Microsoft's Surface and AI event: A massive blunder and missed opportunity

spicypadthai

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Agreed, total snooze fest, and it's sad that in the last 12+ months, Microsoft lost whatever soul it had remaining after doing a pretty good job reclaiming a chunk of it the prior 10 years. While understandable, after all, shareholders don't care about anything except the financial bottom line, it's still disappointing.
 

naddy69

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"With Surface declining and a tricky Windows 11 update, Microsoft's speical event was anything but."

Apparently the spell check in Windows 11 is not too special either. :)

But this is really bad timing. A "Surface Event" after it became clear Surface was being cut back AND the former head of Surface suddenly leaving.

I would ordinarily say at this point that 2024 can't get worse, but...
 
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davepete

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This consumer would have loved a new Surface with Nuvia Oryon chips, but I'm guessing Qualcomm's designs are still sluggish in comparison to Apple's. Maybe they're switching to RISC-V and starting over.
 

Jcmg62

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2019. That was the last time Microsoft had a good hardware launch.

Microsoft have struggled to define themselves for over 15 years. They're like a nerdy IBM that wants to hang out with the cool Apple gang.

They never recovered from missing the start of the mobile race.

They had the tools, the software, the hardware and the cash to absolutely own the smartphone market. But either arrogance, ignorance or just plain lack of foresight cost them their share.

They'll never get that time back, and it'll be a long time before another technological revolution similar to the smartphone comes around. AR isn't it. VR isn't it. Wearables aren't it. And laptops/tablets aren't it.

Microsoft will forever be judged as that company that scoffed at the iPhone, because they were simply too dumb to know what they were looking at.
 
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Christian Jesperson

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I think Microsoft has lived up to its name. Flaccid.
I say this as a multi-Windows Phone owner (Lumia 920, 640, and 1520 as well as 950xl), 2 time Surface Duo purchaser, and a former Surface RT, and Surface Pro 3 owner as well as a former Microsoft employee at the first Store in Scottsdale.

They didn't listen to my ideas about having a better "Geek Squad-like" "Tech Advisor" external tech mobile business arm that focused purely on Microsoft devices and software, as that was in high demand in retire-land Scottsdale. They only listened to and promoted internal butt kissers and lacked true vision, so I lost all interest in that company and decided to pursue my own journey.

Better off now and good riddance. Sadly, I'm still an investor, so I hope they will pull something out of their ass eventually: and I don't mean their idea of a crypto-currency mining system powered by biological human movement #060606 Patent to promote better health and turn us into cattle. https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2020060606.
 
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naddy69

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"Microsoft will forever be judged as that company that scoffed at the iPhone, because they were simply too dumb to know what they were looking at."

This.

"They'll never get that time back, and it'll be a long time before another technological revolution similar to the smartphone comes around. AR isn't it. VR isn't it. Wearables aren't it. And laptops/tablets aren't it. "

And it's a safe bet that if/when the next technological revolution comes, MS will STILL be trying to force desktop Windows into it. Because square pegs fit so nicely into round holes.
 
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Jeffery L

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I totally don't get why the Surface Go 4 is commercial only. The Surface Go's form factor best facilitates using Windows as a tablet better than any other Surface, and better than any other device on the market. When I learned Surface Go 4 was going to be commercial only, I looked to see what other devices on the market were like the Surface Go. I'm looking for 11" or less screen and something that weighs around a pound. I couldn't find anything. I know there is the Surface Pro 9, but I think the Surface Pro 9 is just a bit too big and heavy to make a good tablet. The same with the 2-in-1 laptop market; they are too heavy to make a good tablet. Windows is vastly superior to iPadOS for productive workflows. I can hook up two 2K monitors to my existing Surface Go and get a full desktop experience; plus I don't have to jump through hoops to move files in and out of apps from my OneDrive. I just don't get why Microsoft doesn't really push Windows as a tablet. The Surface Go is hyper portable and can be a full desktop with connected peripherals. And finally, they put a decent chip in the Surface Go and then sell it only to commercial market??? The Surface Go is sooo cool and they are burying it. And to all the device reviewers (Zac not included in this group) that compare Surface Go (which is small and cheap) to high end laptops and say it doesn't have good performance, those reviewers are dumb. They miss the form factor advantage of small and light.
 

