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Microsoft Portables Hardware

Microsoft's Surface Revenue Drops By $285M (26%) (computerworld.com) 147

An anonymous reader quotes Computerworld: Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street. For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever... The revenue decline "indicates that the aging product needs a refresh badly," Jack Gold, principal analyst at J. Gold Associates, wrote in a note to clients today. "Price cutting and competing vendors' products will continue to create declines until new product is released, rumored for later this year." Microsoft threw cold water on any significant changes to the Surface line before June, forecasting that the current quarter will also post a revenue decline.
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Microsoft's Surface Revenue Drops By $285M (26%)

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Computers with Windows 7 are still in high demand, release the Surface Book Windows 7 Edition and watch profits go up.

  • Not a big deal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mattmarlowe ( 694498 ) on Saturday April 29, 2017 @04:18PM (#54326257) Homepage

    Someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    - The Surface Line is more about making windows trendy and sexy in an era of iPads and multifunction laptops.....The surface line has pushed other manufacturers that sell windows machines to innovate and deploy more modern products (even Asus has been experimenting with combining tablet display technology and form factor with windows, Dell has been investing more in their small tablet line).

    - Since the whole point of the surface line is to cater to Microsoft's affluent customers and push the state of windows mobile computers, it is more important that Microsoft deliver new products well and perfectly than to delivery frequently. The last several refreshes of the line have gone well....the Surface Studio, Pro 4, and book have all done their job....if there is any complaints, it is that Microsoft pushed releasing the hardware before all the bugs were worked out or before newer hardware could be slimmed down enough in size. And, the book has already gotten a modest boost with the recent performance base release.

    So what if sales for the current quarter are trending down as a result of Microsoft taking longer to release a Surface pro 5 or book 2? Isn't waiting until they can deliver properly what we want them to do?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by StormReaver ( 59959 )

      Someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

      Not likely. We tried the Surface Pro at work. Its performance was so bad, its interoperability with Microsoft's own software so poor, its concept so poorly thought out that our management, largely pro-Microsoft since the beginning of time, threw the piece of shit in the trash.

      Literally.

      They didn't repurpose it, didn't give it way, didn't recycle it. They literally threw it in the trash and swore against ever using it again.

      This plummeting revenue mirrors our experience with it. Shockingly, Microsoft's S

      • And yet two of my colleagues are quite happily using them so as always YMMV.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You are really a complete moron, aren't you. This has to be one of the most idiotic posts I've seen in a while. Interoperability is poor? It just runs a regular Windows OS. I doubt you have ever used one and are just spreading FUD since you are such a complete and utter tosser that the only way you can get off anymore is to lie on the Internet.

        • Re:Not a big deal (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Junta ( 36770 ) on Sunday April 30, 2017 @08:18AM (#54328397)

          Speaking as a user of a similar product, interoperability was the wrong word, but I think I see his point. I always use it with the keyboard attached, just like a laptop. When trying to use it like a tablet (touchscreen only), it's a terrible experience that doesn't work well with most software on Windows. Pen input and touch input are only very occasionally useful, so the experience is overwhelmingly dominated by things that essentially need a keyboard and pointer device.

          Moving forward, I think I'll stick to cheaper Android tablets for the things a Tablet can do, and traditional laptop for a Windows system when I need Windows (while tablet+keyboard is very similar experience once settled, it's clumsier than a laptop lid to set up, and much more awkward on the lap than a laptop.

          • Experience is dominated by the way you use a device. If you use the device predominantly like a laptop and can't see what else to do with it then it (and all the clones) are not suitable.

            Personally I use mine more with a pen and finger than a mouse pointer but my use case is basically something like a large Samsung Note which runs a desktop OS that I can use if I need to.

            Most of my notes are handwritten, i draw in my downtime, my work requires approving and signing a lot of PDF documents which shouldn't cau

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        That is the dumbest anecdote I have ever read. My company uses Surface Pro 4s exclusively, with docking stations and dual monitors. The performance is fantastic. Granted, we have i7 and 16 gigs of ram. But, all MS Office apps work instantly. It is a great machine. I couldn't imagine needing more performance.

