Microsoft today touted the use of Surface Pro 3 in business, something that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the product. But the firm also revealed various details about how it intends to take Surface Pro 3 and its accessories forward. Surface Pro 3 will fully support the coming Windows 10 upgrade, for example. And Surface Pro 3 accessories are guaranteed to work with the next generation of Surface Pro devices.
This is the first time Microsoft has ever explicitly made such commitments, and both of these announcements speak to the firm's desire to attract the business customers which expect this level of transparency about the future.
"Surface Pro 3 is off to a strong start with both individuals and businesses," Microsoft's Brian Hall notes in a new post to the Surface Blog. "Recently, we've received a lot of interest (and questions) from businesses about how Surface Pro 3 will work for them and what Microsoft's longer-term commitment to Surface is in businesses of all sizes. We are here to address those questions."
Here are the questions Mr. Hall has addressed.
Upgrades. Microsoft makes all Surface Pro 3 firmware and drivers available for IT to use to create their corporate images. You can also view a new page that details every Windows Update and firmware update that has ever been released for Surface Pro 3, and what each update addresses. And Microsoft has launched a new Microsoft Complete for Business offering that includes a 3-year extended warranty, accidental damage protection, faster exchange service and Surface setup support for customers. (Consumers can also get a Microsoft Complete warranty.)
Windows 10. "It probably goes without saying," Hall writes, "but Surface Pro 3 will continue to support Windows 8.1 AND of course be upgrade-able when Windows 10 is released." This doesn't go without saying, actually. Thank you for spelling that out.
ENERGY STAR qualification. "We're pleased to announce that Surface Pro 3 now qualifies for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program for computers," Hall writes.
Accessory investments. Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 accessories—the Surface Pro 3 Type Covers, "infrastructure" accessories such as the power adapter, Ethernet adapter, and more, and the Surface Pro 3 Docking Station—are all designed with the firm's Surface product roadmap in mind and will be compatible with the next generation of Surface Pro devices. "This commitment helps validate an investment in Surface Pro 3 and solidifies Microsoft's overall commitment to the continued growth of the Surface brand," Hall writes. It's also exactly what leading PC makers commit to for their business products.
Laptop replacement offer for business customers. To make it faster and more cost effective for business customers to deploy Surface Pro 3, Microsoft is introducing a limited-time Surface Laptop Replacement Bundle with its reseller partners. This bundle provides up to $150 off of a Surface Pro 3, Type Cover and Docking Station when purchased together, and it is available through Microsoft's Authorized Resellers in the US starting immediately, and in the majority of markets where Surface is available worldwide in the coming weeks, while supplies last. Hall notes that small and medium-sized businesses should benefit greatly from this offer.
Microsoft is "here to stay" in the PC market. "Businesses can buy [Surface Pro 3] with confidence," Hall notes. "We are here to stay." He also offers up the following comment from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: "Microsoft is putting its full and sustained support behind the ongoing Surface program as one of a number of great hardware choices for businesses large and small."