Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Microsoft Windows chief Panos Panay tells Axios that the pandemic didn't just boost long-flagging computer sales, but also helped reinvigorate the PC as a critical tool for communication.
Why it matters: Sales of new computers have slowed significantly in recent months, but usage remains at record levels.
By the numbers: In making his case, Panay shared several statistics that he says outline the broader role Windows is playing for everyone from workers to families.
Yes, but: The pandemic-fueled PC buying spree is increasingly looking like a blip rather than a sustainable boost to annual sales.
"I’m not saying there aren’t headwinds," Panay acknowledged.
The big picture: Who makes the computer and what operating system it uses has become less critical for many workers, students and consumers, with most key apps running in the browser and from the cloud, or being available across Macs and PCs.
Gaming remains the key exception, with Windows dominating when it comes to computer-based game play.
Between the lines: While Apple and Google have a core group of customers who are all-in on their services, Panay says part of what makes Microsoft's PC operating system popular is it plays well with all of the major apps and services.
Zoom in: Panay, whose official title is chief product officer, rose to prominence at Microsoft by spearheading Surface, the company's high-end hardware line, from its inception. Panay says Surface's role has evolved beyond the convertible tablet it debuted with more than a decade ago, but the product line still fills three big roles:
What's next: Microsoft is expected to introduce a crop of new Surface hardware at an event Wednesday. Panay said there won't be a new Surface Duo for the holidays, but said that the company isn't abandoning its Android-based phone effort.
Go deeper: Microsoft's product chief sees PC revival as durable

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