        • Yes, I suspect those who have had experiences with the SP4 didn't try out the higher end models. The i7/16GB RAM/512GB SSD is certainly the sweet spot, and the i7 has a much much faster built in gpu. I use mine as my primary PC, having thrown away the desktop model that I had used for 20+ years. Instead of needing a separate tablet for entertainment, phone for mobile communication, desktop computer for main work, and laptop for travel/meeting customers -- I now can get by with a single device. The skyp

        • The performance is fantastic. Granted, we have i7 and 16 gigs of ram. But, all MS Office apps work instantly.

          Ok, one comment, what was it Slashdot was all afire about with new MacBook Pros last year, hmm...

      • Re:Not a big deal (Score:4, Informative)

        by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday April 29, 2017 @05:56PM (#54326517) Journal

        The surface is far from trash. It's not designed to be a thick powerhouse workstation.

        If you need performance get a Surfacebook or an ultrabook like Dells XPS NVME line.

        The surface pro has great PC class performance in an ultra portable manner. The i7s and i5s are underclocked and it has aggressive power management. I LOVE mine as I used it for Wireshark at my last job for working on Ethernet ports.

        Its portability was great. It has great battery life and best I have ever seen in a portable and I use it as an ebook reader and to play training videos next to my real i7 workstation in my home office.

        The surface pro has a real IPS photography grade screen and an excellent keyboard cover and weighs next to nothing to carry around or go on trips. It is the PC Ipad. Use the right tool for the job. Oh and it runs Ubuntu quite well too I may add.

      • Where I work, it turns out the Surface Pro 4 got chosen as the de-facto standard issue PC for all new hires, moving forward, unless they request a Mac instead. (We're a shop with about a 50/50 Mac and Windows PC mix. Lots of creative types work for us and often feel more comfortable or confident working on a Mac, so we give them that option. Other groups like Finance require Windows for the accounting software we run.)

        Our whole I.T. group was issued Surface Pro 4 setups to use first, so we could get a real,

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

        Not likely. We tried the Surface Pro at work. Its performance was so bad, its interoperability with Microsoft's own software so poor, its concept so poorly thought out that our management, largely pro-Microsoft since the beginning of time, threw the piece of shit in the trash.

        I started a new job and was supplied with a Surface Pro. Seems to work exactly like a larger laptop would apart from the different hardware ports.

        No idea what the fuck you're on about with respect to 'interoperability with Microsoft's own software"? I have Office on this and it works fine. What doesn't it interoperate with?

    • Someone is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

      - The Surface Line is more about making windows trendy and sexy in an era of iPads and multifunction laptops.....The surface line has pushed other manufacturers that sell windows machines to innovate and deploy more modern products (even Asus has been experimenting with combining tablet display technology and form factor with windows, Dell has been investing more in their small tablet line).

      - Since the whole point of the surface line is to cater to Microsoft's affluent customers and push the state of windows mobile computers, it is more important that Microsoft deliver new products well and perfectly than to delivery frequently. The last several refreshes of the line have gone well....the Surface Studio, Pro 4, and book have all done their job....if there is any complaints, it is that Microsoft pushed releasing the hardware before all the bugs were worked out or before newer hardware could be slimmed down enough in size. And, the book has already gotten a modest boost with the recent performance base release.

      So what if sales for the current quarter are trending down as a result of Microsoft taking longer to release a Surface pro 5 or book 2? Isn't waiting until they can deliver properly what we want them to do?

      Then, why did Mac Sales outstrip Surface Sales 8 to 1?

      https://hardware.slashdot.org/... [slashdot.org]

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Why does Apple outsell M$ surface because people who can afford fashionable mobile devices, do not like their privacy being invaded. So only out of touch gullible types buy M$ surface. In that hip fashionable crowd having surface is seen as downgraded, undesirable, uncool because that is the way Windows and M$ is perceived and no amount of marketing will ever change that. Nobody wants to be seen with a privacy invasive perve, they are always shunned by everyone.

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        Because you're comparing all Mac sales against a single type of product ("ultraportable" Surface). The Mac line-up [apple.com] consists of quite a few product lines including desktop (iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini) and notebook/laptop devices (Macbook, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro) that target many different types of consumers.
        • Because you're comparing all Mac sales against a single type of product ("ultraportable" Surface). The Mac line-up [apple.com] consists of quite a few product lines including desktop (iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini) and notebook/laptop devices (Macbook, Macbook Air, Macbook Pro) that target many different types of consumers.

