Microsoft saw record sales for its Surface line of products in November, and the company cited consumers’ “disappointment” with Apple’s new professional-grade laptop as one reason for this windfall.
Back in October, the Seattle-based technology giant rolled out a range of new Surface-branded products, including the Surface Studio desktop machine, a new Surface Book laptop, and a Surface Dial input peripheral. The following day, Apple unveiled a triumvirate of new MacBook Pros, an event that Microsoft seized on by offering existing MacBook owners up to $650 off a new Surface machine on a trade-in.
The purpose was simple: Microsoft wanted to tempt high-end laptop owners with one of its new super-charged Windows machines. “No device line up can match the performance, portability, and versatility of the Surface family,” Microsoft said at the time. “If you have a Mac but want to experience the ultimate laptop with on-screen touch, Surface and Microsoft Store are here for you.”
Six weeks in, and Microsoft says “more people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before,” and its MacBook trade-in program was its “best ever.” The company didn’t reveal any specific numbers around its Surface sales, or how many MacBook owners have taken up the offer, but Microsoft did specifically point to “disappointment” with the new MacBook Pro among professionals as one reason people may be switching to Surface. From the statement:
Our trade-in program for MacBooks was our best ever, and the combination of excitement for the innovation of Surface coupled with the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro – especially among professionals – is leading more and more people to make the switch to Surface.
The new slate of MacBook Pros have been met with generally positive reviews, though they perhaps have leaned more toward the lukewarm end of the WOW spectrum. One common criticism has centered on the MacBook Pros’ lack of useful ports for plugging in other devices and their heavy reliance on dongles.
Neither Microsoft’s or Apple’s respective machines are particularly cheap. But those in the market for a powerful, professional laptop, replete with USB 3.0 and SD card slots, could certainly be swayed toward the Surface Book.