Apple and Microsoft’s Battle for the PC Market

Next week looks to be an interesting one. Microsoft is having a hardware launch event where we expect new Surfaces to, wait for it, surface. Apple is also having an event the day after, which we assume is to update the Mac line.

When we look at the trajectory of the Microsoft Surface, it is clear they are going after the same high-end professional audience Apple has had a monopoly on for some time. Many of the things I predicted for the PC market are starting to happen.

Things like, we are seeing ASPs rise. In fact, premium Windows hardware, not just Surfaces, are starting to gain in share against the Mac in quarterly sales. Part of this includes a steady rise in high-end gaming systems but, even as consumers and enterprises start to refresh their PCs, we are seeing them spend more money not less. The behavior behind this is due to PC buyers knowing they will hold onto their machine for 6,7, or even 8 years and are therefore willing to spend the money to make sure it lasts.

We are slowly seeing PC consolidation. Acer is not the player they once were. They are falling slowly and their share is being taken by more established brands. White box, or less established brands, are shrinking in sales again as the market consolidates around brands.

The PC industry overall continues to decline as we are still waiting to see where the bottom is in annual shipments.

We suspected the dynamics were changing around these points and that is indeed what has happened. The market for people who still need PC hardware is likely around a billion, maybe slightly more. That is not a small market and a reason why it is a key market and will remain so for some time. Humans everywhere still work, learn, play, and more on these devices. We simply don’t refresh them as often as we used to. They last longer, the technology is good enough, and a host of other things have changed the dynamics. They are still important. But they are no longer the main computer device in consumers’ lives.

Microsoft got into PCs about four years ago and has been going along with roughly ~1m units of sales per quarter but making solid margins and strong ASPs. Microsoft has targeted the high-end from day one and their partners tend to target the lower price tiers for their volume sales. Microsoft is, in my opinion, the one PC brand that can actually challenge Apple. I say this for a few reasons.

First, they have been building a strong PC brand around Surface. We continually see the Surface brand rising in sentiment among consumers and, in particular, millennials. I have said this before — Macs are a dominant PC brand with the younger cohort and enterprises everywhere will tell you they can’t hire millennials unless they offer or support Macs. Microsoft is the only other brand besides Apple where we see strong sentiment and purchase intent from this group. But Microsoft is strengthening their case in enterprise as well. They also are showing up on the IT menu of offered devices, much to the chagrin of their partners. Microsoft, with their 4th generation of products, is viewed as a credible maker of quality PCs and that is what is driving their upward trend.

Second, the first party hardware group inside Microsoft is very much like a mini-Apple, culture wise, inside Microsoft. The more time I spend with Panos, who runs this group, and the team he has assembled, the more I see things that resemble the Apple way of doing things. This continually impresses me and is a key reason I am bullish on the Surface family of PC hardware.

Both Microsoft and Apple seem to be positioning themselves to go after the same target customers. Those who value design, experience, integration, ease of use, brand, and are willing to spend more than others to get the things they want. Apple customers don’t settle, they don’t compromise, and I’m finding similar profiles of the growing customer base for Microsoft Surface.

My keys for both Apple and Microsoft next week is to show me they understand the customer they are going after and provide unique innovations for this group of people who still know and love their PCs because they use them for many hours every day. I want to see unique software for this form factor and how both will foster novel development of software from third parties for both their high-end PCs. Mobile platforms have seen most the focus of third party developers but both Microsoft and Apple need to foster different software that caters to the everyday PC user.

The everyday PC user is a key and valuable demographic. They want to have tools which focus and cater to them and their workflows. This is what I hope the emphasis of both new Surfaces and new Macs includes.

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Ben Bajarin

Ben Bajarin is a Principal Analyst and the head of primary research at Creative Strategies, Inc - An industry analysis, market intelligence and research firm located in Silicon Valley. His primary focus is consumer technology and market trend research and he is responsible for studying over 30 countries. Full Bio

60 thoughts on “Apple and Microsoft’s Battle for the PC Market”

  1. I think the PC market is going high end because phones — and tablets — are taking the low end. Many, many people simply do not need a second computer. Their phone is all they need.

    Low priced PCs were bought by people who needed a PC, but didn’t use it much. Those people are no longer buying PCs at all.

    If you buy a PC, it’s because you need one. And if you need one, you need it because you’re a power user. And if you’re a power user, you want to get the best.