          Ahem. I saw no such "product distinction" in TFS. In fact, It specifically said "Revenue generated by Microsoft Surface Hardware"., and later referring to the "Surface LINE. So, I call shenanigans.

          The Surface line consists of Laptops, Franken-Tablets, and now, even a Desktop. So what's "unfair" about my comparison? You might be surprised...

          Since those are all designed to DIRECTLY compete not only with all sub-groups of the Mac line (except perhaps the Mac mini and Mac Pro, which, together, likely only accou

          • by jon3k ( 691256 )
            They make a single high end desktop which will only ever sell in very low volumes, which isn't reflected in year old sales numbers. And now we're comparing how many years of iPad sales? This is so far beyond a tortured comparison I can't even take you seriously.

            I can't believe I'm even arguing this side, I own a Macbook Air and carry an iPhone SE. But you're just completely off the deep end.
            • They make a single high end desktop which will only ever sell in very low volumes, which isn't reflected in year old sales numbers. And now we're comparing how many years of iPad sales? This is so far beyond a tortured comparison I can't even take you seriously.

              I can't believe I'm even arguing this side, I own a Macbook Air and carry an iPhone SE. But you're just completely off the deep end.

              Um, the Apple sales figures were from ONE QUARTER (Q1 2017). The Surface figures were for whatever they call their most recent QUARTER, too. Look again, carefully. Unbelievable as it may seem, because the numbers are soooo disparate, It truly IS an Apples to Apples financial comparison!

              Reading (comprehension) is FUNdamental.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      I think its largely a combination of things:

      -MS is slow to refresh, so those who want it, already have the current model. Conversely if you are thinking of buying one, you know Kaby Lake iss out and 'any day now', a new Surface model will release.

      -The tablet fad has pretty much come and gone. Apple doesn't talk excitedly about the iPad anymore, and that is the poster child for 'tablet'. The novelty and 'maybe this will be better' aspect seems to have largely given way to the reality that for most things,

      • by jon3k ( 691256 )
        I don't think Microsoft really wants to be in the hardware business. I think their goal was to drive the partners into developing high end devices that could compete with Apple products. I think Microsoft would love to be out of the hardware business completely. I'm not willing to dig through the financials but I'd be willing to guess that hardware sales aren't nearly the high margins they're used to in their software and services business.
      • -The tablet fad has pretty much come and gone.

        I think you need to tell that to the people that bought $5.33 BEELION worth of iPads I Q1 2017.

        http://www.macworld.co.uk/news... [macworld.co.uk]

        That ALONE is 6:1 of the ENTIRE Surface LINE (Surface Book, Surface Pro and Surface Studio).

        So, if the iPad is a "fad", it's a pretty long-lived and vibrant one. MS, like almost every company on earth, would kill to have a "fad" like that...

        • by Junta ( 36770 )

          MS, like almost every company on earth, would kill to have a "fad" like that...

          The article you link in fact state "In contrast to the iPhone and Mac, the iPad continues to struggle". They made a lot more even on Mac computers. Their competitors make more (revenue) on laptops/desktops than Apple does on Macs. While no company would turn down an extra $5 billion in revenue certainly, the players in the industry don't have much reason to be *exceedingly* envious of that particular product.

          iPad fever had the world on fire as it went from $2 billion a quarter to 5 and then 11 billion,

          • MS, like almost every company on earth, would kill to have a "fad" like that...

            The article you link in fact state "In contrast to the iPhone and Mac, the iPad continues to struggle". They made a lot more even on Mac computers. Their competitors make more (revenue) on laptops/desktops than Apple does on Macs. While no company would turn down an extra $5 billion in revenue certainly, the players in the industry don't have much reason to be *exceedingly* envious of that particular product.

            iPad fever had the world on fire as it went from $2 billion a quarter to 5 and then 11 billion, with people assuming that trend would continue. $11 billion was respectable in its own right and would outpace most companies PCs sales if sustained, but people were *mostly* focused on the presumed future. Since then iPad sales half fallen to half of that, without a sign of that trend reversing.

            And as an argument against MS' sales of all Surface products sales, that 5 Billion figure is still pretty damning.

            So, your statements sound just like what they are: Sour grapes. You can "glass half full" it all you want; but the dollars don't lie.

