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Why Microsoft is convinced PCs aren’t dead yet

Why Microsoft is convinced PCs aren’t dead yet

Update: 2021-10-06
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PCs are back. After years of what looked like a slow decline into nothingness, the pandemic — and the remote work, school and life it created — turned laptops and desktops into must-have devices. From MacBooks to Chromebooks, virtually everything in the PC category has seen huge growth during the pandemic even with a chip shortage making it hard for companies to keep up. Even computer monitors have never sold so fast.

Panos Panay has seen the spike more closely than most. As chief product officer at Microsoft, Panay oversees both the teams that make Microsoft’s Surface hardware and the teams that make Windows. For the last 18 months or so, Panay and his teams have been dogfooding those products like never before: “We design these products on these products,” he said, “which is very interesting.” For months, Panay has been going to his office on Microsoft’s Redmond campus only occasionally, to work in the hardware lab or do the occasional team catch-up. But for the most part, like everyone else, he’s been on video calls and in group chats all day like everyone else.

Suffice to say, that has changed how Panay thinks about Microsoft’s products, and how his teams built the latest versions. The plans for what would become Windows 11, which launched to the public on Monday, and for new products like the Surface Pro 8 and the Surface Laptop Studio had begun long before the pandemic started. But they changed, because the world changed. And Panay doesn’t think it’s going back. The big(ger) screen is here to stay.

For more on the topics discussed in this episode:

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Why Microsoft is convinced PCs aren’t dead yet

Why Microsoft is convinced PCs aren’t dead yet

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