    1. Good points but I have one question: If phones are taking the low end and PC’s are taking the high-end / power-user segment, where does that leave the tablet? Doesn’t seem like there’s room for it.

      1. A phone that fits comfortably in my pocket is too tiny for me to use for 95% of what I use my tablet for. For those who don’t mind carrying around huge phablets, there’s probably less need for a tablet. For those who prefer their phones svelte, a tablet is far more comfortable to use in almost every way, without the cumbersome deskbound form factor of a laptop.

    2. Totally agree. If you can only afford one device, the phone covers the most bases because you need a phone anyway. Netbooks have been replaced by tablets, which though not PCs cover that market well. Netbooks were PCs, but lousy ones.

      Now to where I care… You’re absolutely right, If your going to have a PC, expect to pay for a PC. If you’re only going to have one PC, it “might” be foolish if it’s non-serviceable, especially if it’s a desktop. Who needs a thin desktop with the same footprint, at the expense of serviceability? Poor experience.

      1. If the PC lasts for close to a decade, has the lowest total cost of ownership, and exceeds all your needs, why does it need to be user-serviceable? All PCs are serviceable by authorized shops of course, even Macs, so I assume you must mean user-serviceable.

        1. Yes, of course, I mean user serviceable. I was agreeing with the power user perspective Falkirk discussed. Power users save a ton of money doing their own work.

          Contrast that with the $800 13” MBP screen Apple quoted me to repair…

          Another reason, who wants to be up to 10 years behind? Modest user-serviceable upgrades from a large ecosystem, with economies of scale and competition from multiple interchangeable sources are very appealing, and it’s the way it’s been for decades. That is, until recently. The future is not always bright.

          1. “Power users save a ton of money doing their own work.”

            This is not true. You have to ignore the opportunity cost with this line of reasoning. My time has value, I choose not to waste it doing my own computer repair work. Now, if you love doing computer repair work as a hobby, that’s fine, have at it.

            “who wants to be up to 10 years behind”

            It depends what you need your computer to do for you. I have two iMacs that are approaching 8 years old, both running the latest Mac OS, both working just fine.

            “it’s the way it’s been for decades”

            This was only because the market was immature and not consumer-facing. That is changing now. As markets mature they move towards integration and abstraction. We lose some things and we gain others. You don’t need to fear progress, on balance it will be positive for you.

          2. These, as described, are not consumer level PCs. My PC cost about $5000 in parts, but it’s a beast by any measure. Apple doesn’t even make anything approximating it for under $10K. It cost two hours of my time, and I don’t charge $2500/hour.

            When the time comes for a new MB, CPU, and RAM, that’s all I need to buy. SSDs (several) already on hand. Dual videocards can either be repurposed, kept, or replaced. It also does not need to be at once.

          3. You’re dodging the issue. Opportunity cost is real and many users would prefer to spend their time using their tools instead of fiddling with their tools. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s wrong for you to build your own PC, if you like doing that, great. But it also isn’t wrong that many users, including power users, do not want to build and repair their own machines.

            You keep bringing up that phrase, ‘power user’, when in fact you mean ‘hobbyist’. You’re not a power user just because you built or repaired a PC. The real power users are the folks I work with that have Masters degrees in Computer Science, or Engineering, and a lot of those folks just use off the shelf Macs, and even iPads.

          4. What is FACT is that PCs that are easier to service are less expensive to maintain and upgrade for ALL, both the user or a service provider or hired help. Talk about dodging the issue…

          5. Not necessarily, if a less serviceable PC can be made more durable and have a longer life span then that is what is less expensive long term, and more productive. This is what IBM is finding with 100,000 + Macs deployed, lower total cost of ownership. Of course this has always been true, going back decades, Macs have always been cheaper long term.

          6. But when the less serviceable PC does need service, it’s more expensive to service.

            What about time and money wasted deciding which rigid configuration to buy. Or, heaven forbid, you bought one with insufficient storage, RAM, or video capability. Or with the speed of progress we both admire, a new tech can’t be added?

            These are “disposable” configurations.
            “Macs are cheaper long term”

            Nothing is more expensive than “it won’t do the job”. Not 90% of them, all of them.

          7. “But when the less serviceable PC does need service, it’s more expensive to service.”

            That can be true, yes. But in my experience the need for service is very rare on the Macs I’ve owned, so a bit more money per repair or upgrade doesn’t matter, it’s still cheaper long term. And it isn’t just my experience, there’s lots of data on the total cost of ownership going back decades. IBM’s data just happens to be the latest, and a very large sample. You seem to just be waving your hands and dismissing that, because you don’t like that it doesn’t agree with your personal beliefs.

