Microsoft truly wants the Surface Pro 3 to be perfect.
After the Surface Pro 3 presser where everyone in attendance received a new Surface Pro 3 fresh off the assembly line, there were some caveats introduced through article reviews. As we all know, there is no perfect gadget. With every new device there are trade-offs. We just accept the trade-offs as law and move on.
While many have praised the value of the "tablet that can replace your laptop," there have always been a few eye-openers embedded in the reviews. Some have mentioned heat issues. Others have suggested that the newly designed heat dissipation system (read: fan) is too audible. Still others have had periodic booting problems.
But, there's one other gotcha that has garnered some serious attention from Microsoft itself, and really shows how important the Surface Pro 3 release is to the company.
Due to how the new Surface Pro 3 keyboard can be made to sit at an angle on the tablet face using a magnetic strip, Microsoft was forced to move the capacitive Windows button to the right side of the device (or the bottom of the device when in portrait orientation).
Microsoft is intent on promoting the Surface Pro 3 as a highly effective writing slate, showing that the tablet can, indeed, do everything. The pen has been revamped to provide a near perfect writing experience, including new features that turn a seemingly normal writing implement into a sort of Bluetooth remote mouse (read: Surface Pro 3: Pen Primer).
The problem with the new location is that those using the pen normally, were constantly shifting back to the Windows 8.1 Start screen due to how the hand would naturally rest on the Windows button space. This tainted the writing experience considerably – enough for Microsoft to take serious notice and eventually invited Gabe, from Penny Arcade, to the Redmond shores for a visit to help identify and eventually fix the problem.
You can read about the entire visit here: Surface Pro 3 update
Based on the visit a software fix is waiting in the wings, but a rollout date of the fix has not been communicated. With only a few days left before Surface Pro 3 launches officially, I'm sure Microsoft is working to rev up delivery of the fix. The company has already stated that fixes for the bootup and heat issues will be waiting when the product is launched, so it's safe to assume this one will be in the mix somewhere.
It's important to highlight the pains Microsoft is taking prior to launch to ensure that the final, released product is near perfect. The company has taken a lot of heat, publicly, over two versions of the Surface that appear to be failures due to a lack of revenue and the inability to steal any significant market share owned by iOS and Android. We hear periodically that Microsoft doesn't care if the devices make money, but I can't believe that's true at all. And, I'm sure the Surface team is taking the same considerable heat internally.
Surface Pro 3 is extremely important, and Microsoft is showing that. I can't imagine seeing another version of the Surface device if the Surface team goes through another round of failures.