Microsoft’s decision to wage a new war against Macs with premium Windows PCs is paying off, the company says. Thanks to high-end devices like the Surface Book and Surface Studio, Microsoft managed to steal market share from Apple last quarter.
For years, Windows desktops and notebooks have been seen primarily as a more affordable alternative to pricey Macs. PC manufacturers were mainly focused on delivering cheaper machines that opted for plastic over aluminum, and design was mostly an afterthought.
But that’s no longer the case. Microsoft now offers the Surface Pro and Surface Book — two devices that prioritize design, functionality, and specifications over low prices. HP, Dell, Asus, and others have also been rolling out laptops and 2-in-1s that take the same approach.
It’s now possible to buy Windows devices that are just as lightweight and pretty as the latest MacBook or MacBook Pro, and in many cases, they’re even more powerful. They also boast features like touchscreens and the ability to be used as tablets.
Just last year, Microsoft also unveiled the Surface Studio, an iMac-like all-in-one that looks just as good. It’s expensive at $2,999, but it has been an incredibly strong seller so far, thanks to its unique design that lets users fold down its display when they want to use touch input.
Microsoft says these machines are now successfully stealing market share from Apple.
Microsofts licensing business, which sells Windows to third-party PC makers, was up 5 percent last quarter, confirmed CFO Amy Hood during an earnings call on Thursday. The “non-pro” (consumer) market grew 5 percent, beating the overall decline of the PC industry.
“Our partner ecosystem continued to see growth and share gains in the Windows premium device category,” Hood continued. Those gains would have eaten into Apple’s share of that market, which has been dominated by Macs until recently.
There are other things that could have contributed to this, of course. Many long-time Mac users have been somewhat disappointed with Apple’s most recent releases, which come with big changes that not everyone is willing to embrace.
The lack of traditional USB ports and SD card slots in favor of USB-C has disgruntled some, while others have been put off by the new MacBook Pro’s 16GB RAM limit and its even steeper price tag.
Via: Business Insider