Microsoft’s Surface Pro device has some attractions for CIOs. It runs Windows apps on an interface familiar to many users. But sales have been less than stellar in the face of iPad and Android tablets.
So it’s interesting that this week Brian Hall, general manager for the Surface line, wrote a long blog about the tablet with a detachable keyboard to answer questions from businesses about what it will do for them, and, he acknowledged, their wonder at Microsoft’s long-term commitment to Surface.
It is, after all, competing against Windows tablets made by Microsoft’s OEM customers, as well as facing that sales problem.
What’s notable is that Hall and Microsoft don’t see Surface Pro as a tablet. “Most businesses are buying Surface when their employees need a laptop and want to avoid having to buy and carry an iPad too,” he writes “Surface Pro 3 serves as a full-powered business PC and a tablet, making for happy employees as well as happy CIOs and CFOs.”
He also cites customers including BMW, Coca Cola and Louis Vuitton.
Hall goes on to quote Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella saying “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.”
Bob O’Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research, told Computerworld U.S., that the blog is another step in shift away from positioning the Surface Pro 3 as a tablet. On the one hand, Microsoft markets it as a notebook replacement, but on the other hand the keyboard is an optional device.
In his blog Hall announces a limited time $150 off the Surface Type Cover and docking station. Will that be enough to attract the enterprise?