Iamdumbguy

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This consumer would have loved a new Surface with Nuvia Oryon chips, but I'm guessing Qualcomm's designs are still sluggish in comparison to Apple's. Maybe they're switching to RISC-V and starting over.
I don't think any major mfg is going to seriously take up RISC-V. It's as much of a boondoggle as ReactOS was. I believe the core designs are all from ARM. What Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, Mediatek, etc do is package (and tweak) those cores with other elements into a system on a chip. I think Apple might make their own GPU chips. Also, a lot of the Apple performance has to do with software. APIs like Metal and UIKit were created specifically for these kinds of chips while MS has been sitting on ancient APIs and relying on the .NET runtime that sits on top of Windows.
 

Arun Topez

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I agree with everything said, Zac! 👏
Worst Microsoft event to date. Microsoft has officially lost what their fans truly loved about them, at least with regards to Surface and Windows.

The other confusing this is WHO is this event for? It used to be a consumer event, then a mixed event, then business with a hint of consumer, and this event also was primarily business with an even smaller hint of consumer.... yet they couldn't even mention the Go or Hub? And the 2 devices they DID announce, barely got any time - and the guy who presented it was the complete opposite of Panos, he didn't even seem interested.

Microsoft has become exactly what they're pushing for with AI - Artificial and Lifeless. And on brand, they kill everything we love about the company.

Time to start looking at alternatives. Apple may have boring devices and events, but they at least have their crap together and ensure their customers are happy.
 
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naddy69

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"Apple may have boring devices and events, but they at least have their crap together and ensure their customers are happy."

Apple's stuff is far from boring to consumers. Because everything Apple sells is designed for, built for and marketed to consumers. Everything Microsoft sells is designed for, built for and marketed to businesses.

Once you understand that businesses are the REAL customers Microsoft cares about, everything they do makes perfect sense. Microsoft DOES have their crap together and the customers that matter ARE happy.

Stop looking for Microsoft to be a consumer products company. It's not going to happen. Yes they tried selling phones and headphones and music streaming services. Yes they tried having Microsoft stores.

Those things are all gone. They are not coming back. Move on.

"Time to start looking at alternatives."

Indeed. Some of us came to that conclusion years ago.
 
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Mattytwotimes

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"Apple may have boring devices and events, but they at least have their crap together and ensure their customers are happy."

Apple's stuff is far from boring to consumers. Because everything Apple sells is designed for, built for and marketed to consumers. Everything Microsoft sells is designed for, built for and marketed to businesses.

Once you understand that businesses are the REAL customers Microsoft cares about, everything they do makes perfect sense. Microsoft DOES have their crap together and the customers that matter ARE happy.

Stop looking for Microsoft to be a consumer products company. It's not going to happen. Yes they tried selling phones and headphones and music streaming services. Yes they tried having Microsoft stores.

Those things are all gone. They are not coming back. Move on.

"Time to start looking at alternatives."

Indeed. Some of us came to that conclusion years ago.
I’d agree with you on almost all of that but I would add that Microsoft will eventually lose enterprise ground as younger people grow up on Apple and google products while viewing Microsoft as boring at best and unreliable at worst. People tend to want to work on the stuff they use in their personal life. If you lose them when they’re young you’re unlikely to get them back.

As far as AI. This feels like the new VR metaverse. It’s something most people don’t want or need and then the few who do want it find out that it doesn’t work the way they want it or need it to. This is a huge gamble I think and it may not pay off in the long run. If AI falls flat over the the next 2 years Microsoft will be left resting on its laurels having wasted a lot of time and energy into something no one likes. Trying on some level to compete with Apple kept them relevant and in the conversation. This new generation isn’t going to be interested in windows or bing or azure. They’ll likely still use office. On a Mac or Chromebook.
 

naddy69

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"Microsoft will eventually lose enterprise ground as younger people grow up on Apple and google products while viewing Microsoft as boring at best and unreliable at worst. People tend to want to work on the stuff they use in their personal life."

