How do Surface earbuds fit in Nadella’s strategy?


If Nadella’s strategy for Microsoft is all about intelligent edge, cloud, etc, etc…

how do headphones and earbuds fit in that picture?

Comments (16)

16 responses to “How do Surface earbuds fit in Nadella’s strategy?”

  1. Tony Barrett

    I suspect this is more about MS seeing Apple do it, and of course, as MS are now a premium hardware maker <cough>, they want a piece of this pie too. I'm just not sure who these will appeal to - does MS have a market for this stuff? Whatever they are, they will be sufficiently expensive, easily lost, not really have a target audience and will be dropped in less than 12 months due to poor sales.

  2. PeterC

    Yes it’s a strange one I also ask myself. The only answers I came to are:

    1. They feel the enterprise and creative business user, especially more mobile workers, use them
    2. They were too far developed and committed to manufacture to cancel once the decision to delay/ cancel andromeda and Cortana was made
    3. As with surface they needed the skills learning for a future product category
    4. The mobile debacle message didn’t get through to everyone...

    I decided option 3 was the likely culprit, but if true the accessories made it before the new product did so makes me wonder about option 2.

  3. harmjr

    I think they are more of a billboard on your head for Microsoft. That mirrored 4 squares logo shinning off like a bad fashion statement.

  4. gregsedwards

    Same as the value proposition for Surface Headphones, just in a smaller form factor that better fits mobile users. As someone who owns a pair of Surface Headphones, I can report they are excellent for use in my office. However, I'm not lugging them around with me everywhere I go. For that, I currently use some excellent Jabra Elite Sport earbuds. If Surface Earbuds are on par with their larger over-the-ear counterparts, then I'll definitely be replacing my current Jabra earbuds with a pair.

    The Cortana stuff is nice, but it's not critical to their use. I don't think Cortana is done for as a personal assistant platform. It makes perfect sense for a device without a screen to provide verbal feedback, and why not use Cortana's voice? But it's nice that you can easily use them to interact with Cortana on your phone or PC. Otherwise, they're just a really great pair of noise-cancelling headphones. I'm not sure it needs to go beyond that, because you're likely going to have them connected to device that has it's own assistant framework.

    As far as the value for Microsoft, I think it's kind of like having a Surface-branded Mouse, Keyboard, Pen, Dial, or any other peripheral. It's just a way to round out their hardware lineup to cover all their bases. And they absolutely can compete. Sure, you can get just about any kind of peripheral from multiple vendors, but the Microsoft build quality is consistently excellent, and their features tend to be well designed and intuitive to use.

    For instance, I think we'll also see a Surface webcam later this year, which will feature Windows Hello and perhaps tight integration with Teams and streaming/broadcasting through Xbox or the Game bar. Does that offering make sense, given the virtual dominance of Logitech in the webcam space? Sure it does. And so do Surface Earbuds.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to gregsedwards:

      But you are the minority of a minority. MS have no audio heritage, so nobody is going to buy MS headphones for the audio quality - it just won't happen. MS have lost the consumer as a whole, so they're not going to be lining up for these or the earbuds either, and neither will the enterprise. I think these products are more about brand recognition - re-enforcing the Surface brand and filling gaps in the product portfolio.

      I can tell you what will happen though - they will be launched, there will be no advertising, they will be expensive and they will be on sale almost immediately, and they will disappear within a year. MS probably hope Surface owners will buy Surface branded devices in the hope others will see them. It's part of MS wanting to be Apple, or like Apple.

  5. Thom77

    Nadella has a strategy?

  6. waethorn

    They're wasteful spending, just like his paycheque. I guess that fits his strategy just fine.

  7. VancouverNinja

    These are most likely going to line up with and are part of, their Andromeda strategy. Our team loves the headphones and we use them for our execs for flights. Hard to beat them.

  8. Lordbaal

    And what's wrong with them making headphones? It fits in more for the surface and Xbox. And just general phone users.

  9. MarkPow

    "Snugly", I would imagine.