Panos Panay promises Surface is here to stay

A year ago analysts were predicting that Microsoft would be dropping their Surface line, calling it a low margin and unprofitable business.

Fast forward a year, and these analysts appear to have faded into the woodwork, and Microsoft is celebrating record Surface sales, with reports that in some regions they are outselling the iPad.

Speaking to the Independent, Surface head Panos Panay said the line was here to stay.

“It’s not just a core part of our strategy and at the centre of Microsoft, it’s also a core part of how we build products at Microsoft,” he says. “It’s important that that resonates. It’s important for me to say it.”

He confirmed that Microsoft was committed to the Surface, saying:

“Yes, one hundred per cent. Without hesitation. I think if you asked me five years ago, we were still learning. We were still trying to figure out what hardware should do to bring software to life. But now it’s not just a core part of the strategy.”

He claimed Microsoft has learned some hard lessons from the Nokia Lumia disaster, and that this made them a better hardware OEM.

“I think we learned quite a bit,” says Panay. “Lumia, of course, was a challenge. We can take those product lessons and customer lessons and move them forward. I think we have. Satya [Nadella, Microsoft CEO] talks about the growth mindset, about how we can learn as fast as we can through our successes and, mainly, our failures. When you fail, you are in a true learning mode. You are in a tremendous growth phase. And this is something we take to heart.”

After releasing the Surface Headphones, he suggested Microsoft may enter other hardware categories where it made sense.

“I can’t really reveal the product roadmap, but let me just come at it from a higher level,” he says.

“Are we completing experiences for people at work and at home? The answer is yes. So will you see new form factors that can do that, or need to do that? The answer is absolutely. And that’s how it kind of comes together. For me, work and home equals life, whether the device is in the kitchen at home, in the home office, in your work office or on your body. They’re coming together. So yeah, you’ll see more products that focus on where our customers are going to be.”

Given the cancellation of the Lumia line, the Microsoft Band and the interminable pushing back of the Andromeda handset, do our readers trust Microsoft to stick with a new hardware line?

Read the full interview at the Independent.ie here.

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