When Microsoft sent out invites for its Surface event in New York, everyone was expecting it to unveil a Surface Mini; after all the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are only 8 months old, and for those of us living outside the United States (like us here living in Singapore), the Surface 2 is a fairly new product, launching on local shores just a couple of months back on March 14th, while the Surface Pro 2 still isn’t here yet.
To say that the announcement of the Surface Pro 3 was unexpected would be an understatement. So why did they do it? And more importantly, is the Surface Pro 3 too little too soon?
No. In fact, Microsoft has learnt well from their mistakes and the Surface Pro series is back with more to offer. If Microsoft continues playing their cards right, the Surface Pro 3 might (note: might) have what it takes to turn the tables around. Here’s why the announcement of the Surface Pro 3 was not a moment to soon.
The Surface Pro 2 was a letdown
The original Surface Pro was plagued with terrible battery life and a sub par 3rd gen Intel processor which was far from ideal for tablet use. While the Surface Pro 2 was out to fix those problems, there weren’t any game-changing features; the battery life had only improved slightly, it was still too small and heavy to be a proper laptop replacment, and it was really costly for the little good that it offered.
If Microsoft had waited even longer before unveiling the Surface Pro 3, Surface sales would continue to go down, and it would be even harder for Microsoft to make a proper comeback. Surface would always be viewed by many as a niche product.
The Surface Pro 2 wasn’t good enough and Microsoft knew it. It was time to bring in the new generation before it was too late.
International availability of previous generations was poor
The Surface Pro 2 was not available in many countries outside of the US. For one this led to decreased sales (as with the Xbox One). Countries like Singapore only received the Surface 2 in March, half a year after the initial announcement. Fans end up becoming frustrated while waiting for these devices to hit their shores and proceed to buy something else.
Microsoft has realised their mistake, and the announcement of the Surface Pro 3 was immediately followed up with the opening of pre-orders all over the globe, with devices shipping by end August.
Microsoft is doing more to bring Surface to consumers as fast as they can, and it will definitely translate to increased sales and recognition for the Surface brand.
A Surface Mini wouldn’t have made sense now
There have been multiple reports of a purported Surface Mini, with several people claiming that Microsoft has already manufactured them. Yet, a Surface Mini wouldn’t have made sense for the market. Here’s why.
Regardless of whether it would run full Windows or Windows RT, the Surface Mini wouldn’t sell for 2 reasons: 1. There are already lots of mini Windows tablets out there (which aren’t selling too well themselvess). 2. Microsoft had to focus on refining their current products, not expand into new fields of competition.
This is not the time for Microsoft to enter into the playing field of small tablets, dominated by the likes of the iPad mini and the Nexus 7. This is the time for Microsoft to refine its current products and strive to make them better. If the Surface Mini was in fact announced, it would be pulverised, decimated, and brutally annihilated by Apple’s and Google’s tablets.
The Surface 2 does a much better job at what it’s supposed to do than the Surface Pro 2: it’s a tablet with microsoft office and a typing experience that’s better than other tablets. Microsoft probably thought that the Surface 2 was fine and was not in need of a refresh, while the same could not be said for the Surface Pro 2.
Whatever it is, we think the Surface Pro 3 is pretty great. Check out the full details on pricing and availability here. Microsoft Singapore is likely to hold a launch event when the device hits Singapore shores, and we’ll definitely be there when the time comes. In the meantime, do give us a like on Facebook.