Beleaguered Microsoft admits to parade of bugs in weak-selling Surface lineup

“As most of you know, whenever Apple has a problem with hardware or software, it can make huge headlines,” Gene Steinberg reports for The Tech Night Owl. “Compare that to Windows, where Microsoft has released a number of buggy updates over the years, some of which would cause such symptoms as startup loops. You don’t see a rash of sensational headlines because Microsoft screwed up.”

“This year’s problems for Microsoft involve the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, the highly touted convertible notebooks that are supposed to rescue Microsoft’s tablet division,” Steinberg reports. “Now before I get to the problems, consider the fact that the modest Surface sales are flagging, from $908 million last year to $672 million in this year’s September quarter. That is not too promising. Apple still sold $4.276 billion worth of iPads in the same quarter despite falling sales.”

“So while the Microsoft sycophants in the media have touted the Surface as a sure iPad killer, the facts don’t bear that out, and now Microsoft is admitting to loads of bugs in these machines,” Steinberg reports. “These issues are especially troubling in light of declining tablet sales, and Microsoft has yet to demonstrate that it has delivered a credible alternative to other PC convertibles, let alone the various MacBooks with which it has been compared.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A single quarter of iPad Pro — we’re not talking all iPads here, no Airs or minis, just the new top-of-the-line iPad Pro — sales will exceed the total of all Microsoft Surface tablets ever sold to date.

And yes, Microsoft makes junk. They always have and, it seems, they always will.

Om Malik: iPad Pro has replaced my 12-inch MacBook – December 7, 2015
The best keyboard for Apple’s iPad Pro – December 7, 2015
Apple’s iPad Pro: An entrepreneur’s verdict – December 4, 2015
Jeremy Horwitz: These 5 things made me a happy iPad Pro convert – December 3, 2015
Pro photographers: A couple weeks with iPad Pro and Apple Pencil made us fall in love – December 1, 2015
So long Surface Pro 4, I’m going with Apple’s iPad Pro – November 24, 2015
Apple’s powerful iPad Pro: One month later – December 14, 2015
4K video export shootout: iPad Pro vs. MacBook Pro – November 23, 2015
ZDNet reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: A genuine alternative to a laptop for business users – November 20, 2015
Apple’s super-sized ‘iPad Pro’ shines for work, play and creativity – November 19, 2015
TIME Magazine reviews iPad Pro: ‘The best computer Apple has ever made’ – November 16, 2015
I’ve ditched my MacBook for an iPad Pro; here’s why – November 16, 2015
A designer’s take on the iPad Pro – November 13, 2015
iPad Pro: Day 2 and already making my work better, easier, and faster – November 13, 2015
Apple’s new iPad Pro is faster and more affordable than beleaguered Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 – November 12, 2015
Analyst: Apple’s iPad Pro and its powerful A9X CPU pose threat to Intel – November 12, 2015
Video: Apple Pencil for iPad Pro vs. Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 stylus – November 12, 2015
Apple’s A9X-powered iPad Pro offers Mac-like speed – November 11, 2015
Wired reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: ‘The best tablet, and the best case for tablets, anyone’s ever made’ – November 11, 2015
Horace Dediu reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: Unlike anything we’ve ever seen before – November 11, 2015
Ben Bajarin reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: ‘The start of something new’ – November 11, 2015
Is Apple’s epic iPad Pro for you? – November 11, 2015
Gruber reviews Apple’s iPad Pro: A MacBook replacement for many
Wednesday, November 11, 2015


      1. And yet they still compare them…That is my point. The iPad is compared to a PC when it benefits the PC, but the iPad is not counted as a PC, because that would make Apple #1 in market share..and the trilobites aren’t mentally prepared to acknowledge that.

        1. The only sources I’ve come across argue for the iPad to be considered a PC, which it most definitely is not. It’s a computer, yes, but a PC it’s not.

          Canalsys started this whole nonsense a couple of years ago. It’s not relevant. If you want a tablet, if that’s all you need, that’s fine.

    1. The day iOS can write and compile Apps for itself on itself, I’ll consider iOS devices full PCs along with Android which can already do so but which I don’t consider PCs at the moment.

        1. I’m just saying in order to have the functionality to create Apps for itself, all the underlying tech that makes a device a traditional PC has to exist Ie.g. file system, shared libraries, able to connect to external peripherals, etc.).. Can’t have the tip of the iceburg w/o the rest of it below the surface. Being able to develop programs for itself is a general indicator for what I think a PC is.. Where do you draw the line?

  1. Yeah I’ve seen those PC Surface losers touting their failing and faulty ecosystem and devices to the hills without anything to back it up, nor (intelligent) customers buying in. Microsoft continues to live down on their reputation, getting weaker by the minute and credibility shot to hell. A One Trick Pony without a hint of a future clue.

