Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 now on sale in 25 new markets

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 now on sale in 25 new markets

Summary: Microsoft is about to find out whether the world agrees that the Surface Pro 3 really can replace a MacBook Air.

The Surface Pro 3. Image: Microsoft

Microsoft's would-be MacBook Air killer, the 12-inch Surface Pro 3, goes on sale in 25 new markets today, expanding its so-far limited availability beyond Canada, Japan, and the US.

Just over two months after the Surface Pro 3's June 20 US launch, Microsoft has expanded the availability of its new Intel-based i3, i5, and i7 tablets across the Asia Pacific and Europe, bringing its total number of markets up to 28.

New markets in the Asia Pacific region include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. In Europe, the device is going on sale in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

The additional markets may offer the company a better chance of boosting Surface revenues, which last quarter reached $409m, thanks mostly to sales of second generation tablets and the arrival of the Surface Pro 3, but hindered by an 'inventory adjustment' after Microsoft decided to kill a "new form factor" thought to have been the Surface mini.

The expansion will also be a test whether Microsoft's idea that the device can replace a MacBook Air resonates with consumers across the world. As ZDNet's Ed Bott recently noted, the MacBook Air has around a 30 percent share of a section of the PC market that is actually growing — and rapidly too. If Microsoft can grab some of that for itself, it could only be a good thing. However, Microsoft will soon find itself battling for attention against a new 12-inch iPad that will be taking aim at the enterprise market.

Microsoft also reaffirmed its Surface Pro 3 docking station will be available in all 28 markets. It's been available for pre-order for sometime, and will be generally available from September 12.

The docking station offers three USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports for hooking in external monitors, keyboard, mouse, printer, speakers, and so on, as well as an Ethernet port, 3.5mm audio connection and a security lock. The item was already available on pre-order in the UK for a hefty £164.99, compared to the $199.99 price tag in the US.

The expansion comes days after Microsoft assured US customers of the i7 edition Surface Pro 3 that it had a fix on the way for an overheating problem affecting some a “small number” of the devices.

Read more on the Surface Pro 3

Topics: Tablets, Microsoft Surface

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • It's a brave step ...

    ... to take on subsidizing the product in 25 markets.

    It just might buy acceptance ... but it risks big time cash if it fails.

    In the UK, for example, you could buy many Android tablets for the price of the docking station; and for a lot of potential customers, that'll be all the computing they need.

    For the power user, many will be unconvinced that this complex laptop is better than existing laptops. It look much cheaper, at least in the UK. If at all - despite the subsidies.

    How many 'inventory adjustments' will the shareholders accept without getting the facts?
    • Really?

      No one buying a Android tablet is doing so instead of a Surface Pro 3, they are completely different market segments (maybe the Samsung Pro 12 but thats a pointless device).

      And Google has lost more money on barges on the West Coast than MS has with Surface so far (remember that a write down is not a loss but unrealized profits, MS is still selling Surface RTs for $250 and they are selling). This is chump change for these multi-billion dollar companies and long plays. Azure cost billions to get off the ground and is now a cash cow. XBox may never achieve paying back its R&D cost but the PR alone is worth it (MS spends billions on PR each year). Surface Pro 3 has generated incredibly good buzz for Microsoft and it also promotes Office 365 via OneNote.

      And this device might not be for everyone. If you really like a clamshell then this is not the device for you. But if you want a premium tablet with a fantastic kick stand, optional keyboard that snaps on/off in seconds, great penning, with up to an i7, the Pro 3 is hard to beat.
      Rann Xeroxx
    • suspect their inventory management is much improved...

      Across the board to avoid another WinRT Surface write down. Not saying they are or are not subsidizing, just that I don't thing they have a bunch stored in warehouses.
      Luke Skywalker
  • aplogies ... meant to write ..

    "It DOESN'T look much cheaper, at least in the UK.
  • It replaced mine

    Cooler, quieter, lighter, much better display, more portable, faster, better productivity, pen and touch integration, inking, displays awesome 4k video. YMMV.

