let the users sustain the pain or cancel the product without even trying to find a solution - band 3 not giving it a chance, Groove - no family plan? Not even trying there...
    Surface Book - I still get issues with keyboard when I need to detach and attach it again to get it working. Not serious bug, but annoying when you want get the job done. Slow SSD. Lumia phones called off..
    Other services cancelled. Really why would young people that are on design and cool train buy windows powered machine? When I speak to people they are like Apple... They don't listen to reason. Apple is so cool, that they are totally blind to the truth that their products are no better. And when windows dies, MS will follow because with no windows MS services will cease to make sense. Gaming on PC will die slowly when console implement mouse and keyboard which is coming. I am a PC gamer by heart, but let's be real. Cost of console compared to PC is ridiculous so the only difference is mouse and keyboard... I am not done with MS, their fate is very uncertain. And they did it themselves...
  • Recall the retrenchment era when MS let go of the camera team from Nokia,One commentator pointed out that the end of Windows Mobile is imminent.MS responded from the rooftop ,giving the analogy of a Gardener,clearing the field,tilling the soil ,watering before planting..Now it turned out that three was no crops,only overgrown weeds.There the demise of the Surface line,as alluded is only a matter of time despite all the denials.
  • I've never known a company that holds it's customers with contempt.But I'm already addicted.Going nowhere unless I'm pushed out and the door locked.
  • They are already pushing REALLY HARD
  • Was in a meeting yesterday with few representatives of Microsoft and we got clearly told that should we invest in Surface products and their mobile devices (For high end security) they cannot guarantee that in long run they will provide support despite being an Enterprise. We got recommended for all hardware on related to mobile to look at Android and iPhone, despite the security requirements cannot be met, and for other hardware to Macs and Chromebooks.
    What is so frustrating that it becomes funny was that when a colleague asked why not an OEM party HP or Lenova was recommended we got told that while the related companies provide proper hardware, they again could not guarantee again that desktop would be proper supported from those OEM companies and neither Microsoft due to their Cloud Azure shift.
    When our chief manager become frustrated and asked what nonsense they were talking about they explained carefully that Microsoft is in a state of moving towards Cloud Azure more increasingly and dropping teams on products that are not for in the Cloud. While they assured us that any Windows 10 for Enterprise would be supported for while it lasts, they will not make any promises that will require investment or require too much long term support, in which we would fall in the latter with the too many users inside the company over the world. Currently we invited Google and Apple for next month to see how an what they can provide us and discuss migration towards their product if we decide to partner with them, currently the internal vote lies more on Apple. So in the next 5 years we will be moving completely away from Microsoft and related products with maybe a few Azure things, but for the rest it was made clear by our chief manager, CEO and investors that will we no longer continue with them. Really annoyed about it, but I guess to all must come an end, this time it is Microsoft it seems.
  • It looks incredible.
  • Interesting partner viewpoint, thanks for it! That is unfortunate but understandable.
  • I was playing golf with Nadella yesterday and he confirmed they will support Surface for at least two decades. Meanwhile he also mentioned the superduper ultramobile surface with phone capabilities is being tested for RTM by Panos and they have ordered 1 billion dual Gorilla GlassIV screens directly with AGC and not LG/Samsung.  
  • If that was only true I would be happy, been a supporter for a very long time. But reality is that their own contact people for enterprises are in a lot of aspects uncertain about their own products future and what they can provide, of course not as plain as I written it as they try to make it sound better. Fact is that we see a clear shift in eco systems from our smaller partners/daughter branches and at the bigger ones. With the goal to have replaced Microsoft eco system with a minimum 40% im 3-4years full branch wide. If you think the trust is gone at consumers, here and at a few partners it is also gone.
  • Well said Daniel.
