Satya Nadella’s Microsoft revolves around productivity, and on Thursday Microsoft took steps to placate businesses and other would-be buyers concerned about the future of the Surface line.
“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,” CEO Nadella said in a statement on the Surface blog.
Poor sales have plagued the Surface line since its inception. On Thursday a report from (oft-unreliable) DigiTimes suggested Microsoft may be looking to kill the Surface line completely as a result. Microsoft’s statement clearly refutes that.
Why this matters: Microsoft wants its Surface Pro tablets to dominate the business world. Rumors of the line’s demise no doubt hinder corporate adoption. Will the one-two punch of the Surface commitment and the digital apology dubbed Windows 10 convince enterprises to move on from Windows 7 and XP? That remains to be seen, but Microsoft sure hopes they will.
Future-proofing the Surface Pro product line
Microsoft also tossed potential Surface purchasers another bone. Yes, the Surface Pro 3 is a sleek and powerful model of engineering—the Surface that Microsoft always dreamed of making!—but the tablet’s drastically altered dimensions borked compatibility with accessories designed for previous, chunkier generations of the tablet.
Businesses looking to invest in a fleet of devices require more commitment than that. To that effect, Microsoft also announced that the next generation of Surface Pro devices will be backward-compatible with the Surface Pro 3’s Type Covers, docking station, and various adapters. (Notably not mentioned: The SP3's digital stylus.)
Microsoft also announced that corporate buyers who purchase a Surface Pro 3 as well as its accompanying Type Cover and docking station accessories through an authorized reseller will get $150 knocked off the total price. No comparable discount for consumers was announced, alas. IT admins might want to dive into the blog post for more nitty-gritty talk about drivers, custom firmware images, and FAA accreditations.
Do you think Microsoft’s moves will cause a spike in Surface sales? Let us know in the comments!