          8. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but a user’s time is not always the main consideration. How much I cost my client is. I may not charge $2500 an hour, but I could _cost_ my client at least that much if they have to wait two more hours for me to finish my part in a project. That is the case of the power users I mentioned that I know. It isn’t just our time that’s money, it is often our clients’ time, too. And if I cost my client that much money from my delay, you can bet it will cost me even more when I lose that client.


          9. “It cost two hours of my time”

            As Glaurung-Quena has already pointed out to you, you’re not fully accounting for your time over the life of the PC. You don’t seem to fully understand what opportunity cost is. Both jfutral and Glaurung-Quena have explained it a bit more for you.

          10. I will leave opportunity costs to the accountants and bean counters, lest I start putting a money value on the time I spend here. As I already said to GQ, naps are expensive too.

            Thigh I very much care about getting the most performance for a fraction of out of pocket costs, I also very much care about the versatility and freedom my computers provide. How do you put a dollar figure on that?

          11. It’s quite simple actually, but as GQ already pointed out, if you enjoy spending your time in that way there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem isn’t that you enjoy tinkering with computers, the problem is that you put forth the notion that your opinion on this matter is morally superior. It is not.

          12. Whether I enjoy it is immaterial. One can pay with their time, talent or treasure, or some combination of the three. I want to keep out of pocket costs to a minimum.

            And still, at ANY price, I can’t get Nvidia cpu’s in my Mac Pro (2013). What if I needed/wanted CUDA? What if I like green over red, or vice versa on some models. What made computers “magical” was their versatility, not their form factor.

          13. It’s a perfectly fine choice to tinker with your own computers, but you’re fooling yourself if you think it isn’t costing you something, whether that’s time with family and friends, lost income, productivity, and so on. I would hope you spend time on things you enjoy.

            If a Mac Pro doesn’t meet your needs then don’t buy it. That should be the end of that discussion. No company meets every person’s needs.

            Macs are incredibly versatile for me, the durability of the iMacs I have purchased allows me to spend my time using the computers, instead of troubleshooting or repairing them. Macs afford me a great deal of versatility, value, and freedom. Is it some sort of crime that Apple puts effort into the design of their products as well? Why can’t we have things that are well-designed AND work well?

            Now, it is clear Macs do not meet your needs, and again that’s fine, but you simply cannot say that your opinion of how computing should be is morally superior. Your needs and choices are simply that, your needs and choices. They aren’t universal and they aren’t morally superior.

          14. Of course you pay somehow, it’s about how you pay.

            “If a Mac Pro doesn’t meet your needs then don’t buy it. That should be the end of that discussion. No company meets every person’s needs.”

            I have a Mac Pro because I want to have a Mac around, and it replaced a Mac Mini. Would it ever be my only computer? Not in a million years, for all the reasons we’re discussing. Haven’t used it in months, other than to update it.

            This is also the crux of my position, which ecosystem fits the broadest needs, with best of breed components across the board. Not a brand, an ecosystem. The more versatile ecosystem accommodates more users, suppliers, and “things to be done” that the more intentionally restricted one. This is “morally” superior.

            I didn’t name a brand in my opening comment, but let’s go with that.

            I said..

            ” it “might” be foolish if it’s non-serviceable, especially if it’s a desktop. Who needs a thin desktop with the same footprint, at the expense of serviceability? Poor experience.”

            What did you gain with the thinner iMac with the same footprint?
            Nothing that’s not vain. Some customer’s did lose flexibility. And while we’re on the iMac, it’s utterly ludicrous that the 27″ contains an i5 at $2K. It should at least start with an i7 at $2K, just because it’s $2K. Oh, and it was $2K before the 5k screen.

          15. “This is also the crux of my position, which ecosystem fits the broadest needs, with best of breed components across the board. Not a brand, an ecosystem. The more versatile ecosystem accommodates more users, suppliers, and “things to be done” that the more intentionally restricted one. This is “morally” superior.”

            What you actually mean is “which ecosystem fits my needs”. What you define as “broadest needs” isn’t the same for me. I have different needs, I’m looking for different kinds of value, different attributes in the product.

