Microsoft has announced that it will stop producing its own line of mice, keyboards, and webcams under the Microsoft brand. The company will instead focus on its Surface-branded accessories, which are designed to complement its Surface devices and Windows PCs.
This decision marks the end of an era for Microsoft, which has been making PC hardware since 1983 when it launched its first mouse. Over the years, Microsoft has released many famous and innovative products, such as the ergonomic keyboard, the wireless mouse, and the LifeCam webcam. Some of these products have earned loyal fans and positive reviews for their quality and performance.
Complete Focus on Surface Brand
However, Microsoft has also been investing heavily in its Surface brand, which started as a line of tablets and laptops in 2012 and has since expanded to include desktops, headphones, earbuds, and more. Surface accessories are typically more expensive than Microsoft-branded ones but offer more features and integration with Windows and Office. For example, the Surface Keyboard has a dedicated Office key, the Surface Pen supports tilt and pressure sensitivity, and the Surface Headphones have active noise cancellation and Cortana integration.
Microsoft says it will continue to sell its existing Microsoft-branded accessories while supplies last, but it will not manufacture new ones. The company also says it will offer a range of Surface-branded accessories, including mice, keyboards, pens, docks, adaptive accessories, and more. However, it is unclear whether Microsoft will introduce any low-cost or entry-level options under the Surface brand or whether it will launch a Surface webcam for consumers.
“Going forward, we are focusing on our Windows PC accessories portfolio under the Surface brand”, says Dan Laycock, senior communications manager at Microsoft, in a statement to The Verge. “We will continue to offer a range of Surface branded PC Accessories — including mice, keyboards, pens, docks, adaptive accessories, and more. Existing Microsoft branded PC accessories like mice, keyboards, and webcams will continue to be sold in existing markets at existing sell-in prices while supplies last”.
The move to discontinue Microsoft-branded accessories comes amid a global chip shortage that has affected the PC market and caused supply chain issues for many manufacturers. Microsoft's devices revenue, which includes Surface and PC accessories, dropped by 30 percent year over year in its latest fiscal quarter. By focusing on its Surface brand, Microsoft may be hoping to boost its profit margins and streamline its product portfolio.
What Does This Mean for Consumers?
Well, if you are a fan of Microsoft-branded peripherals, such as the ergonomic keyboard or the modern webcam, you might want to grab them while you still can. Microsoft said that it will continue to sell these products in existing markets at existing prices while supplies last.
Here is a complete list of mice, keyboards, and webcams that were sold under the Microsoft brand in 2023:
– Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse
– Microsoft Arc Mouse
– Microsoft Modern Mobile Mouse
– Microsoft Ergonomic Mouse
– Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse
– Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500
– Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850
– Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse
– Microsoft Sculpt Mobile Mouse
– Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard
– Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard
– Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint ID
– Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop
– Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Desktop
– Microsoft Wireless Desktop 900
– Microsoft Wireless Desktop 850
– Microsoft Wired Keyboard 600
– Microsoft Wired Desktop 600
– Microsoft Modern Webcam
– LifeCam HD-3000
– LifeCam Cinema
– LifeCam Studio
However, suppose you are looking for new, innovative accessories that work seamlessly with your Surface device or any other Windows PC. In that case, you might want to check out the Surface portfolio.
The Surface portfolio includes various mice and keyboards catering to different needs and preferences. For example, you can choose from the Surface Arc Mouse, which snaps flat for easy portability; the Surface Precision Mouse, which offers customizable buttons and smooth scrolling; or the Surface Mobile Mouse, which is lightweight and comfortable. You can also find keyboards that match your style and comfort level, such as the Surface Keyboard, which has a sleek and minimalist design; the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard, which has a split layout and palm rest; or the Surface Go Signature Type Cover, which doubles as a protective cover and a backlit keyboard for your Surface Go tablet.
As for webcams, Microsoft does not currently offer a Surface-branded webcam for consumers. The Surface Hub 2 Camera is the closest thing, a smart camera designed for conference rooms and collaborative spaces. However, there have been rumors that Microsoft is working on a Surface webcam that could launch soon. Surface chief Panos Panay hinted at this possibility in 2019 when he said that “we're not done with webcams” and that “we have some exciting things coming”.
So, if you are looking for a list of mice, keyboards, and webcams under the Microsoft brand, you might have to look elsewhere or settle for the Surface brand instead. Microsoft seems confident that its Surface accessories can provide a better experience for its customers than its generic peripherals. Whether you agree with this or not, you might want to keep an eye on what Microsoft has in store for its Surface portfolio in the future.