Surface Earbuds delayed to spring 2020
Microsoft Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, has taken to Twitter to announce that the Surface Earbuds have been delayed by a quarter and will now ship in spring 2020. Originally slated for a holiday 2019 release, the Surface Earbuds are apparently taking more time to perfect than expected. According to Panay, “Product-making is about the relentless pursuit to get all the details right, which takes time…sometimes more than we planned on.”
The Surface Earbuds are a little different to the competition in more ways than one. Obviously, the disc shaped flat control surface that protrudes from the wearer’s ears is one aspect, but another is how Microsoft is pitching these. Instead of being purely about the sound, the Surface Earbuds also integrate into the Surface product line by allowing for the control of slides in a presentation, and the ability to transcribe in real-time a speakers voice into up to 60 different languages as captions.
In fact, if anything, the delay in its launch could come down to making this aspect of the device work reliably. Currently, it requires Microsoft’s Azure cloud Cognitive Services to power the functionality, and if it is to succeed in differentiating itself from the competition like the Apple AirPods and Sony WF-1000XM3s, which focus on sound, it is important this feature works as advertised out of the box. Or, the delay could be down to the fact that @will.i.am believes Microsoft stole his design and the parties are coming to some sort of agreement.