Microsoft says it is winning its new war against Macs


Surface Studio is a Windows all-in-one that finally gives the iMac a run for its money.
Photo: Microsoft

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

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  • Guy

    Ah! Business Insider. Impeccable source of real information (gag)


    Surface line is in decline this quarter YoY

  • JDS

    How funny, it’s form factor is trying to emulate the iMac.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      not really.

  • ljmac43

    The monitor is better looking than anything Apple offers now (those ugly LG things), and the overall design is at least competitive with Apple too. FFS Apple, get your act together – this would never have been allowed to happen under Jobs.

    • CelestialTerrestrial

      I don’t know if that statement about Jobs is true. As far as the monitor? MIcrosoft is using Izgo, or whatever they call it. Yeah, that’s probably the best thing about that product. The rest isn’t that great. No Thunderbolt support on a computer that’s $3000+? The Surface Dial is kind of cool, and probably the only thing that’s cool. The problem with the monitor is that it’s going to take up a ton of desk space, and I think the user is going to have to get used to standing up and leaning over to use it. From a distance, it’s cool. From a day to day use computer? I don’t know. I probably would get tired of it. The problem with touch screens are that you have to be able to COMFORTABLY reach all four corners of the screen and a 28in screen is pretty damn big area to cover. I think this is something you drool over when you see it in the store window, but it’s something you’ll never actually buy because it’s simply not practical in anyway.

      • kenneth rhem

        Retouchers and designers have been using Wacom cintiq 27s for a few years now… With Mac’s. That’s a big touch + pen workspace. It’s pretty obvious that Apple didn’t ask around when they said “no” to touch + pen. They should have bought Wacom & pushed forward with their “innovation as immitation” model…

        Apple chose to ignore it’s core for 13in MBP sales. I saw the new 15in MBP & bought a Vaio canvas. My 6 core Mac pro will eventually be a Windows tower once TB3 cards with 2 ports per bus become available (1-3 on the board + 6 from pcie slots). If you’re a creative professional, Apple has BEEN spitting in your face. It’s time for us to start speaking with our wallets.

  • Rick Ludwig

    Microsoft has manufactured it’s own “Cold War” against Apple and they’re firing blanks.
    Microsoft had to come up with an “enemy” – even though the biggest competitors to the Surface are probably Samsung, Dell, HP, and Lonovo, they couldn’t advertise against any of them because they’re Windows partners. What’s Microsoft to do? Invent an enemy at Apple.
    Microsoft would love nothing more than for Apple to fire back in their marketing department, but that would legitimize Microsoft’s campaign.
    This “blank” they just fired has no basis in reality, no facts to back it up, and is the sloppiest case of trying to make correlation equal causation I’ve ever seen.

    I actually like Microsoft’s Surface products, but whenever i see any Surface ads trying to compare to the Mac, it just makes me sigh and shake my head.

    • Nefarious420

      Surfaces and Windows 10 are AWESOME as long as you do not do support for an internet provider, then you have to expect your phones to light up after a forced update because Windows 10 is so awesome, it disabled the nic while showing connected no internet (renewing the IP address does work, but it will disconnect within minutes to hours), and Microsoft’s other recommendation of updating NIC almost never works as their is no new driver available and reinstalling the same one fixes nothing, , and the best Microsoft can do is say they are aware of the problem and looking to resolve it as soon as possible…. well Anniversary update was 2 months ago already, and still no fixes.

  • Tommy Peters

    The Fox and the Lion (adapted). So, when Microsoft saw the iMac for the very first time, it trembled in fear and darted into the woods to hide. “Oh dear, the AIO is too intimidating, much too disquieting” it said in a terrible fluster. The next day, it cautiously came hither but nestled itself in a tuft of grass at a safe distance and watched the iMac’s very regal animation of flash and blade. Feeling pleased with the security of distance and locale it said, “Think I might be able to make it with the Studio and call it an AIO, but just barely, by adapting the MacMini.”

  • Marcvs Antonivs

    No doubt (and no prejudice): it is really beautiful and efficient!

  • CelestialTerrestrial

    I read that they have 30,000 pre orders. I don’t know how that’s WINNING the war. 30,000 units is probably about what Apple sells in a day, and 30,000 pre orders is over the course of about 3 months. If they want to win anything, they had better sell a lot more than that. Otherwise, Microsoft will be losing money on this.

  • digitaldumdum

    “Microsoft says it is winning its new war against Macs”

    “Winning its war against Macs?” I didn’t know the two companies were ever at •war•. They’ve always been very healthy competitors. I suppose in what appears to the world of increasingly polarizing rhetoric—like the “war on terrorisn” and “the war with ISIS”—such is to be expected. Too bad for all of us.

  • Greg_the_Rugger

    This was from October! The usual high standards at COM.

  • c o

    There was a time when Apple was a computer company but now the Mac is lowest on their priority list, it has become an accessory to iOS, sad times.

    • LosPinchePutosGuerosDeBernie

      Apple is dumping the computer business for ios and this will probably be my last mac. Maybe a hackintosh, but I do like windows 10 much better than past versions.

  • Blank Reg

    Except the real battle is in the area of tablets and smartphones, where Apple and Android pretty much Own the Universe. The future is BYOD, and the kids are all over that. Watch Microsoft shrink rapidly as their main (PC) user base begins to die off.

  • Haris Rougas

    Oh Cult of Mac, you’re becoming a bit too obvious.. Tone it down a notch, it’s in bad taste.

  • Martin Cohen

    Your font is too thin and light. It makes this site hard to read.

  • David4

    Charlie Sheen was ‘winning’ too but in reality he was having a mental breakdown at the time.