Surface Go

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by Tourniquet, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Well, I guess that worked for Bill Gates' kids (not much

    So, with the exception of a few outliers - Samsung's Wacom EMR - it will be everyone searching for the lowest common denominator, and users hoping that Wacom AES will give us something a little better than the N-Trig lowest common denominator.

    I guess this is what we get as such a small niche in the market...
     
  2. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Appreciate your thoughts @desertlap, but something doesn't sit quite right with one thing you said...

    So is "good enough" the new motto for hardware? How can "surface pro to be a showcase and reference for what a windows device could be" if the hardware isn't class-leading in any respect?

    Pen is but one subsystem. When Surface Pro 3 debuted in 2014 at had one of the best IGZO IPS screen and sleekest form-factors on the market.

    Fast forward 4-5 years and none of that is true: IPP has higher-refresh, better color accuracy, better anti-reflection. It's pen is superior. Add to that niceties like, full quadraphonic speakers and wireless pen charging.

    Surface hardware is just not sexy anymore.

    Is MS really ok with that? They poured billions building the brand...


    (You mention a focus on 5G and ARM, but Apple is clearly leading in the latter, and 5G is something Apple could hop on board just as fast as any other OEM, so I really hope MS more up its sleeve gameplan-wise.)
     
  3. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I feel confident to say the Pro 5 and up flavor of MPP is certainly close enough up to par. I bounce between a Mobile Studio Pro, Galaxy Book, Apple Pencil and my Pro 5. While I would still probably rank the Pro 5 the lowest of those 4.....it’s a very tight margin between them. Its come a long way from the Pro 3 era MPP, that’s for sure, By Pro 7, I feel confident Surface MPP could eventually dethrone EMR or the Pencil one day.

    But they have to make sure to maintain the performance regardless of device..... case in point the Surface Gos Pen performance disaster.
     
  4. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @Marty I can't really reconcile that either other than maybe they just think it isn't a priority compared to things like communications tech and smaller form factor. I also suspect that there is some residual reluctance from the perceived "failure" of Windows 8. MS went all in with touch/pen then and seems to be retreating from it ever since.

    One of our developers worked form MS on windows 8 and he said that "there was a wholesale house cleaning" when work started on 10.

    Again, I don't really understand it all. In my opinion if there is any company that could both produce and benefit from a state of the art windows device it's MS. Apple certainly seems headed that way with the iPad pros.
     
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  5. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Again, I really appreciate your candid perspective here. It's fascinating.

    So one other thing that struck me in your last post, was this quote:

    Do you get the sense, that the recent stagnation with the Surface brand is actually caused by a "falling out" with Surface team to main management or with other internal teams at MS?

    Panos seems noticeably more muted in recent reveals, on stage and on social media. They used to be all about big proclamations, and you really got the feeling Surface was the main driver for the MS brand image.

    Now MS seems to be much more spread out, allowing the Surface brand to fade from the spotlight.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  6. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Very astute observation, Marty! What makes it so appealing is that it fits the facts so well and rationally (in the irrational corporate sense of the term!) explains the dramatic fall from prominence and category lead of the Surface brand - in a way that is clearly emanating from MS. At least IMO, the market (and tech press, and we) would be glad to give MS its props if it would just demonstrate even a little bit of initiative in a leadership, innovative direction. Most frustrating to me: with Apple upping its game (though still with massive gaps in true computing functionality and/or other attributes among its Mac and iPad lines), we could finally have a true "duopoly" with the potential for MS, along with its army of OEMs, doing battle with Apple to one-up each other and shorten the product refresh cycles of both - which are currently the longest in the industry, by years. But instead (and I know you are all bored of this old saw from me) they instead are behaving like "monopoly competitors," which means they are tacitly (not literally, I'm certain) agreeing to move slowly, not really attacking each other where they are strongest. It's as if they've carved up the hardware market (on the Windows side, that applies more to the OEMs, collectively, than MS itself, which is still pretty much a beauty contest participant rather than an aggressive competitor for market share, but they clearly give the OEMs their marching orders and set their limits) and agreed who will have - and get to keep - the lead in certain areas. Distressing, because the two companies are so immensely, unprecedentedly powerful (each could easily afford to acquire every major player in hardware markets without really denting their balance sheets) that a true competitive battle could create the greatest renaissance in hardware advancements ever seen, yet instead they each are playing it as safely and conservatively as one could imagine - actually, IMO their sluggish, non-competitive, non-innovative behavior exceeds my own imagination to fathom - and it is such a rock-hard stable condition and so beneficial to their respective shareholders - but moreso, to their respective top managements - that there would appear to be no source of stimulus to change this condition. Products have been become so good that they're good enough to keep us all chugging such that the market doesn't crave improvements, even if we could have leapfrogged at least some of the tools and performance we have been pretty much locked into for 5 years now. :(o_O:vbconfused:
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
  7. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Oh @lovelaptops, please never stop with your vigorous walls of text!