            “The more versatile ecosystem” for you is not the more versatile ecosystem for me. Your “more versatile ecosystem” accommodates users in specific ways that do not work well for me. Your “more versatile ecosystem” is actually more restrictive, for me. But it is a better choice for you.

            Neither choice is morally superior.

            Your discussion of price is what is “utterly ludicrous” to me. I get so much value and use out of the iMacs I buy that price is not a primary consideration. But I respect your choice to put an emphasis on price.

            “What did you gain with the thinner iMac with the same footprint?”

            I would have thought this was obvious, progress towards ever thinner and lighter devices as well as progress on miniaturization, and that will have long term benefits for everyone. I understand you are not willing to live with the compromises involved in that progress. I am. Again, we seek different value and have different needs. Again, neither is morally superior.

          16. There is no way, other than OSX, for the broader ecosystem to be more restrictive for you. And OSX is just a preference, or already too invested.

            No one forces you to fiddle, upgrade, or even know what most ports are if you don’t choose them. In the case of the iMac and MBP they took functionality away.

            Your words, which describe your temperament, indicate that you would do well under a restrictive, authoritarian, government, thus a morally inferior one. But you “choose” to live there, and that’s fine.
            Your choice does not effect the moral inferiority of authoritarianism.

          17. Heh, you’re really doubling down on your choices and needs being morally superior. That’s disappointing but not surprising. You truly don’t seem to understand how Apple’s approach to technology is less restrictive (for me), provides a great deal of value to me, and affords me more freedom. Hmm, are you American? I can’t remember. That would explain a lot actually.

          18. Only double down? You’re too gracious!
            This is what anti-authoritarians do. Yes, I’m an American from the lesser of our right wing parties.

            What you use is a subset of possibilities. I would have an easier time with Apple if they at least offered models that were serviceable instead of just taking it away.

          19. So you’re steeped in individualism from birth and your identity is wrapped up in that culture, which leads to a natural desire to view yourself as anti-authoritarian, when in reality you pretty much follow rules and live like everyone else (don’t you *lease* a BMW?) Whining about Apple’s approach to technology does not make you anti-authoritarian, and it doesn’t magically make your opinion on computing technology morally superior. I’m amazed I got you to admit that so many times. Morally superior… heh, the ego on you pal.

          20. Yes I lease a BMW, and a Nissan, and I don’t claim to own them. I also don’t give a crap about BMW or Nissan the companies. So?

            Americans are aware of their rights (well many of us anyway), and are pretty selective over who gets authority and how they get it. It has to do with a democratic process. Sure you can chose see to live in a co-op. Doing so you are self censoring, and checking in some rights at the gate. A morally inferior position IMO.

          21. “You don’t need to fear progress, on balance it will be positive for you.”
            Don’t you dare preach to me on what I think is positive for me. Who do you think you are? Jobs?

          22. No, as is typical, you present your (flawed) opinions as facts.
            Your opinion of what is positive for me, does not supersede mine, for myself, hence the “who do you think you are”, and why your logic is flawed.

          23. It’s not an opinion. Progress happens whether you like it or not. Progress inevitably has downsides and upsides but on balance tends to be positive for humans. I’m assuming you’re a human of course.

          24. Just because that’s the way it’s always been doesn’t mean that’s the way it always should be. Cars are another great example.

          25. That flexibility is important to you, it isn’t objectively important, and the trade offs are better for many users. You seem unable to think outside yourself and understand that your needs are not universal.

          26. By your very own words, yours aren’t universal either. There exist users such as myself. That’s why user serviceability as a broader, more encompassing feature, is more inclusive for all, and thus more universal.

          27. Broader user serviceability necessarily limits how a device can be made, which can impact scale, cost, and many other factors. The difference between you and I is that I recognize and respect your needs and I don’t put forth the notion that my needs are universally better. You continually argue that your approach is more inclusive, universal, better, morally superior, etc. That simply isn’t true.

          28. Broader serviceability means…
            -You can buy base model now and modify as your needs change.
            -You can replace a failed part easier and more affordably.

            No limits whatsoever. It’s as complex as the desired configuration.

            Flexibility yields more inclusiveness to needs. Rigidity is more exclusive of needs. Flexible is morally superior to rigid.

          29. And there we have it, your admission that your approach is morally superior, which of course is nonsense. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, and meet different needs. That you can’t accept that neither is actually morally superior says it all.

          30. I wouldn’t want to repair either one, they’re appliances. The only saving grace the Pixel has for me is that it’s not censored, otherwise: no SD, no inductive charging, non-waterproof, no sale.