            And Apple didn't make "a lot more" on Macs during the same Quarter, with the insinuation being that the iPad sales are in trouble. They made 36% more DOLLARS on products (Macs) that generally cost 3 to 6 times that of a typical iPad. So, with that "adjustment" in m

            • by Junta ( 36770 )

              Incidentally, I don't argue that Surface is good and iPad is bad, my argument is that Tablets are not the PC market extinction event that almost every outlet predicted. Surface tablets are a bigger letdown than iPad, but that doesn't mean iPad isn't a letdown. My argument is that MS giving up on Surface tablets would make sense, just as Apple putting iPad far in the background is a sound decision on their part, at least a more sound decision than how much Apple is neglecting their desktop/laptop product l

    • and transforming into a company like Apple. They've more or less failed at that. 23% is a huge number in the corporate world. Somebody in Microsoft is freaking out over that I'm sure. Another quarter or two like that and their senior management will kill the line. Microsoft doesn't spend billions on branding, which come to think of it is probably why they can't hang with Apple.
      • and transforming into a company like Apple. They've more or less failed at that. 23% is a huge number in the corporate world. Somebody in Microsoft is freaking out over that I'm sure. Another quarter or two like that and their senior management will kill the line. Microsoft doesn't spend billions on branding, which come to think of it is probably why they can't hang with Apple.

        No, they "can't hang with Apple" because their hardware sucks compared with Apple's, costs every bit as much as Apple's, and their OS is simply a bad joke and compared with Apple's, not to mention more like malware than a proper OS.

        People are stupid; but not THAT stupid.

      • Couldn't be farther from the truth.

        The Surface line is about showing off Windows 10 as a one-size-fits-all OS. That won't change. MS's desire to move to the portable market won't change. They needed a device to try and be a perfect mid-way device between a tablet and an laptop.

        Somebody in Microsoft is freaking out over that I'm sure.

        Sure. Someone shortsighted and too stupid to be part of the company. The Surface Pro 4 is 2 years old, and there's an expectation that they will announce a refresh in a few days in New York. As a happy owner of the Surface it has been

  • Why Upgrade? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 29, 2017 @04:37PM (#54326307)

    Its the classical "why upgrade if this one works fine"?

    Microsoft did come out with a fine product this time (I run Linux on mine though).

    Microsoft has to pull an Apple (make either attractive gimmicks or real hardware improvements) to get people to upgrade.

    I just wish Windows wasn't a System-As-A-Service Cloud-Shit OS, I'd be happy to pay extra $100 ( or even $400) and get Windows no strings attached.

    Fuck the Cloud business models.

  • by Proudrooster ( 580120 ) on Saturday April 29, 2017 @04:56PM (#54326361) Homepage

    Who care, MS Stock is UP and they beat their first quarter earnings estimate. MS is making money on Office, Azure, Windows, and annual support agreements. The surface was an experiment that some people love but more people hate. I am in the hater camp for both the MS Surface and the new Mac Book Pro. Someone make some decent hardware, please.... pretty please. For full disclosure, the last device was a Lenovo Yoga. The Yoga is 80% to getting to a MacBook Pro. Screen is too shiny, the right shift key is in the wrong spot, and the touchpad has the stupid line for left click on one side and right click on the other. Using a Yoga as a Tablet with Windows 10 is a lackluster user experience, just give me the iPad.

       

    • by bongey ( 974911 )

      Macbook Pro, you mean it is closer to being one of the most under-spec'd over-priced hard to use laptops that you cannot even use 99% of peripherals without carrying around a duffle bag full of dongles that has one of the most awful keyboards imaginable that you have to be damaged in the brain to think it useful. There is nothing "Pro" about the Macbook "Pro", Apple could put a Apple logo on steaming pile of shit and Apple cultist would still buy it and really think there shit doesn't stink.

  • Of course (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Saturday April 29, 2017 @05:33PM (#54326447)

    "Microsoft's Surface Revenue Drops By $285M (26%)"

    Of course, because it's a craptastic piece of shite that costs too much and barely makes a good cutting board. Nobody I've ever known has owned one and I've never seen one used in a business setting in the wild. Not once, even during all the different contracts I spent pretending to work for Microsoft.

