Microsoft makes Surface docking station available in limited quantities

Microsoft makes Surface docking station available in limited quantities

Summary: Microsoft's Surface docking station is available for purchase in the U.S. in limited quantities. It won't be more broadly available until early 2014.

SHARE:

When it launched its second-generation Surface tablets and new peripherals, Microsoft told users not to expect the new Surface Power Cover or docking station until early 2014

surfacedock

Something seemingly changed. The docking station is available now. (I'm not sure how long it will be, or how much stock is available, but if you really want it, hurry.)

I was alerted to the dock's early availability by reader Aaron Craig, a sys admin for risk-management company Bickmore. He ordered four Surface docking stations on October 22 and had them delivered on October 24. (He sent me pictures to prove it.)

I just checked on Surface.com and Microsoft's online store site and also see the docking stations are available for order, with the option for next-day delivery.

I've asked Microsoft if this is just a temporary situation or if the docks arrived earlier than expected. No word back so far.

Update: Windows SuperSite's Paul Thurrott told me that Microsoft execs said docking stations would be available ahead of 2014 but only in limited quantities, which I hadn't heard. So, again, if you want one sooner rather than later, it's probably best to hurry. 

The Surface docking station, which costs $199.99, allows users with the original Surface Pro or the Surface Pro 2 to dock their tablets (with keyboards attached). The docking station includes a display port, audio input and output jack, an Ethernet port, as well as a high-speed USB 3.0 and three USB 2.0 ports.

Here's one shot Craig sent me of one of his just-acquired docking stations:

aaroncraigdock

The Power Cover for the Surface 2, Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 is still not available for order yet and is still designated as "coming early 2014" on Microsoft's Surface.com site.

Microsoft officials said the company sold $400 million worth of its first-generation Surface tablets in the most recent fiscal quarter, which ended on September 30, 2013. They also said they sold double the number of Surfaces than they did in the previous calendar quarter, but we have no way of knowing how many that means, as Microsoft hasn't released Surface sales data (and it has sold quite a number of Surfaces at a discount). 

Microsoft officials also said during the company's earnings call on October 24 that demand for Surface RT units was stronger than the company expected. They noted that a number of potential Surface Pro purchasers held off on buying devices in anticipation of the Intel Haswell-based Surface Pro 2's arrival.

Microsoft began making its second-generation Surfaces, the ARM-based Surface 2 and the Intel-based Surface Pro 2, commercially available as of October 22. Microsoft also cut $100 off the price of its first-generation Surface Pro devices this week.

Update 2: That was relatively quick. As of 4 pm EST on October 25, the Microsoft Store online is showing the Surface docking station is out of stock. No word back still from Microsoft as to its ramp-up plans for supplies of the dock. (Thanks to WPCentral's Daniel Rubino for the out-of-stock pointer.)

Update 3 (October 28): Over the past weekend, I got a note from a few readers who said they found their local Staples and Best Buy stores still had some Surface docks for order.

Topics: Mobility, Microsoft, Tablets, PCs, Microsoft Surface

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

63 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Applying Apple fanboi logic...

    ...this cover is a hit and Microsoft can't keep enough of them in stock. Hey, I didn't say it was good logic. I said it was Apple fanboi logic.
    ye
    • And then there is ye logic.

      Apple would announce how many millions they sold at a product roll out and ye will dismiss it as boring and unimportant. The Microsoft way is so much better. Just do a limited roll out and never say how many were sold, let people think everything is coming up roses. Now if only Microsoft could figure out how to hide their write offs in the their quarterly reports.
      YaBaby
      • More MS marketing games...

        Either there is demand for these, they don't know if there is demand, or there isn't demand.

