Microsoft drops all Microsoft-labeled accessories in favor of Surface
Microsoft-branded mice, keyboards and webcam accessories will no longer be manufactured and the remaining devices will be sold off. Going forward, Microsoft plans to focus on its Surface brand and accessories. The change will thin out Microsoft's portfolio of accessories significantly.
Surface-branded accessories include mice, keyboards, digital pens and other devices. Microsoft has manufactured a wide range of accessories in the past decades, including ergonomic keyboards, like the Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard, mice, such as the Microsoft Intellimouse, and other peripherals, joysticks, webcams, and others.
Microsoft-branded accessories will continue to be sold while supplies last. The decision to end the production of Microsoft-branded hardware marks the end of an era that started with the release of the first Microsoft mouse in the early 80s.
Microsoft confirmed the decision to focus on the Surface brand and accessories to The Verge. Dan Laycock, a senior communications manager at Microsoft, told The Verge that Microsoft "will continue to offer a range of Surface branded PC Accessories -- including mice, keyboards, pens, docks adaptive accessories, and more" going forward.
Laycock did not reveal why Microsoft decided to drop all Microsoft-branded accessories. Surface products are generally speaking more expensive than Microsoft-branded products. One explanation for the change is that Microsoft believes that it is going to increase its revenue by focusing on products with higher margins.
Surface accessories can't replace all Microsoft-branded accessories currently. There is no Surface Webcam, for example, which customers could buy to add a webcam to their devices.
Microsoft could release new hardware to fill the gaps, but the company has not made an announcement in that regard yet.
PC users who have bought Microsoft-branded products in the past can still buy Microsoft accessories, but at premium price points. One example. A quick check of keyboards that Microsoft offers at its store reveals 12 keyboards in total at the time. 11 of these are Microsoft-branded, one is a Surface keyboard.
The cheapest keyboard is the Microsoft Wireless Desktop 900 keyboard, which even comes with a mouse. It is available for $34.95 currently. There are also several ergonomic keyboards to choose from, starting at $44.99. The Surface keyboard is available for $99.99.
Another example; Microsoft lists 20 mice in its Store. Four of these are Surface-branded, the remaining 16 are Microsoft-branded. The cheapest Surface mouse is the Surface Mobile Mouse for $28.99, the most expensive mouse the Surface Precision Mouse for $99.99. Microsoft-branded mice start at $18.99 and go up to $63.99 for the design mouse Microsoft Arc.
Many customers may look elsewhere when they need to purchase a new keyboard, mouse or other accessory.
Now You: do you use Microsoft-branded accessories?