          31. Depends on the kind of power user, I suppose. I know Photoshop, CAD, audio, or video editing software power users that don’t want to know anything hardware related except that it can do what they need it to do. They never open their computers. It isn’t cost-effective for them time-wise. They would rather pay someone else to deal with that stuff so they can concentrate on the work that pays their bills.


          32. Even if they pay someone else it’s cheaper. Case in point, I got a third party to repair my son’s MBPO screen for $500, instead of $800, and that’s for a difficult to service item.

          33. In the context of power users and whether or not they need/want user serviceability, my point is that it depends on the power user. Not all power users are the same. Not all power users want to fiddle with the hardware.


          34. ALl I’m saying is if they don’t want to fiddle, it’s still cheaper for a third party to do it over a third part working on an equivalent sealed system. Also, I don’t think too many third parties would pick up a soldering iron to replace RAM.

          35. Given the recent data from IBM it would seem the ‘but PCs are cheaper than Macs’ argument is over. Macs are far cheaper re: total cost of ownership.

          36. According to IBM’s cost structures, book cookers, and needs, it may be so. IBM is not everyone. They are operating under the disposable machine scenario.

          37. No, this has always been true. Macs have always been cheaper long term. We just have a ton of data now that IBM has deployed so many Macs.

          38. “I got a third party to repair my son’s MBP screen for $500, instead of $800,”

            And how long did the repair take, from the moment it broke to picking it up all fixed? If your son is in university, he’s probably paying at least $100 per day for his education, not counting room and board. And I am sure that he would say his laptop is essential to his education. Suppose it took your third party repairman 5 days to get the part in and do the repair. That’s 5 days of lost education time due to not having the computer = $500 wasted tuition, plus $500 repair cost = $1000. Compared to the cost of just buying a refurbished Macbook Air direct from Apple = $900.

            I am not suggesting that your approach was wrong, I am trying to show that there are alternative, equally legitimate methods of accounting, under which paying to repair a computer is not cost effective.

          39. I have plenty of laptops in the house, and I gave him one to use. It did take a week.

            Now answer me this…$800 for an $1100 laptop? Granted, it’s a screen which is expensive, but if a small company can make money on it by charging $500, I can’t help but get cynical towards Apple.

            As far as accounting goes… corporate PCs are really their own category, and even there, it’s by department. Here we’re talking about an individual buying a singular, very expensive machine (as per Falkirk’s premise, with which I agreed) and obviously needing to get the most out of it.

          40. “Power users save a ton of money doing their own work.”

            Depends on who you’re talking about. Suppose your time is worth $100 per hour. Then for a $1000 computer, spending more than 10 hours working on the machine is wasted money. For an inexpensive $500 computer, spending more than 5 hours is wasted money. That includes time spent researching the upgrade, buying the parts, finding and reviewing instructions for how to install the upgrade, performing the upgrade, testing the upgraded machine, and in the case of a storage upgrade, cloning the disk onto the new drive.

            I know that I personally could not justify messing around with laptop hardware if my time was worth $100 an hour. Even a simple RAM upgrade on models where a single screw exposes the slots, if I honestly kept track of all my time from visiting to picking up the parcel from the post office, from performing the upgrade to booting it into memtest86 and keeping an eye on the test progress, it would absolutely not be cost effective.

            As it happens, I enjoy messing around with PCs and so I don’t put any cost to the time I spend working on them. But if every hour spent working on one was $100 in lost income, then I would absolutely never do it. Take it in to a pro shop and have them do it for me. And if the PC in question was my work machine, then it would be cheaper for me to just buy a new machine (and then pay to have the work done on the old machine so I’d have a spare) than have it spend even a single working day in the shop.

          41. But what are the alternatives ? Do they actually take less time than DIY ?

            Bringing your PC to a service center takes way longer than dumping a stick of RAM in it yourself, especially since it might not be outpatient surgery and a backup is warranted just in case. The closest Apple Store for example, is about 1hr away from me when traffic is light, 2+ at peak hours (ie, when it’s open unless I take a day off to go there).

            Arranging for an on-site tech is a lot more expensive, and probably only marginally less time-consuming if you don’t work from home and have to coordinate, go back home, then back to work…

            And pre-op backups and checks, post-op tests have to be done anyway.

            That’s what I did when I got tired of being Mr PC guy for all friends and family: I’ll fix it, just bring it to me. Requests dropped precipitously.