        If there is no demand they wouldn't sell it, if they don't know if demand is high enough then it means they think the surface itself might not stand on it's own, but if there is demand and these really are needed then artificially inflating sales with a limited supply is simply one of those tricks that conceals from shareholders and investors how low demand overall really is and making consumers buy it separate deceptively conceals the true product cost...
        Socratesfoot
        • That's a weird kind of logic you have there, Spinning I suspect

          "if they don't know if demand is high enough then it means they think the surface itself might not stand on it's own"

          So you're saying that everyone that buys a Surface is interested in getting the docking station, and that the low initial order means that they feel Surface wont sell, given that everyone that buys a Surface will get a docking station?

          "artificially inflating sales with a limited supply is simply one of those tricks that conceals from shareholders and investors how low demand overall really is and making consumers buy it separate deceptively conceals the true product cost..."

          In other words you have no clue what you're talking about, just looking to spin it.

          Common sense would say that since there really hasn't been something like this for tablets before, and given that docking stations in general don't sell close to the devices they're docking, that the safe bet would be to do a limited release and then gauge on that. Or do you think that Logictech builds the same amount of keyboards for ipads as iPads sold?

          Either you don't understand marketing and manufacturing, or you just want to spin this so that MS doing the logical thing is "really" just deceptive tactics.

          You're what you're painting them to be.
          William.Farrel
          • no deceptive anything... just genious

            You can plug in your monitor, mouse, sound system, game controllers, ethernet, etc
            Nooo marketing, just a real expansion to the best all in one computer out there, by far.
            virgilnet
        • Oh, and BTW

          The Surface can and does stand on it's own -

          It has a built in stand. :)
          William.Farrel
          • Re: It has a built in stand.

            Perhaps because otherwise it is a fail? ;-)
            danbi
          • Or that you have no sense of humor, danbi?

            Run with it, baby!
            William.Farrel
      • Perhaps you missed the part where I said...

        ...I was applying Apple fanboi "logic". Nothing original to me. No, this is all on the Apple fanbois.
        ye
        • but why preempt a discussion with useless trolling like that?

          What is the point other than to invite the mindless nerd raging?
          Emacho
    • And Bott's law strikes again

      Meanwhile, this is a neat thing. Too bad it isn't more generally available. Is the display port HDMI MJF?
      Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • Differs

        On teh Surface 2 it is Mini HDMI...on the Surface Pro 2 it is Mini DisplayPort.
        hafenbrack
    • hello Mr Softy

      @ ye

      Don't Microsoft employees have a job to do, rather than just post silly comments like yours?

      I hope your company has a hit with Surface and its accessories. Competition is good for consumers.
      TroutHound
      • Maybe you should go ask an MS employee?

        Or better yet, ask you'r bosses at Google if MS employees do the same thing you're doing?

        I never thought ye an MS employee, but I guess anyone who doesn't praise Apple has to be, right?
        William.Farrel
        • Re: anyone who doesn't praise Apple...

          Isn't this article about Microsoft's Surface Pro stand?

          Why are you so obsessed by Apple?
          danbi
          • Perhaps you should not throw stones in your glass house

            I mean, you of all people making a suggestion like that is rather pot and kettle.
            Emacho
          • glass house

            You better practice what you preach.

            My house is not made of glass and I don't throw stones. So, there...

            You have some problem with my stated opinions? Why not refute what I say with *facts* instead of resorting to ad hominem attacks?
            danbi
      • Wouldn't know. Not an MS employee.

        Perhaps you missed the part where I said I was applying Apple fanboi "logic". Yes, it's not good logic as all the responses show. But hey...what can you do? That's Apple fanboi "logic" for you!
        ye
  • Tipping Point

    For me, this is thing that makes Surface work for me in my work scenarios. I have always been a big user of docking stations for laptops, so this makes Surface Pro work for me with both on-the-go and at-the-desk scenarios.
    dwpropst
    • at-the-desk scenarios

      "at-the-desk scenarios" I have three 20 inch monitors in a row on my desk. I use a water proof, shock resistant tablet for on-the-go activities. What kind of work do you do that you use a ten inch screen with a click in keyboard at a desk when you could have a mega setup like me?
      Tim Jordan