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Microsoft Surface PCs get China debut

Oct 20. 2018
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By China Daily/ANN

BEIJING - China is now the second-largest market for Surface after the United States, chief product officer at Microsoft said.

Microsoft Corp unveiled its most powerful Surface personal computing product series in China on Monday with a tailor-made new colour option for local customers, as the US tech giant seeks to increase its popularity among female users.

Panos Panay, chief product officer at Microsoft, said China is now the second-largest market for Surface after the United States, with “super strong double digit growth” seen here last year.

“China should become the top market for Surface, with local consumers having a unique desire for luxury, or products that contain meaning and depth,” Panay said in an interview in Beijing.

The company unveiled the “Blush”, or greyish pink option, for its new Surface Laptop 2 exclusive to the China market. The move is partly designed to attract more female users, as a significant proportion of consumers buying the Surface are male.

“We are betting on China, which is a very thought-leading market,” Panay said.

His comments come as the Chinese personal computing market is rebounding to growth after declining for a number of quarters.

According to data from market research company Gartner Inc, shipments of PCs to China grew 0.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of this year, faster than the global average of 0.1 percent, indicating a gradual shift back to expansion.

Though demand for traditional PCs remains weak, the desire for light gadgets that can help people manage work is rising, said Xiang Ligang, CEO of telecoms industry website Cctime and an expert in consumer electronics.

Priced from 9,988 yuan ($1,442) in China, the new Surface Laptop 2 has up to 14.5 hours of battery life. It is part of the company’s broader effort to offer convenient hardware that can perform major computing tasks.

Other products released on Monday include the Surface Pro portable laptop, the Surface Pro 6, and the Surface Studio 2 desktop computer.

Microsoft’s fiscal quarterly and yearly financial results showed revenue from the Surface line grew by 25 percent, while sales were up 16 percent year-on-year during the quarter which ended in June. Additionally, a report from Gartner showed that for the first time, Microsoft had joined the top five PC vendors in the US, thanks to its Surface computers.

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