    Oh, I'm sure they're out there, just like are probably people still clinging to their Zunes, "squirting" songs at each other and clapping like goobers when the transfer actually succeeds.

    • Nobody I've ever known has owned one

      Hi, Pleased to meet you.

      Of course, because it's a craptastic piece of shite that costs too much

      There's a lot of clone devices out there. Funny enough when you match the specs up they cost just as much, except half the time they end up having quite a few dealbreakers in the process. e.g. the HP Spectre X2, frigging horrible keyboard and touchpad, horrible sound, battery life is miserable considering it has the same size battery, but one killer feature it does have is an LTE modem.

      I've never seen one used in a business setting in the wild

      My wife has taught at 2 schools which use them, one for just staff, the other for staff and student

      • Anyway at least now you have met someone who has one (Surface Pro 3).

        Or at least I've met someone who claims to have one. :)

        Just kidding, I'm happy you like your Surface Pro. I'm underwhelmed by them when I look at them in the store, but if it works for you that's good.

  • by TheFakeTimCook ( 4641057 ) on Saturday April 29, 2017 @05:44PM (#54326481)

    Q1 2017 Mac Sales: $7.244 BEELION.

    Surface Sales: $831 MEELION.

    Yep, peeps be lovin' them some Surface kit, LOL!

    • Brand new product vs 2 year old product. Comparing a product (computer) to a product it doesn't compete with (professional tablet). How well are those iPad Pro sales coming along?

      Yeah thought so, just more shit-posting from TheFakeTimCook with the VeryRealRealityDistortion that goes with it.

      • Brand new product vs 2 year old product. Comparing a product (computer) to a product it doesn't compete with (professional tablet). How well are those iPad Pro sales coming along?

        Yeah thought so, just more shit-posting from TheFakeTimCook with the VeryRealRealityDistortion that goes with it.

        What you talking about, Jackson?

        The Surface Book was updated one MONTH before the 2016 MBP came out. The $4k Surface Studio (with its hideously weak hardware) was announced at that same time, and came out one MONTH after the 2016 MBP came out.

        And isn't the common meme that Apple puts outdated hardware in their products? So which is it? Can't have it both ways...

        And IIRC, the Surface Pro 4 was released near the END of 2015 (October), and so, what is this "2 year old hardware" you're yammering about? And, if

  • by Sephr ( 1356341 )
    Microsoft just needs to sell us a 3:2 small bezel normal-hinged laptop like they teased 3 years ago: https://twitter.com/sephr/stat... [twitter.com]
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Saturday April 29, 2017 @06:04PM (#54326557) Journal

    Those nice cheap plastic big thick and heavy case with fans in a sea of plastic and +20 programs of malware with mechanical drives that took 4 minutes to boot and had grainy dark terrible screens were what Pcs were in 2011. SHIT.

    The surface booted in seconds, thin, ultra portable, great IPS, amazing battery, no shitware.

    Outside of Slashdot yes they did make billions for Microsoft and were popular in the x86 line. No really I own one as I used to mock them after being on Slashdot.org assumed they were behind horrible because other people who never used them said so etc. I own one now.

    Today we have the Dell XPS ultrabook line, Yoga from Lenovo, and others and a few with great screens and SSDs/NVME so times are changing. Microsoft's goal was to make some money which they still are, but not to let Apple and Android carve out the whole PC market as they focus on COST COST COST savings from the Great Recession which temporarily helped sales but long term was hurting the brand. It served it's purpose.

    Also MS is selling its Surface Book which is eating at it's own sales as well.

  • Microsoft mobile. New synonym of 'moron': Microsoft.
  • The used Surface market is pretty strong. Compulsive upgraders sell off their old models at a low price, which gives more cost-conscious consumers a choice between a new, expensive one, or a used cheap one. But Microsoft only makes money off the new sales, not the secondhand market. The net effect is that Surface revenue is depressed. The same happens with any new product line - you get a sales spike at launch, when the current model is the only game in town, and then it falls to sustainable levels as new m

    • Don't buy it. No not "I don't buy it" but "don't buy it!"

      Surface Sales are down currently? I wonder if that's because everyone's expecting the Surface Pro 5 to come out shortly and the still almost as much as it launched for Surface Pro 4 to drop in price as a result.

      If my Pro 3 breaks right now I won't replace it with a 4.

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