Confirming my earlier report, a senior Microsoft official this week finally responded to rumors that the software giant would kill its Surface hardware lineup in two years.
“It’s so far from the truth,” Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay said this week, responding to the rumors, “a tabloid rumor of the week.”
And that, literally, is all we have to go on. Compare this single-sentence retort to the firm’s all-out PR campaign to discredit Consumer Reports, when that very credible consumer advocacy publication declared that Surface reliability was the lowest in the PC industry.
Based on internal Microsoft communications that I viewed, the company was not able to counter the Consumer Reports claims, which were naturally skewed by the unreliable Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 releases. However, it feels that newer products like Surface Pro (2017) and Surface Laptop are more reliable. And it can point to very positive consumer satisfaction data: Buyers who stick with Surface tend to really enjoy the products.
But Microsoft also responded publicly to that event in a lengthy blog post. With the latest rumors of a planned Surface death in 2019, the firm has been notably quiet. And I’m surprised that only a single executive has issued a single sentence to address the claims.
Regardless, it was immediately obvious that reports of the impending death of Surface were based purely on speculation and wishful thinking. Which is, of course, what I initially reported. In other words, nothing to see here.
As for Microsoft, it has one more chance to respond: Mr. Panay is appearing at a company event later this month in London, and I expect him to at least make a quip about it.