A selectively misquoted statement by Panos Panay is triggering a new wave of nausea among Surface fans. Folks, relax. He didn’t actually say that Microsoft would not make a Surface Pro 5.
Instead, Panay’s comments, to CNET, were entirely consistent with recent developments, including that Microsoft would “refresh” the current Surface Pro 4 ahead of any new device. Also, he applied the same long-term lifecycle to Pro 4 he just last week used with regards to the new Surface Book.
Also, I’m trying to imagine the person in charge of Microsoft actually telling customers to hold off on buying Surface Pro 4, which is how this conversation got started. Or revealing a future product before it’s ready to sell.
“If you’re considering a Surface Pro 4, is it better to sit tight and wait for the next generation?,” the CNET interviewer prompted Mr. Panay.
“If people don’t want to buy our Pro 4 at this time, that’s OK,” Panay said. “What I’m super, super sure of is that the people using a Pro 4 have a product that’s going to be competitive for five years.”
So will a Surface Pro 5 “appear soon,” CNET asked?
“When it’s meaningful and the change is right, we’ll put it on market,” he replied. That does not suggest that a Pro 5 is or is not happening soon, by the way. In fact, it’s a complete deflection.
“Meaningful change isn’t necessarily a hardware change, which is what a lot of people look for. They’re like, ‘Where’s the latest processor?’ That’s not what I mean. I’m looking for an experiential change that makes a huge difference in product line.”
CNET says that Panay said battery life and size/weight improvements are much more meaningful to him than a new processor.
“You’ll see that same meaningful impact when Pro 5, or Pro Next hits the market,” Panay then told CNET, before, in the publication’s word’s “quickly qualifying that, ‘there’s no such thing as a Pro 5’.”
Obviously, there will be. And as obviously, he means, “There is not such thing as a Surface Pro 5 … right now at this moment.” And as obviously, it would be dangerous for the man in charge of Surface to pre-announce a new product, destroying the sales of the current product. THAT was the reason for this quote, which you now see in headlines everywhere.
This has been blown out of proportion by far too many people.
Tagged with Surface Pro 4