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Microsoft launches Surface Laptop Go 2 for students and businesses

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Yahoo Finance's Dan Howley joins the Live show to discuss the launch of Microsoft's Surface Laptop Go 2.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: Microsoft is staying all in on its Surface tablet despite slowing sales. Yahoo Finance tech editor Dan Howley joins us now. Dan, new gadget out from Microsoft.

DAN HOWLEY: New gadget. This is the-- well, they're coming out with the Surface Laptop Go 2. It's a very long and ridiculous-sounding name, but that's what it is. It's going to be $599. And basically it's going to be a smaller-size laptop. It's going to have 12.4-inch display.

So really it's built for consumers who want maybe a device that would be similar to a Chromebook, something that they can carry around easily for businesses, for students, us, if we're not in the office or something along those lines, or we're not doing any kind of real heavy video work, anything along those lines. The processing power is going to be decent. It's got an Intel chip.

It's going to have plenty of RAM, enough storage to get you by. But it's not going to be a heavy hitter. So don't expect it to be like a MacBook Air competitor, or even a MacBook Pro competitor. This is going to be a smaller device that really is just a convenience factor.

And I think that's really interesting for what Microsoft is doing here. And now you kind of wonder, why do they continue to put out these Surface products, right? They're never going to be major sellers for Microsoft. They're never going to be really big revenue generators.

And the idea, honestly, is to just show other companies how good Microsoft products can be, or how good Windows products can be we. You know, we had, for a while, this kind of lull, where PCs, they kind of sucked, right? They weren't very good. They didn't, you know, do very well.

They felt like they were, you know, just too full of spyware or things along those lines. Then Microsoft came in. They offered their new operating systems. They have these new products. And they said, look this is how it can be done.

And that's why we've seen so many PCs improve lately. But Brian, to your point, you know, we are seeing PC sales start to slow down. During the pandemic, it exploded, right? Everybody needed a PC or a Mac or Chromebook or whatever.

They needed to get out there. They needed something to be able to work from home. There was in Q1 2021, a 55.2% jump year over year in sales. This past Q1, there was a decline of 5.1% in global PC sales. So you know, we're obviously seeing that rebound. So to see Microsoft coming out this new product now, you got to wonder if it's the right timing.

- Well, you think about that time when PCs did suck. And it was when you really just had to run some basic office applications on your laptop or on your personal computer. So you fast forward to now, when there are so many different cloud suite products. And they're hodgepodge. They're piecemeal, in many cases, for corporations. From Microsoft, who is a new-- who is this product going after?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, I mean, this is really going to be something where kind of like a Chromebook competitor, like I was saying. Office workers? I mean, I could use this product, right, as my go-to computer. Everything, like you said, is in the cloud now.

I mean, I use Google Docs, you know, for my regular writing. I, you know, do things like cloud storage for my photos. So it's not something that's going to really be a big-time system for, you know, like, gaming. You know, a huge gamer-- it's not going to be my gaming system, right? But I do think that this is going to be for people who need a computer on the go, who wants something that's not going to really break the bank.

Look, as I said, this isn't going to be a MacBook Air competitor. It's also not going to cost what a MacBook Air does. So, you know, $599, that's not too bad. They are going after students here. That's, I think, something that's really important for Microsoft.

They kind of lost the student market to Chromebooks and iPads. So now this kind of product is what they're hoping to get into students' hands, into schools, so that people will then, in the future, grow up with Microsoft in their mind and then buy Microsoft products. That's the whole idea for schools, by the way, is just funnel them right into the product line down the line. So--

BRIAN SOZZI: I think those Chromebooks are held together by chewing gum. So this product--

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

DAN HOWLEY: Some of them, yeah.

BRIAN SOZZI: It really is. I've gone through-- I went through two of them inside of a month, just really not a good product, but a low price. So I get it.