            To me, purely on a time basis, DIY is probably faster+cheaper+better quality is you’ve got the skills to do it. My DIY PCs fail a lot less than Macs or OEM PCs. Then again, they’re not as cheap as Dells and got a real man’s PSU and no “checklist” graphics card.

            Also, most parts fit in a mailbox, no need to go pick them up at the post office.

          42. Indeed. For a long time I stopped DIY and modified branded computers instead. Then I finally got sick and tired with their locked down BIOSs and such that I went back to DIY.

          43. “Bringing your PC to a service center takes way longer than dumping a stick of RAM in it yourself,”

            Even a trivial RAM upgrade requires lots of little bits and pieces of time which quickly add up once you account for them all — determine what part you need to buy, buying it, picking up and opening the package, determining how to install it, doing the actual installation,
            and testing to make sure the RAM is good.

            Any DIY work on the machine comes directly out of your personal time, which is priceless, or else out of your work time, which is worth whatever you charge per hour. As opposed to dropping the thing off at the local shop on the way to work and then picking it back up on the way home; if it wasn’t a hobby for me, I’d go with the local shop. Then again, there’s been at least one local computer shop no more than four blocks from my home at each of my last three addresses — the benefits of living in a big city.

            Finally, even if avoiding DIY upgrades doesn’t make sense by a strict accounting of minutes spent, it makes sense in terms of conserving your limited attention and brain space for more important things. If you don’t enjoy mucking around inside computers, then devoting your attention and thinking to an upgrade can seem like an incredible waste of mental time compared to just dropping it off at a shop and picking it up all done.

          44. Karma is a… nasty woman: my precious DIY PC died this morning, wouldn’t even get to POST/BIOS. Luckily, I have a Real Laptop ™, and could hook it up to my 2 screens and doodads and kind-of work, at netbook speeds.

            Once I was set up again, took a couple of hours to dismantle the thing, diagnose (PSU goes up for 2s, switches off, goes up again…) and try fixes (swap PSUs, remove vidcard, disassemble and clean, re-seat cables…).. finally call support (some e-tailers still do good support ! ) get told the symptoms mean the motherboard went into power protection mode due to a power surge, remove power, remove CMOS battery, power-cycle on empty a few times, re-insert battery, reconnect power, JOY ! Never had that before, was thinking failing PSU until the 2nd didn’t work either, then CPU overheat or fail…

            My cooking plates died too… *that* is going to be a straight dump and replace ^^

            edit: apparently my PC clock is off by 12hrs ^^

    3. “Those people are no longer buying PCs at all. If you buy a PC, it’s because you need one. And if you need one, you need it because you’re a power user.”

      I somewhat disagree. I think you’re erasing the category of people who have most of their needs met by a tablet or phone, but who sometimes use a computer because it is more convenient to do so — the thing they want to do benefits (not requires, but is made easier) from having a large screen or from having a physical mouse or keyboard. Or they are just more familiar with using their old PC software for the thing they’re trying to do. You don’t have to be a power user to think that sometimes a laptop is the best choice.

      And as a matter not of need, but of *convenience*, they’re going to replace their existing PC when it stops working for them. Not often, because even cheap low end laptops can last a decade or longer. But they will eventually want to replace their laptop for convenience sake.

      1. I somewhat disagree as well. I need a PC for the CAD work I do, but I am certainly not going to get a high end desktop or even a high end laptop. I will get the most I can for what I want to spend, which is the 13″ Macbook Pro. The problem with spending more is the level of diminishing returns for what I do. But there is no tablet or phone that can do any of this I do on the laptop.

        That said, I do use my laptop primarily as my desktop and only take it out when I am going out on tour. But I do not need the additional features a desktop provides and I don’t need the few extras a 15″ Macbook offers, either. And I don’t consider myself a power user, at least not any more. Just an experienced user. I don’t have the time or desire.


  2. The bottom in annual shipments – divide the number of devices actually being used by human beings by how long a laptop can be expected to last before it breaks. Subtract the number of used devices that hit the market each year. That’s your floor.

    Microsoft’s own hardware targeting the high end – not from the very beginning. They started out primarily targeting the ipad. That went down in flames as absolutely nobody wanted to buy their Surface RT devices. They managed to snatch a morsel of victory from the jaws of defeat and pivoted to focus exclusively on their surface pro models… but that wasn’t the initial game plan.

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