  • MS CEO Nadella is a pragmatic thinker. he knows that Surface equipment is selling well enough now and are great Microsoft Prestige items much like the Iphone and Ipads are to Apple. What Microsoft needs to do is make a cheaper model in the Surface line of products for the adverage person to buy. MS CEO Nadella probably is pushing Microsoft's hardware devision to make products that work well but are cheaper to make to increase the profit margin.  The Andromeda Core OS project for Windows 10 is a big deal because it will allow Windows 10 to be modular and able to be put on Smartphones, Tablets, 2 in 1 PC's, Laptops, Ultera books and Desktop PC's. Because MS CEO Nadella does not Think Microsoft should make smart phone, I do not think it will make smart phones again. The Most Microsoft fans can hope for is a "Surface Mini" Tablet with a built in E-Sim Cell Phone to send and recieve voice calls. Enough of them would be bought by People for Microsoft to sell them and make a Profit
  • They will never make a cheap Surface for the same reason Google will not make a cheap Pixel. These are aspirational devices meant to show what is possible to OEMs, they are not meant to poach sales from partners.
  • Absolulty. The retail pricing MS sets includes both the justified premium pricing and a "Surface surcharge" that allows OEMs to market quaality products at a lower price, and still be profitable.  The Laptop does not really fit this pattern. It fills a percieved gaps, but does not do it well. It is not really configurable for productive inking. Studio is aspirational, but under powered and cannot be used in portrait mode. Maybe Studio 2?
  • Microsoft Already made cheap Surface devices
    It were Surface RT, Surface 2, and the Surface 3. They were all starting at 499$
  • Folks Microsoft could make an Android smartphone that looks exactly like a Windows smartphone with the smart tiles and all. The Microsoft Android smartphone would have mostly Microsft software plus have Google playstore Apps. This device would cause Windows smart phone fans to vomit at first but many would buy this Microsoft Android smart phone rather than buy expensive Iphones. the Apps gap ends and Microsoft gets money from selling Android users Microsoft services like Office 365. This could be Microsoft's next smart phone move if it ever makes a smart phone.
  • whats the use?  
  • @gregory,  Do you think that "AMAZING" phone from MS would NOT be as or more expensive than the "expensive" iphone?  If not.....GUESS AGAIN!
  • They should never abandon Surface products. They are the best Windows 10 PCs in the world. Only with Surface can Windows 10's ernormous creativity potential be realized. Without Surface, Windows can only be a mediocre operating system. All the StaffPad and Paint3D and Autodesk stuff will be no more than empty words. Besides, if Microsoft abandons Surface, there's no doubt that a lot of MS fans will lose faith in Microsoft and perhaps move to Apple and it won't be long until MS finds itself with no desktop hardware and few fans and heads towards self-destruction.
  • lets hope MS is going to quit on Satya Nadella
  • Or Panos and his team quit Microsoft
  • True and sooner than later.  Products are worth what you are willing to pay for them.  When he decided to give Win 10 away he set the value at zero.  Everyone cheered at first, that is everyone but MSFT shareholders.  As I said before, 90%+ of the MSFT users cannot name the CEO, which says a lot about their direction.
  • Only one anecdotal story, but I will give it anyways. I have been visiting Japan for 2 weeks, and I see about as many Surface devices as I see Apple ones in the various cafes. I think that outside of the US, where Apple has an unusually strong hold, and obviously only in the markets where Surface sells, they are doing reasonably well.
  • Good article.  I will say that I wouldn't be surprised if they stopped making surface Pro's or laptops, not because of my recent pessimism, but because of their reason for making surface in the first place. I seem to remember an article from you or another staff member two years ago stating that one of the major reasons for creating the Surface Pro was to show other OEM's how great W10 would be on good hardware.  It was a show piece to say "We are setting the bar, and we're showing you what you can do if you build good hardware."  It was also a reason why the Pro and the Surface laptop are priced high, so not to undercut their OEM partners.
  • And Nadella said he would produce 3 phones a year. Yeah, right. I am a MS fan but, I also love all the other Operating Systems and computer hardware, this CEO is killing MS.
