Windows 10 PCs are cutting into Apple sales in high-end market, says Microsoft CFO Amy Hood

Laurent Giret

PC sales have been on a steady decline for the last 5 years according to recent reports from Gartner and IDC, with the latter claiming that worldwide PC shipments totaled 70.2 million units in Q4 2016 (down 1.5 year-over-year). But after Microsoft released its FY2017 Q2 earning reports yesterday, it appears that PC OEMs are doing slightly better than expected.

Indeed, Microsoft reported yesterday that Windows OEM revenue increased 5% last quarter, but CFO Amy Hood share more details during the earnings conference call. According to Business Insider, Hood explained that “our partner ecosystem continued to see growth and share gains in the Windows premium device category,” hinting that high-end Windows PCs are cutting into Apple’s Mac sales. For Microsoft, “premium devices” are PCs in the $900-plus price range.

However, Bloomberg reporter Dina Bass added on Twitter that Hood did not provide hard data proving these claims:

As our computing devices are now becoming a commodity these days, you may think that it’s going increasingly difficult for PC OEMs to sell high-end, high-margin devices. But that’s not what Apple and Microsoft are doing, focusing instead on premium devices aimed at demanding consumers and creative professionals.

Overall, the it’s not the first time that the company appears confident to be able to beat Apple at its own game: back in November, Brian Hall, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Devices Marketing (the exec left the company this week) explained that “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.” However, it’s worth reminding that Microsoft’s Surface division saw a 2% decline in profits during the company’s FY2017 Q2, earning $1.321 billion.

Still, we saw a lot of exciting high-end PCs during CES 2017, and we’re also looking forward to see refreshed Surface Pro and Surface Book models this year. Windows 10 is definitely helping to make PCs exciting again, and we hope that OEMs will be able to leverage the versatile platform to delight demanding consumers.