Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios. Photo: Microsoft.
Panos Panay, head of Microsoft Windows, told Axios that the pandemic is not only increasing sales of troubled computers in the long run. But it also revives the PC as an essential tool for communication.
why is it important: Sales of new computers have slowed significantly in recent months. But usage remains at record levels.
by numbers: In his case, Panay shared several statistics that he said outline the broader role of Windows for everyone from workers to families.
- More and more people use Windows. More than ever — 20% increase per month compared to before the epidemic.
- Spend more time on your Windows PCs: On average People spend 10% more time on individual PCs than before the epidemic.
- Customer Satisfaction for Windows 11 Higher than other previous versions of Windows
yes but: The widespread PC buying spree seems to be getting worse and worse. rather than a sustainable increase in annual sales
- Last week, AMD issued an earnings warning. It blamed the weaker-than-expected PC market.
- And a new IDC report shows that computer sales fell 15% year over year in the third quarter. Even though it was still above the pre-plague level.
“I’m not saying there’s no wind,” Panay admitted.
big picture: Who builds the computer and the operating system it uses is less important to many operators, students and consumers. Most of the core apps run in the browser and from the cloud. or available on Mac and PC
- Windows still dominates the PC operating system market, but Apple has gained a lot of attention. In addition to capturing a larger share of the consumer market, Macs are becoming the standard or alternative for a growing number of startups and large corporations.
- Chrome OS has become a major player as well. especially in education
Gaming is still a major exception.where Windows dominates computer gaming.
- Microsoft faces competition from more specialized consoles like Google or Apple.
- Even though overall gaming activity has begun to deteriorate or fall from the peak of the pandemic, Panay said time spent playing games on PCs is still at a record high. at the level set during the pandemic
between the lines: Although Apple and Google have key segments of customers that are ready to offer all of their services, Panay says part of what makes Microsoft’s PC operating system popular is that it works well with all major apps and services.
- “Does anyone dare to challenge?” Panay said in an interview. “I don’t think they can choose. And I think the choice is important to all of us.”
expand inPanay, officially Chief Product Officer, has risen to the top at Microsoft, spearheading Surface, the company’s high-end hardware line since its inception. Panay said Surface’s role has evolved far. than the convertible tablet launched more than a decade ago. But the product line still plays three key roles:
- It fills in the “seams” between Windows hardware and software that have existed in the past because Microsoft controlled the software. But many manufacturers developed the machine.
- Expanding the horizons of other computer manufacturers on what is possible with Windows.
- Give Windows a high-end device to compete directly with Apple.
what nextMicrosoft is expected to unveil new Surface hardware at Wednesday’s event. Panay said there won’t be a new Surface Duo during the holidays, but said the company won’t abandon its efforts with Android-powered phones.
- “We continue to innovate in the Duo space,” Panay said without elaborating.
go deep: Microsoft’s head of product sees PC resurgence as durable