  • It's time for mr. Nadella to take his index finger from the F5 key and use it to show customers the direction that Microsoft is going! If not it will be a self fulfilling prophecy to let Surface come to an end. Customers in doubt --> less sales  --> no profit on hardware sales --> Panos Pumped for a sebatical --> Ctr-Z for Surface. But it won't stop there for Microsoft. Ctrl-Z for Surface --> less finesse in Windows and hardware --> less trust from OEM'S --> less trust from customers --> People from having Windows to hating Windows --> F5  --> Ctrl-Z for Windows. Fortunately the MSFT Stock price raised enough to switch to Apple products ;-).  
  • Microsoft has proven their commitment to hardware is and always will be shaky. 
  • So Satya said " It's Alan Kay who said 'if you're serious about your software, you make your own hardware.' I think there's some truth to it. " Remember, he also said "Cloud first, Mobile First!" Look how that turned out! Its why I have a Galaxy S8+ in my pocket now instead of a Windows device after a decade of using one. How can you tell if a CEO is lying? Look to see if their mouth is moving!
  • Hard to defend a company that walked away from a $7.2 BILLION dollar investment in Nokia - they have shown again and again the proclivity to walk away from various hardware and software decisions, so shuttering Surface is not beyond the relm of possibility. Besides, even their highest end flagship devices are under-spec'd and over-priced (defend a $3000 Surface Studio with a spinning HDD; $3299 for Surface Book 1TB with internals lower than a $1799 Spectre x360 15" - I can go on and on). I'm grateful they kicked the industry in the behind to get them moving more forcefully in the 2-in-1 direction, but they are not showing the signs of a long term commitment and I think users will be disheartened just like Microsoft Mobile fans have been.
  • Surface lineup is the brand-name for Microsoft against Mac lineup of Apple. Dropping it will cause the heavy shift of consumers towards Apple's Mac (in premium devices)
  • thats true
  • I think nadella should give out his reply soon enough before anything is seriously planted in peoples brains
  • I'm starting to think that the best thing for everyone involved would be for MS to spin-off the consumer part of its business. 
  • all I know is I loved the surface tablet till I saw 3 friends with them and the 4 hours it took to update before you could use it out of the box. I saw their issues while using it and even agreed when thery sent them back. windows mobile phone is a disaster. at 8.1 they were nearly there. Rebooting windows 8.1 mobile to 10 and leaving out key features like linked inboxes or a weekly calender view or not even supporting gestures on windows 10 is a huge slap in the face to consumers, no wonder people stoped buying their phones, hell a plastic 950 was the nail in the coffin there. they should have copyed and refined the Lumia 930 range.
    Now edge cant even open a new tab to my home page of default lol and even dragging tabs to a different monitor requires a extra move to go full screen, hell trying to force a edge buttone on ie users so they accidently press it net to the new tab space is kinda showing us that forced feeding aprach microst is so persistant in keeping up, no wonder some business woman sued microsoft for forced windows 10 installation. I love live tiles and most of windows 10 but as a software company I think microsoft are no longer cutting it. Shame cause I don't have any other platform to support pc gameing, if there was I be gone and only cause id have been forced by microsoft hard harded lack of sp[eedy and lazy software support.
  • What a load of claptrap. all this from 2 guys who's businesses are competitors of MS,,Nonsense!, there will be changes maybe a name change for the surface devices and many many more, new machines, why should they pull the plug on surface hardware, these machines have put Microsoft  "back in the race", and are huge competitors for  Apple. Plus Satya nadella only owns a fraction of the company and so has a limited say on what happens with microsoft .Messrs Gates & Balmer are the largest individual shareholders of MS and have more 'clout' than Satya !.  I reckon apple could be the ones who'll struggle, as (much like their batteries) they too are "running out of steam"
  • It wouldn't surprise me a bit if they discontinued the Surface line of hardware. It's only a nitch market item, and after all Microsoft is a software company for the most part anyway. Even when it comes to services their focus and strength is enterprise these days. Its my thought that unless Microsoft releases Nadella the company might not even be around in 5 years or at best like you mentioned as well as others they'll be the next IBM. 
