IF YOU KEEP predicting a person is going to die next year, eventually, you'll be proved correct. This makes you less of a clairvoyant, and more a miserable person to invite to a New Year's Eve party.
That's true of both people and tech manufacturers, and while Google, Apple and Amazon look safe as houses now, so did BlackBerry, Nokia and Yahoo once. Eventually, all dynasties crumble - or at least, they have so far.
Last year, Canalys' CEO Steve Brazier predicted that Microsoft would kill off the Surface line of laptops by 2019. While there's still 78 days until that prediction completely expires, it's not a bet that you should be rushing to the bookies with, given Microsoft just revealed a new Surface Pro, Surface Laptop and Surface Studio due to ship from tomorrow.
But like a doomsday cult that just shift the date when the rapture fails to materialise, Brazier is doubling down. The Surface line is terminally ill, he maintains, it's just putting a brave face on things.
"I stand by the fact that it doesn't make sense," he told The Register, maintaining that 2019 is the year when Surface goes belly up. "It would be much more sensible for Microsoft to stop spending money on Surface and focus on its cloud and application business where it's doing really well."
He's not kidding. Microsoft's cloud business is Satya Nadella's personal gravy train, with Azure growing 89 per cent year on year at the last count, and helping Microsoft to pass $100 billion in revenue. By contrast, Surface is small change - like an investment banker topping up his or her earnings with a paper round.
"I think [Nadella] will get to that conclusion. It may need them to have a choppy quarter or two before he pulls the plug."
Hmmm, maybe. But given Microsoft's last fiscal report shows a 25 per cent jump in Surface-related revenue, we may be waiting a while for that choppy quarter to, uh, surface. µ
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