For a while, it seemed like everything Apple touched turned to gold. iPod, iPhone, iPad -- all changed the computing landscape. Unfortunately, the more recent products such as the Apple Watch and iPad Pro were viewed by many pundits to be weak. Heck, some have called the iPad Pro a failure.
But what if iPad Pro wasn't a failure? What if those pundits were wrong? Microsoft's Surface line has been viewed as a success -- part of the company's turnaround story. With that said, would you be surprised if I told you that the iPad Pro significantly beat the Surface during the holidays? Well, it is true. The perception of weak iPad Pro sales was exactly that -- perception only. The reality is, iPad Pro destroyed Surface in Q415.
The demise of the tablet seems inevitable, as shipments percentage dropped in double digits for the first time ever. Market intelligence provider TrendForce reported that in 2015 a total of 168.5 million units were shipped, representing a 12.2 percent drop year-over-year.
Notebook analyst for TrendForce, Anita Wang, confirmed what we all already knew -- smartphones, phablets and two-in-one devices were interfering too much with the tablet market, and with the devices having a somewhat longer lifespan, the results are a decrease in new shipments.
Brace yourselves: I'm about to stick up for Microsoft. While I'm happy to criticize the company for its failings (and maybe kick it when it's down from time to time), complaints that cropped up over the weekend seem completely unjustified. I'm talking about this weekend's NFL playoffs.
I'm far from being a football (or indeed sport of any description) fan, but my news timeline has been filled with headlines about how Microsoft suffered embarrassment when its Surface tablets (now famously used on the sidelines and mistakenly referred to as iPads) failed during the Broncos-Patriots game. Except the problems that led to an information blackout was absolutely not the fault of Microsoft, or its Surfaces.
Many people decry Samsung's design choices for copying Apple. As much as I love Samsung products -- the company makes great phones, washing machines, televisions and more -- I cannot defend against those claims. With that said, if you are going to borrow design philosophies from any company, Apple is a good choice.
Today, Samsung announces the Galaxy TabPro S -- a large tablet that is reminiscent of both Apple's iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface line. The company had previously released the Galaxy Tab Pro, but that large tablet ran Android and was a dud with consumers. This time, the "S" variant runs full Windows 10, like the Surface, but with no kickstand and a keyboard a bit more like the iPad Pro in its connectivity. Obviously, the trackpad and key-type is more Microsoft than Apple. Regardless of design inspiration, it looks like a winner.
Chuwi might not be a name that you're particularly familiar with (or have even heard of at all), but the Chinese company has some interesting hardware on the way in 2016. Can’t decide between a Windows 10 tablet, or one running Android? Chuwi Hi12 offers the ability to boot between Windows 10 and Android.
With more than a hint of iPad aesthetics, the Hi12 blends the worlds of Microsoft's and Google's operating system to create a budget version of the Surface with an Android bolt-on. As this is a tablet running both Android and Windows, it's no surprise that there's a Cherry Trail processor on hand to keep things ticking over.
Microsoft is doing something about its smartphones business and according to the company’s CMO, it is something revolutionary, shocking, breathtaking.
I’m not being cynical here, I’m just reporting -- that’s the best part.
Even though it already has a smartphone line, rumors suggest that Microsoft wants to release a smartphone under the Surface brand. It may sound a bit far-fetched, but this might just be what Microsoft and Windows 10 Mobile really need to become a serious contender in the high-end smartphone market.
While Surface tablets are increasingly more appealing, following the introduction of Surface Pro 3, the Lumia line is proving to be increasingly less attractive in consumers' eyes, as proven by its tiny 1.7 percent market share. Moving an upcoming flagship product from a fading to an up and coming brand starts to make a whole lot of sense.
Microsoft has just released its Q1 FY2016 (Q3 CY2015) earnings report, posting revenue of $20.4 billion, operating income of $5.8 billion, net income of $4.6 billion and earnings per share of $0.57 (all GAAP figures). The software giant's numbers beat analysts' expectations, which has added around 10 percent to its stock price in after-hours trading. Here are the highlights of the software giant's quarter.
Microsoft has divided its earnings in three categories, namely Productivity and Business Processes, Intelligent Cloud, and More Personal Computing. The good news comes from Intelligent Cloud, where revenue is up by eight percent, while the bad news is in More Personal Computing, where the poor performance of Lumia and Surface devices lead to a 17 percent decrease in revenue, year-over-year.
Microsoft is keen to get its Surface tablets in the hands of business users. This is one of the reasons why it increased the number of Surface sales partners back in July. And in September it launched the Surface Enterprise Initiative allowing Dell and HP to resell the product.
Now following the launch of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book earlier this month, the company is making renewed efforts to crack the business market with new service offerings.
Infinity. Endless. Borderless. Today’s OEMs are obsessed with creating display panels that have no edges. Whether it’s Dell and its new XPS 13 (confirmed), or Microsoft and the forthcoming Surface Pro 4 (rumor), everyone seems to be jumping on the "bezel free" bandwagon.
What a terrible idea!
It’s fun being a thought leader. You get to watch as others supposedly "discover" an idea or truth that you originated weeks or even months before. In this case it’s the notion that Microsoft’s Surface tablet has become a form factor trend setter for PC designs.
The above linked SuperSite for Windows article is a great read, but far from original. I postulated much the same thing when I declared that your next PC will look like a Microsoft Surface. The difference is that I published my take on the matter over three weeks ago, long before any of us knew what the Google Pixel C tablet would look like. But now that the search giant has jumped on the "kickstand-and-keyboard" bandwagon, my prescient musings have been set in stone.
Microsoft and Dell are teaming up to deliver Windows 10 devices, services and support to enterprise customers, starting next month with a new Surface Enterprise Initiative.
Beginning in early October in the US and Canada, Dell will sell Microsoft Surface Pro tablets and Surface accessories through its North America commercial sales organization. This will be rolled out to the remaining 28 markets of Microsoft's Surface commercial channel starting early next year.
Microsoft frequently releases new firmware updates for its Surface tablets, improving performance and stability, fixing bugs, and adding new features in the process. And, in August 2015, the devices to get the software giant's attention are Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2.
Given that Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 at the end of the last month, the firmware updates that it has now released, including last month's batch, feature enhancements for the new operating system, which is offered as a free upgrade to those who are using Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2.
Microsoft today notified customers that Surface Hub orders will not ship until January 1, 2016. The super-sized conference-friendly Surface tablet has been available for pre-order since the beginning of July, and Microsoft had already indicated that the original ship date of September 1 was going to be delayed.
Available in both 55- and 84-inch versions, the Windows 10-powered device has generated a great deal of interest, and this is the reason Microsoft cites for the delay.
We already knew that Windows 8.1 RT Update 3 is coming in September, but recent Windows news has been dominated by the release of Windows 10. The update will be pushed out to Microsoft's Surface and Surface 2 tablets as well as other RT devices, and Microsoft Window's 10 FAQ pages have been updated to explain some of the improvements that users can look forward to.
Nothing has changed with regard to Microsoft's position on Windows 10 for RT devices -- this is still not going to happen. Updates to Windows 8.1 RT is the best that users can hope for, and now the company is starting to advertise -- through Windows 10 -- what the update will bring.