It's The End Of The Road For Microsoft PC Accessories

While primarily known for its operating systems, software, and gaming hardware, Microsoft has had a long history of making PC-related accessories ranging from mice and keyboards to pens and headphones, selling them to consumers worldwide. Despite not being as popular as competing products from the likes of Logitech and Dell, Microsoft's PC accessories do have their share of dedicated fanboys. This popularity means that Microsoft continues to sell a host of these accessories to this day.

While several of the company's PC accessories continue to be sold under the Microsoft brand, a report by The Verge indicates that going forward, Microsoft is looking to retire the Microsoft branding for this product line entirely. Instead, the company will focus on accessories sold under the Surface brand. For those unaware, Microsoft already sells a host of Surface-branded PC accessories alongside the Microsoft-branded ones. However, the Surface products are typically more expensive compared to their Microsoft-branded siblings.

At this time, there has been no communication from Microsoft via its official channels regarding these developments. However, The Verge quotes Daniel Laycock, a senior communications manager at Microsoft, who issued a statement. According to Daniel, Microsoft has decided to focus its attention on Surface-branded PC accessories. He also hinted that all existing Microsoft-banded PC accessories would be sold while supplies last.

Just a rebranding exercise or something more serious?

While Dan Laycock has confirmed that Microsoft will continue to sell Surface-branded PC accessories, it remains to be seen if the company's existing Microsoft-branded accessories will be rebranded as Surface products. If this happens, it would be interesting to see whether the devices continue to be sold at the same price points as before. If the decision is to completely axe the Microsoft lineup of accessories, it would mean the end of the road for several well-known Microsoft PC accessories. These include popular products like the Microsoft Bluetooth Ergonomic Keyboard, the Modern Mobile Moise, the Arc Mouse, and the Sculpt Comfort Keyboard.

While there are several Surface-branded alternatives to Microsoft-branded ones, these are typically very expensive. Take the case of the popular Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard, which retails for $59.99. The similar alternative from Surface — the Surface Ergonomic Keyboard — costs more than double that at $129. There are also some product gaps if Microsoft withdraws all Microsoft-branded accessories. For example, the company doesn't have a Surface-branded alternative to the Microsoft Modern Webcam, with the only other option being the $799.99 smart Surface Camera.

While it is unclear how soon Microsoft intends to implement these changes to its PC accessories business, this may have much to do with the recent job cuts that affected the company's hardware division.