Microsoft to 'expand the [Surface] product line-up'

Today, Microsoft announced record earnings of $21.46 billion for Q4 2012 with $6.83 billion in profit, on the back of an increase in revenue for the Windows division. While the company declined to release any solid sales figures for their Surface tablet, an interesting tidbit of information was missed from the conference call: CFO Peter Klein said they would "expand the product line-up" when asked about Surface by an analyst.

The statement was surrounded by a few others made by Klein, including that they would "expand geographically" and "expand retail distribution and capacity" while reiterating that the Surface was a "contributing factor to revenue growth." It's possible that the statement made in reference to expanding the product line-up is referring to the imminent release of the Surface Pro, but expanding the line-up beyond officially confirmed devices is almost certainly going to happen in the future.

In recent times we've only had one, somewhat iffy rumor related to the future of the Surface, which claimed that there will be three Surface products of varying sizes in the second-generation line-up. While Microsoft's CFO reiterated today that there is a future for the Surface, it's still going to be quite some time before we see a successor; likely after the release of Windows Blue and once Windows 8 has gained more market traction.

Source: Microsoft conference call (about half way in) via CNET | Image via Microsoft

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24 Comments

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Microsoft desperately needs to spend some resources to shore up and maintain their existing business customers using laptops and desktops. Ignoring them to pander to the consumer marketplace is risky, at best.

I personally prefer the 4:3 screen ratio like the iPad has, it feels more like holding a document (I quite like portrait). Hopefully there will be some Windows tablets like that at some point.

I was really waiting for the surface pro but not at that price, I guess I will have to wait and see if they drop in price

Kevin Hsu said,
Windows Blue + Haswell == BUY, and if I have no money, SHOPLIFT.

er no, you MUST pay subscription fee (regularly) to keep using the Blue,
if you fail to pay, the Blue will stop functioning.

I still hope that MS put its acts together and launch a Surface phone with carriers, OEMs and all these exclusivities Nokia got tangled with. Direct, timely updates, available one week after the announcement etc. etc.
I would buy it immediately.

What would a 'Surface Phone' bring? What OS would it run? How would a Surface Phone work in the market with Windows Phone?

I expect a Surface Phone will run WinPhone 8? Considering the Surface tablets run Windows would it not be horribly confusing? More confusing than now with Surface RT & Surface Pro?

I think a surface phone would be awesome, although Nokia would be ****ed off!

It's much preferable from my perspective to have the hardware & software from the same vendor, less fragmentation is a great thing. I know a lot of people at work with iPhone's for that reason alone, if they could buy a google-made android phone (motorola I guess) or microsoft windows phone, they'd do that instead.

I don't think it would be too confusing, while there's bound to be some that get confused, the fact it's a 'phone' is a clear indication of being a different device.

I'm yet to meet someone get confused between a nexus phone & a nexus tablet

that would be a failure!, because Nokia and HTC are already delivering Top of the Line products, there is no Issue here, in the tablet segment is different because like MS predicted the OEM's where too lazy using cheap and plastic designs....

derekaw said,
What would a 'Surface Phone' bring? What OS would it run? How would a Surface Phone work in the market with Windows Phone?

I expect a Surface Phone will run WinPhone 8? Considering the Surface tablets run Windows would it not be horribly confusing? More confusing than now with Surface RT & Surface Pro?


What confusion? Surface is just a Brand; the phone could run WP8 or WP9. The,confusion is created by the way MS named two completely different devices: call Surface RT as "Smart display Tablet" and Surface Pro " PC Tablet" or something like that and the problem would be solved. OEM would have to deal with the Surface phone as they deal with Surface Tablets.
At the beginning release such device in more mature markets than the US one where the carriers racket screws customers thanks to well foraged politicians and, hopefully, people here will wake up as well.

Ad Man Gamer said,
A dock would be nice.

They'd have to redesign the Surface to support a dock since the power connector is on the side at present, and the connector at the bottom is just for the keyboard and nothing else.

TCLN Ryster said,
They'd have to redesign the Surface to support a dock since the power connector is on the side at present, and the connector at the bottom is just for the keyboard and nothing else.
WiGig.

TCLN Ryster said,

They'd have to redesign the Surface to support a dock since the power connector is on the side at present, and the connector at the bottom is just for the keyboard and nothing else.

False, you can send whatever you want through that port, it just depends on how people want to use it. I wouldn't rule out a second screen, maybe not this generation but the next.

I hope not. The idea seems cool but I can't imagine the visibility will be very good with a transparent display.

Worse, what about privacy? I don't need everyone in the airport to easily read my business E-mails.

Does this mean we might one day see cheaper Surface models at the sacrifice of some specs? Because the price despite being fair compared to iPads is still off putting.

muffinsyay said,
Does this mean we might one day see cheaper Surface models at the sacrifice of some specs? Because the price despite being fair compared to iPads is still off putting.

Maybe if/when we see a 7 inch model. Till then I think the only way we will see a cheaper one is when the old models go on sale to clear stock for the new ones.

Is it? £80 less for a surface than the equivalent size iPad doesn't seem off-putting to me?

I'm more holding out hopes for a 13" version. Then I can happily replace my laptop and tablet & reduce my number of devices lying around by 1. (Or I'll get asus' transformer book when it gets a haswell refresh).