Here I am again with this week’s crop of Surface-related news stories.
A surprising amount of the news was about problems the New England Patriots (American Football) had with the Surface during the game last Sunday but there were still a few other noteworthy stories. I just had to dig for them a bit.
In this post:
- Surface and the NFL
- Surfacephone.com Rumors
- Microsoft Still Working on the Power Issues
- Tablets are Down but the Surface is Up
OK, here we go…[divider]
Surface News Roundup: Surface and the NFL
It seems that every time the tablets are doing well (which is about 99% of the time), the NFL coaches, players, and announcers call them “iPads” but, low and behold, when there’s a problem, suddenly everyone remembers that they’re Microsoft Surface tablets.
It happened again last Sunday during the AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos when a network problem (not a Surface problem) caused the Surfaces on the Patriots sidelines to stop working for a time. Of course, the Apple fansites jumped all over it and were quick to blame the Surface for the Patriot’s loss (CultofMac, AppleInsider) despite the fact that the tablets played no real role in the Patriot’s loss to the Broncos. (WinBeta)
In fact, the Surface has a pretty good track record with the NFL (WinBeta) and has actually been an effective tool for the teams.
Related: TechTimes [divider]
Surface News Roundup: Surfacephone.com Rumors
As you might imagine, this gives some credence to the Surface Phone rumors that have been floating around for a couple of months. However, it’s important to realize that just because they snatched up the name, it doesn’t mean a Surface Phone release is eminent. Microsoft can easily afford to sit on a domain name forever, “just in case” they decide to do something with it in the future.
Surface News Roundup: Microsoft Still Working on the Power Issues
When the January update for the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Books dropped, many of us were expecting there to be a patch to address the ongoing power management/sleep issues that have been plaguing the devices since launch. Unfortunately, the update package did not include patches to address those problems.
On the Microsoft Community Forum, a Microsoft representative said..
We know some of you are still experiencing issues, including issues related to power management, and we are working to address those as quickly as possible. We’ll publish additional updates as soon as they are ready.
As you might imagine, this was frustrating to many people suffering from these issues on their $1200 to $2600 premium device.
So far, Microsoft has not given an estimate on when the fix will be released. Instead, users will have to be patient and hope that the fix arrives soon. However, if you have the tech skills and are willing to try it, you can download and install a newly released display driver from Intel, that is reported to help with this problem.
Surface News Roundup: Tablets are Down but the Surface is Up
According to the latest figures, 2015 was the first time tablet shipments declined by double digits. According to TrendForce, only 168.5 million new tablets were shipped in 2015. This represents a 12.2% drop compared to 2014. Apple was down from 33% of the tablet market in 2014 to just 29.4% in 2015. TrendForce is predicting Apple’s market share will decrease to around 25% in 2016.
However, according to the same report, Microsoft’s shipment of Surface tablets actually grew by nearly 50% last year.
We can see further indications of the Surface’s success when we look at Surface line showed a nearly 30% increase in revenue (to $1.35 billion).
So, even though (or maybe because) the tablet market declined and issues occurred with the latest generation of products, it seems adoption of the Surface is growing.
And that’s it for this week. I’ll keep sifting through the plethora of new articles to sort the wheat from the chaff and give you another update next Sunday.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.