Windows 10 S on Surface Laptop :: Does not compute

by Volker Weber

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 15.59

This event yesterday was two events. Short intro from Satya, then Terry Myerson's Windows 10 S show, then Panos Panay's Surface Laptop unveiling. Panos is the best presenter in the industry, Terry is not. But he is Panos' boss. And I am pretty sure he forced Panos to ship Windows 10 S (Terry's child) with Surface (Panos' child). It just does not make any sense, as much as I like a Windows Store only machine.

As far as the important US K12 education market (Kindergarden to 12th grade) is concerned Google is wiping the floor with both Apple and Microsoft. Chromebooks are cheap and they are dead simple. Apple made some adjustments with iOS 9.3, but more than every second device sold in 2016 (in the US, to K12) was a Chromebook. As much as Microsoft impresses me with their new software, Windows 10 S isn't easy. It's easier, but it's not Chromebook easy. However, it's the only weapon Microsoft has. And they are bringing in partners to build cheap and robust hardware that schools will like.

Surface Laptop in contrast is a premium offering. Panos was addressing college kids (orientation to graduation), which might otherwise buy a Macbook. Those machines are not going to be setup by school administrators and controlled via Intune. They are very personal and they will need software not in the store. You can't lock them down into Edge and Bing. They can be upgraded to Pro and frankly they should ship with Pro.

Here is what really happened: Terry used Panos to deliver a message to developers. Get in the store, or else. And I am pretty sure that developers will not react. This needs to be fixed. Free Pro upgrades until the end of 2017 is just a band-aid.

And for the next Surface unveiling: let Panos run the whole show, Terry. It's OK, we know you are the boss.

Comments

Actually, Hair Force One might be the best presenter in the industry. Otherwise, a brilliant analysis.

Thomas Cloer, 2017-05-03

Fully agreed. USD 1000-1500 is a bit expensive to be used as a modern 3270 :-) But this might be my first Windows machine in years, or the Lenovo X1 Carbon.

Volker, what is your reasoning behind "developers won't react"?

Peter Daum, 2017-05-04

They react to carrots, not sticks. And they can see, what I can see. People will upgrade to Pro.

Volker Weber, 2017-05-04

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