Devices around the world have had supply chains disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. Apple has been affected, scaling back its iPhone production. MWC, the biggest mobile convention in the world, was cancelled as a result of the virus. Now, Microsoft has posted an update, and the Xbox Series X's holiday 2020 launch is safe – for now.
However, while Microsoft's flagship games console has escaped the virus unscathed, fans waiting for the new line of Microsoft Surface products are out of luck.
A statement by Microsoft on its blog, detailing its performance for the current fiscal year, reads:
"Although we see strong Windows demand in line with our expectations, the supply chain is returning to normal operations at a slower pace than anticipated at the time of our Q2 earnings call [due to the public health crisis in China].
"As a result... Windows OEM and Surface are more negatively impacted than previously anticipated."
The company is not expecting to reach its Q3 Personal Computing targets, as the situation in China prompts delays as production facilities shut across the country, disrupting supply lines. “No one is immune [to coronavirus],” Brent Thill, an analyst at Wealth Management Analysts Jefferies, told the Financial Times (opens in new tab) yesterday. “Even the best tech companies on the planet.”
That means the much-anticipated Microsoft Surface Duo, the dual screen foldable that Microsoft doesn't want you to call a phone, will be unfortunately delayed. Its other Surface products, such as the upcoming Surface Neo, which also sports a dual-screen, are set to experience delays before coming to market. How long the delays will be remains unsaid, but we could have to wait up to next year before getting our hands on one.
However, Microsoft does end its blog post with an encouraging statement, claiming "all other components of our Q3 guidance remain unchanged". That includes its other businesses, not least of which includes its Xbox products.
With the high-profile Xbox Series X set to launch Holiday 2020, Microsoft is likely pouring all its energies into ensuring its release is not disrupted – as its rival Sony will also be doing with the PS5. After Nintendo scaled back on production earlier this year due to coronavirus concerns, the threat to delay both consoles' launch periods is very real.