How is that going to happen? "I want an iPad or I'm not going to work here!" Well then buh bye.

There are already plenty of people who work 8 hours in front of a Windows PC and then go home to their phone. Maybe an iPad. They don't want - or need - a Windows PC at home. Whatever computer hardware/software they use at work is determined by company policy and the IT department. Not by the employees.

"Trying on some level to compete with Apple kept them relevant and in the conversation." Only if you consider being laughed at for sheer incompetence in consumer products is "keeping them relevant and in the conversation".

"This new generation isn’t going to be interested in windows or bing or azure." If they are in the IT department they will be very interested. Office workers don't need to be. And BTW, they never have been.
 

GraniteStateColin

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I totally don't get why the Surface Go 4 is commercial only. The Surface Go's form factor best facilitates using Windows as a tablet better than any other Surface, and better than any other device on the market. When I learned Surface Go 4 was going to be commercial only, I looked to see what other devices on the market were like the Surface Go. I'm looking for 11" or less screen and something that weighs around a pound. I couldn't find anything. I know there is the Surface Pro 9, but I think the Surface Pro 9 is just a bit too big and heavy to make a good tablet. The same with the 2-in-1 laptop market; they are too heavy to make a good tablet. Windows is vastly superior to iPadOS for productive workflows. I can hook up two 2K monitors to my existing Surface Go and get a full desktop experience; plus I don't have to jump through hoops to move files in and out of apps from my OneDrive. I just don't get why Microsoft doesn't really push Windows as a tablet. The Surface Go is hyper portable and can be a full desktop with connected peripherals. And finally, they put a decent chip in the Surface Go and then sell it only to commercial market??? The Surface Go is sooo cool and they are burying it. And to all the device reviewers (Zac not included in this group) that compare Surface Go (which is small and cheap) to high end laptops and say it doesn't have good performance, those reviewers are dumb. They miss the form factor advantage of small and light.

You can buy an enterprise device as a consumer. They just don't promote it to consumers.
 

GraniteStateColin

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"Microsoft will eventually lose enterprise ground as younger people grow up on Apple and google products while viewing Microsoft as boring at best and unreliable at worst. People tend to want to work on the stuff they use in their personal life."

How is that going to happen? "I want an iPad or I'm not going to work here!" Well then buh bye.

There are already plenty of people who work 8 hours in front of a Windows PC and then go home to their phone. Maybe an iPad. They don't want - or need - a Windows PC at home. Whatever computer hardware/software they use at work is determined by company policy and the IT department. Not by the employees.

"Trying on some level to compete with Apple kept them relevant and in the conversation." Only if you consider being laughed at for sheer incompetence in consumer products is "keeping them relevant and in the conversation".

"This new generation isn’t going to be interested in windows or bing or azure." If they are in the IT department they will be very interested. Office workers don't need to be. And BTW, they never have been.

I love Apple's customer-centric philosophy and general design ethos. The problem with Apple, for me, is that their UI is a pain. I know people think of Macs and iOS as having a great UI and I would agree that they're FRIENDLY and WELCOMING, but they're not very functional. I vastly prefer Windows if I want to get anything done. From keyboard shortcuts to things like Jump Lists for document access (which Windows 11 is still only partially supporting, so Windows 11 took away some of the relative Windows strengths) to multi-button mice and keyboard-based macros to Windows Explorer vs Mac Finder for file management and network access to PowerShell to Task Manager. These are admittedly power-user features that many users don't and shouldn't have to worry about, but they matter to me. I used to be an Apple user and never lost respect for the company (Steve Jobs is one of the two greatest tech visionary marketing gods of all time), but their UI's are just so dumbed-down that they make getting work done too hard.

Plus one huge one thing that did start with Surface hardware: multitouch touchscreen laptops (before Surface, Windows laptops only supported pen). I will never buy another laptop w/o a touchscreen.

All of that being said, I agree with most of the criticisms here of Microsoft. I am very concerned about Panos leaving, both because losing him is a huge blow to MS and because the reasons he left paints a bleak picture for the MS future.
 

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