  2. You are quoting sales from September which was before the surface 4 and surface book was even released. What about the October and November sales? Care to comment on those.

    1. Has Microsoft released actual sales figures for October and November, or are you proposing to rely on guesses made by analysts? Please name your source.

      A widely circulated recent guess about Surface 4 sales came from 1010Data. In April that same 1010Data couldn’t resist using the trite phrase “Apple is almost a religion” when they were talking about Apple watch and their insightful analysis came to the conclusion that the brands with the most to lose against Apple watch were Timex, Casio and Seiko, while luxury watch brands will not be threatened due to their reliance on age and craftsmanship. Even just a few months later, their analysis is turning out to be somewhat wide of the mark as sales of high-end Swiss watches have experienced a significant downturn in the last few months, while sales of Apple watch appear to be strong ( although I acknowledge that Apple does not provide exact numbers for Apple watch sales, but the category in Apple’s accounts that includes watch sales has seen a significant boost since the watch went on sale ).

      I always like to judge the performance of analysts by looking at their past statements and seeing how things have panned out since. When you do that, you can work out if a particular company has a strong track record, or is not to be relied upon.

  3. MDN missed this piece today on BBC’s news.
    Microsoft’s chief legal officer Brad Smith attended a new conference announcing the lawsuit and applauded the state for its efforts to “protect consumers from tech support scams that have reached epidemic levels in recent years”.
    He said that his firm had received more than 180,000 customer calls regarding tech support fraud.
    ‘Vulnerable’ targets
    Microsoft estimates that 3.3 million Americans lose about $1.5bn annually from tech support scams.
    Such scams tended to disproportionately affect “the most vulnerable segments of our society”, he said, adding that tech support scams “have become a scourge on the internet”.

  4. I am no fan of the attempted merger between mobile/consumer hardware and desktop-compatible systems, but let’s face it, Apple is confused here too. Both companies are offering hobbled hardware in an attempt to force people to use their cloud services.

    The Apple fanboy club would be wise to remember that the Surface runs more apps that any iOS or Mac device — the Windows software catalog is by far the largest platform on the planet. By far. And I wouldn’t spend any time bragging up the iOS app store — it’s full of shit games and useless adware that reproduces websites, just like many Windows programs do.

    If you don’t think the Surface has the balls to do anything well (some models don’t, some do), then how do you defend the POS 2015 MacBook? For the same $1300 price as a cheesy M chipset MacBook, Microsoft offers a Core i5 chipset.

    So now some of you are going to argue that specs don’t matter and it’s all about feel. Then you’ll trot out the claim that an iPod Pro (which is obviously an attempt to answer Microsoft’s growing Surface presence!) can do anything that a Surface will. Wrong. The iPad Pro is hobbled with iOS (which by any functional, objective assessment is INFERIOR to Windows 10) and rather clumsy wired connectivity (you have to buy as #$%^&* USB camera adapter at Apple’s insanely outrageous prices). So when all is said and done, Apple’s fully outfitted iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil and USB adapter gives you a thin form factor with a crippled OS, (no file system) and only 128 GB of local storage.

    Therefore for those who want a bridge device that want to dabble with feet in both worlds will go with a Surface, because it is a better ecosystem and a better value. Clumsy and ugly, but more powerful for doing anything that requires both touchscreen and desktop work.

    For those who want a real computer, then you have to buy a MacBook Pro, which costs significantly more. Apple stopped making great entry-level, low-cost plastic bodies laptops and instead build overpriced thin netbooks (2015 MacBook).

    Of course, if all you want is a touchscreen media consumer device, then of course just stick with an iPad — which, in case nobody is willing to admit it, is selling just as flat as the smaller Surface models. It has the most constrained OS of them all, which would be perfect for elderly parents and computer newbies except for the fact that iOS is actually less user friendly and harder to learn than ever before. Older relatives have as many iOS questions (“why is it doing this?”, “how do i do that?”) than they’ve ever had with Windows. But then, I recommend Windows 7 and will not touch Windows 8. Windows 10 is just okay, just a big compromise — but still functionally better than iOS by any measure.

  5. Wow…Ipeople bashing Microsoft….what a concept!!! I use ms and iPhone. They both have good and bad points. However, surface IS selling very well. And yes it is a PC. And no it shouldn’t be compared to an iPad which is just a big iPhone (without the phone but with a mid range pc price). i products are very limited in what they can do. However, they run pretty well. Someday I fanatics will grow up and take the blindfolds off ….there’s a whole world out there!

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.