Well, this week has been incredibly slow for Surface related news. Once you eliminate all of the Surface Phone, SP5, and SP2 rumors, anyway. So, this week’s Surface News Roundup will be shorter than normal.
In fact, I only have two articles for you this week:
- Surface Up, Phone Down
- Acer Switch Alpha vs SP4
On the plus side, you’ll have more time to play with your Surface as opposed to reading news about it. So, let’s jump in…
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Surface Up, Phone Down
Microsoft’s revenue only reached $20.5 billion during the 1st quarter of 2016. Poor babies, right? Well, last year, it was $21.7 billion for the 1st quarter. This is a drop of $1.7 billion! In addition, profits are down by as much as $1.2 billion when compared to the same time last year.
So, what happened? Well, the Nokia buyout happened.
Microsoft sold only 2.3 million Lumia phones during Q1 16. That’s a full 73% drop compared to Q1 15. This translates to a revenue shortfall of 46% which dragged down the company’s overall device revenue despite big gains in its Surface business.
You see, the Surface tablet and the Surface Book lines brought in a whopping $1.1 billion for Microsoft during the last quarter of 2016! Compared with $713 million during the same period last year, this is an increase of about $400 million.
That’s good news for the Surface line but, Microsoft better do something about the Lumina phone issues soon. Maybe holding off until 2017 isn’t the best idea on the Surface Phone, huh?
Weekly Surface News Roundup: Acer Switch Alpha vs SP4
Acer is joining other manufacturers and jumping into the Surface-clone business.
Previously, the Acer Aspire R 13 was the closest thing to a surface the company offered. However, now they’ve revealed the $600, liquid-cooled Switch Alpha 12.
It’s their first fan-less convertible to use Intel’s sixth-gen Skylake processors. And while it offers a 2160 x 1440 pixel display and optional back-lit keyboard, the build quality seems to be less than that of the Surface Pro 4. One reviewer said it “both looks and feels cheap“. Until more reviewers get their hands on one for extended periods of time, however, we won’t know about reliability since that’s more important than a subjective feeling of “cheapness”.
However, that $600 price point is tempting, so if you want something like a SP4 but less expensive, the Alpha 12 may be just what you’re looking for.
That’s it for this week’s Surface News Roundup. I know it was short but, that’s actually good news if you’re waiting on the next generation of devices. No, really, it is….
When Microsoft “clams up”, it USUALLY means that a new device is about to be released. Since we’re pretty sure the Surface Phone won’t happen until 2017 (if ever), it MIGHT mean the SP5 or Surface 4 is about to be announced.
It’s unlikely that the Surface Book 2 would be announced so soon after the Surface Book release (which was just 6 months ago).
I guess there’s noting else to do but wait and see.