    They are joy to read and no tinfoil theory on this forum would be complete without you on the commentator's block! :thumbsup:
     
  8. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @Marty I'm not sure what the issues are. So here are some more admittedly anecdotal data points.
    1. The Surface Go was a much bigger success than MS anticipated, but more importantly the success wasn't in the market segment they anticipated . It was far more successful in corporate than consumer and the go originally was conceived as a consumer device to keep people away from the ipad.

    1a. That was so true initially that they were frequently out of stock for corporate buyers to the point where they were selling consumer models to corporate and bundling a pro upgrade key in the order because they had plenty of units manufactured for the consumer channel just sitting in warehouses. Three of our internal use units came that way.

    1b. The surface team themselves are very bullish on the entire surface line, other groups such as O365 not so much.

    2. Office 365 is also experiencing greater than anticipated success in all channels. And here is where mS has a really strong message with talk about services and O365 being the glue of the deployment strategy.

    3. We interviewed someone who had worked on the XBOX team and also groove music. What she observed she said was that MS was determined not matter what to make the Xbox dominant to the point of losing lots of money along the way if needed. That changed with Xbox one where the expectation was to be profitable within a year. Anybody that knows anything about consoles knows that's an unrealistic expectation. And then of course, the PS4 and now the Switch are burying them.

    Those things above just seem to me to show a lack of focus/vision across the whole company. Maybe the company is just so big with such a large portfolio that they are just spread too thin. It certainly seems that way with for instance the alternating hot/cold stance on Windows on ARM.

    Again this is all just my $.02 so please take this as such.
     
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  9. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Apple and MS have the same core issue on their desktops and laptop markets, which is intel. They haven't had significant performance improvements in in many (tick/tock) cycles. I mean really ,the quad core i5 would have been an i7 if intel's marketing hadn't seen a need to show "significant performance gains " with the 8th gen core I series. And correspondingly that's why there are so many reports of this generations I7 chips showing marginal improvements at best or in some cases going backwards due to thermal issues.

    Contrast that with the major leaps that seem to come with each new generation of the A series.
     
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  10. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    But that's the thing, they were focused 3-4 years ago on the Surface line and the "One Windows" initiative. MS had turned over a new leaf with very clear consumer messaging—redefining the PC of the future.

    Surface Pro, Surface Book and Surface Studio all broke new ground in form-factor and became the lynch-pin tying together the Windows/Office experience. All to point when even The Verge (The Verge!) proclaimed MS doing better at "being Apple than Apple".

    Then something happened.

    Apple refocused on making iPad/iOS a true productivity-capable ecosystem, while Surface...entered the "lost years"...

    Any clue at all as to what caused the shift, talking with insiders?

    Great! I'm happy to hear this, but I'm also extra confused. They're "bullish" about all of Surface, but not bullish enough to want to compete on hardware with their flagship device? :vbconfused:

    I miss the cocksure-polite Panos that gave us this!


    (Btw, I know very well we may never know the actual story behind a company's decisions, bit it is fun to speculate. So just want you to know I really enjoy these hypothetical trips down the rabbit hole with you. ;))
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
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