  • They sort of like abandoning end user...the march towards becoming IBM is on.....(who also made PCs once)
  • I find it very hard to leave the Surface when it is a great success. Yes, I have customes who prefer other brands because of the price, but the performance of the Surface Pro is perhaps matched only by the Dell XPS, except that there is horrible flaws with it: It is so hot wou can barely handle, and the camera is placed at the bottom of the screen, so when you use Skype or another face-to-face program or app, the other person sees your chin, your tripple chin, but not your face. If you turn it upside down, you can't type comfortably, wchich defeats the purpose of using a soft keyboard (which, in  fact covers half the screen). Other prefer the ASUS, which is an excellent machine, except that it can make a hole on your pants if you put it on your lap. It is really hot. The Surface is just amazing. I am on my third. I had the Surface Pro (The others are garbage, RT, S, and others that onoy run MS software), Surface Pro 4, and now I have the Surface Book. I am more than amazed by all of them.
  • I just got this message from Windows Central: "Sorry you don't have enough reputation so you must wait 60 more seconds to post another comment." This sounds like a message written by someone whose mother tongue is not English. It may be offensive to say "you don't have enough reputation."
  • I find it very hard to leave the Surface when it is a great success. Yes, I have customes who prefer other brands because of the price, but the performance of the Surface Pro is perhaps matched by the Dell XPS, except that there is horrible flaws with it: It is so hot wou can barely handle, and the camera is placed at the bottom of the screen, so when you use Skype or another face-to-face program or app, the other person sees your chin, your tripple chin, but not your face. If you turn it upside down, you can't type comfortably, wchich defeats the purpose of using a soft keyboard (which, in  fact covers half the screen). Other prefer the ASUS, which is an excellent machine, except that it can make a hole on your pants if you put it on your lap. It is really hot. The Surface is just amazing. I am on my third. I had the Surface Pro (The others are garbage, RT, S, and others that onoy run MS software), Surface Pro 4, and now I have the Surface Book. I am more than amazed by all of them.
  • Surface may not be dropped completely, but I can see the brand being re-focussed as an Enterprise device rather than consumer one - a bit like HP tried to do with the Elite X3. The problem is, they need to make the Surface more Enterprise friendly - user servicable components for a start (SSD, battery etc).  As an aside, the Surface is not the best designed device, it's not the most reliable device, it's not the best looking device, and it's far from the cheapest device. MS don't have the best reputation in hardware, or the best designers, but after a dreadful start they carved out a premium niche that they deserve credit for. The brand isn't making them much money, but it's not losing much either, but based on their current focus, what they end up doing with Surface is anyone's guess.
  • Wtf are you talking about ? "Ms has not good designers" Every OEM is cloning the surface. Only Apple has as good design as Surface devices.
    What is better design for you ? Lenovo/ASUS/HP laptops ? wtf they are so dull and boring, with ZERO attractivity.
  • Honestly, Microsoft's pushed this to the point that I don't care WHAT they do with the brand. The latest Surface lineup was so massively disappointing that I went from recommending Surface all the time to putting them near the top of my "DO NOT BUY" list for products. That they took the Surface Pen out of the Surface Pro, then raised the price of most of the models by $100+, was appalling. They took away functionality and increased cost at the same time, the epitome of what we'd expect from Apple. Had they simply taken the Pen out, leaving all prices stagnant, I could have lived with it. Instead, they're now charging you to not get stuff, and that's something I will never recommend. The Surface Laptop was also a shockingly bad product, IMO. The price killed it; $1,000 as a starting point for an inflexible laptop is back in that Apple realm of products. Had they made it a convertible worth challenging things like the Yoga, and preferably put it closer to the Yoga's $800-ish starting point, I would have thought it a cool product. Had they not reserved the varied colors for the laughably pricey models, there would have been a semi-unique product to market (giving people design choice, like Lumias used to). Instead, they gave us a Windows MacBook in the worst way--overpriced, lacking functionality, and trying to be a fashion statement as a brand known for not being fashionable. Then you have the Surface Book, which