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Sorry, pundits: Microsoft cares more about Surface than ever

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Microsoft will exit the Surface business by 2019. Two reasons: Satya Nadella is a software guy, he’s a cloud guy. He already allowed [Microsoft’s] mobile phone business to decline. Secondly, the Surface’s performance is choppy, it has had good quarters and bad quarters but overall it is not making money. It doesn’t make sense for them to be in this business. And when the capital expenditure challenge that Satya Nadella is taking Microsoft down becomes visible to Wall Street… he will have a lot of cost cutting to do, and Surface will be the first target.

-Steve Brazier, CEO of market research firm Canalys, October 2017

It’s been two years since Brazier declared that Microsoft’s Surface hardware line would be toast in 2019,a prediction he reiterated last year. By now, even the most Surface-adverse of skeptics knew he misjudged Microsoft’s commitment to making its own devices. By doing so, he joined others who have either forecast Surface’s demise—or actively advocated it—for years.

But Nadella’s Microsoft isn’t just allowing Surface to live. At its Wednesday event in New York City, it announced a new Surface Pro. And a new Surface Laptop. And the Surface Earbuds, its first venture into AirPods territory.

Most dramatically, Microsoft hardware honcho Panos Panay previewed the Surface Neo and Surface Duo—two all-new ,two-screen devices the company doesn’t even plan to release for another year, and which it’s still in the process of designing. Though it seems risky to me to being whipping up anticipation for products that are still works in progress—can you say AirPower?—the announcement of Surface’s fall 2020........

© Fast Company