was semi-defendable in price because it was new and used a different approach. However, it has horribly stagnated, while failing to refresh the hardware and while keeping the sky-high price tag. I loved that it gave users a convertible Surface with a legitimate keyboard (I don't like the floppy Type Covers myself), but at the price tag, I couldn't justify it. That, and the fact you had to detach, flip, and reconnect to fold it over was too cumbersome when you have things like the Dells and Lenovos and ASUSes that just rotate and go. Pricey, clunky, and more an aesthetic tool than a functional one...and abandoned. This all culminates in the terrible life cycles of Surface. The Surface Pro never refreshes consistently. The Surface Book has never been refreshed. The Surface Laptop launched too late to be an impactful machine for the back-to-school crowd, IMO (though the price of the Laptop was so bad it never had a chance). Then there's that phone we've heard about for 3+ years. We know nothing of its progress, existence, OS, or anything. Microsoft is an absolute mess in hardware. Apple, and basically everyone else, is on an annual cycle that runs like clockwork, refreshing to the latest and greatest. You're lucky to see an 18-month cycle from Microsoft, which is the optimistic refresh of a Surface Pro. The Surface 3's been hanging around for, what, 2-3 years now? The Book's almost to its second birthday. We don't know if the Studio will get refreshed. The Lumia 930 took more than 18 months to get replaced, and the Lumia 950's around 23 months old without hope for a successor. There's no reliability, there's not transparency, and pricing turns a lot of folks off. They seem uninterested in being a major player because they can't be without chasing away partners. That's fine, but showing no ability to produce a stable product line after 3-5 years in Surface, that makes me wonder if they could even compete with OEMs if they actually made that a goal.
  • Sadly after reading Joe Belfiore comments I see this as likely true :( Hardware is largely consumer driven, and exiting the mobile space (and music space with the Groove shutdown) signals that Microsoft will focus on enterprise only.  With that said, continuing on with Surface won't make much sense as there is won't be a full ecosystem to entice consumers to participate in.  I would not be surprised to see Xbox spun off as well.
  • Microsoft should drop Satya. There lies the real culprit.
  • Trump is President, Bill Gates is an Android user. Anything is possible.
  • All, Throw me a bone MSFT! I’m a semi-retired Civil Engineer trying to survive on Apples. While there are MSFT-like clones of some of my vertical market software over here in Appleland, not all are available. I’m stuck with lugging a MacBook, in order to run software in VM. I’d like to have a reason to buy a Windows Tablet and the Surface Pro 4 looks attractive but, if it’s going away, what’s left? A Lenovo X1 Yoga? Advise please.
  • i can't believe anyone wants msft to drop xbox and surface. xbox and surface do more to raise brand awareness, especially amongst the younger generation (target demographic), than anything they have some so far. 
  • Microsoft is no longer the giant it used to be, and apparently is digging its own grave. Recent statements made by high executives confirm the rumors were true. Now the global perception about the company has reached the lowest level. It seems the company is desperately looking to draw the attention of the audience without a defined plan of action. The company has focused its efforts in the future of the cloud and 3D business based on other platforms like android and iOS, leaving behind its own platform and what is trending in today business. Since the launch of Windows 10 I thought the good times for Microsoft were about to come, and I increased my faith with the idea of a promised Universal Windows Platform running on every device, including smartphones. The app-gap seemed to be coming to an end with the acquisition of Xamarin as a magic tool to gain developers attention. The Windows Community is shocked by recent announcements, and I think Microsoft should be more concerned about our expectations. I don't know why they seem concerned about our comments in the Windows Phone Platform, but do nothing to fix what we share. Microsoft must rethink its business looking for a leadership with strength in marketing to achieve strategic agreements that allow the company to recover its level of competition. They should consider knocking Nokia's door again to deal a place in their handsets. The worst enemy of Microsoft could be inside the company, and because of that is mandatory for all employees to be re-evaluated, to measure their degree of commitment with Microsoft's goals.
  • if little finger behavior is in Microsoft then Microsoft is in trouble
  • A good conclusion, Daniel 😌