    You can't beat this with tweaked hardware, its an integrated package where the total is greater than the sum of its parts and has no rival.
    • Surface Pro 4

      If the Surface Pro 4 can integrate a rocker button plus radial menu for tablet mode similar to the Cintiq Companion so that you can program hotkeys or key combinations or hopefully even recordable actions, there really will be no comparisons. The Surface Pro 4 would be the standard by which mobile computing devices larger than 6 inches will be judged.
      • not sure what you mean

        Gesture Studio will let you create your own gestures to do what ever you want.

        When I brush my cap and pull my ear it steals second. :-)
  • iPad will not succeed in enterprise.

    Another problem with Surface 3 is high price for the keyboard and Docking station... MS should make it more affordable.
    • Currently selling at a loss

      From most analysis assessments, MS is still selling each Surface at a bit of a loss per unit. This should change once they get their distribution channels all figured out and can scale up production but when people suggest that they need to lower prices for them to be successful, that is not success.

      Including keyboard in the price, the Surface Pro 3 is on par with many other ultrabooks. Heck my company is paying $1,300 per HP Elite book (but some of that is for extended warranty) and these don't even have a touch screen and the screen resolution is not nearly as good. And the docking stations cost about the same as the Surface docks.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • Seems like a decent product ...

    but for many, price is hard to justify (when compared with the Apple MacBook Air that is not a true statement). Just depends upon how many people want to fork over that much money.
    6 months ago, I got a Lenovo Ideapad 13 " with i5 processor for about $500. Has pretty much everything I could want/Surface Pro 3 has (except for Pen) and was half the price (by the time you add Keyboard and Dock that could even be higher). In year or so, I could still get the next greatest thing (or right now I could by a new Android device ) to round out my resources for the same cost. There will always be some who will spend the money (be it on Apple or possibly Microsoft), just not sure the volumes are there to make it an overall sales success at that pricing.
    Don't get me wrong, I think Surface Pro 3 is heading in the right direction. I think Intel's new upcoming processors (using 14 nm technology) are supposed to bring down price , power usage, size, etc... I think if you can get these Surface Pros and necessary accessory hardware down to a price of about $800 total, more people will go for them. Microsoft should continue to develop it, miniaturize it, integrate more into the base tablet, probably need to just put an HDMI connector on it and be done, etc... They have the potential to refine it into something that the masses want (as long as someone else like Lenovo doesn't beat them to it).
    • the Surface will smoke your Lenovo

      Yes my Volvo has 4 wheels, that doesn't make it the same as a BMW. The SSD, the screen, battery and the motherboard engineering all are better on the S3.

      Granted the Lenovo might do what you want with what you wanted to spend. Fair enough.
      Luke Skywalker
    • HDMI

      Been available since the first version on Pro and RT models. It is danged nice too.
      The Heretic
  • Cool... surface can be shunned in 25 more markets.
    • It hasn't been shunned at all.

  • The term is 'for sale' not 'on sale'

    Not unless it is for sale at a discount. Maybe your significant other who does the shopping can educate you :-P
  • Surface Pro

    Our mobile sales staff tried the Surface Pro 3 and liked it and drop the iPads in favor of the Surface Pro
  • Collecting Dust

    I have an android and iPad both collecting dust since I picked up my Surface Pro 2. Would love to have the 3 but may wait for the 4. It does everything any laptop I ever had did, and with touch besides. The only mod I did was to add a leather portfolio cover with a pen loop. That completes it as far as I'm concerned. No docking station necessary. Just stick under a big screen with a hdmi cable and a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, and you are rocking!
    • And ditto

      Although neither the Galaxy Tab 10.1 or iPad are actually gathering dust. My mum uses the Galaxy when a Surface is not available. Daughter took possession of the iPad. But she sneaky uses a Surface RT when her friends aren't looking. In her words, "Dad, the iPad is cool and all my friends have one but I still need the Surface for homework and stuff."

      All I have ever seen her use the iPad for is music, games and online fashion shopping. She usually does her social networking on the Surface RT.
      The Heretic
  • It does not have to replace MBA

    but iFans surely will see how great this is, and it is the future for most computing devices. Two years it will be the windows phone that docks. One OS across all devices - The technology is almost their now.

    Intel's next gen wireless initiative will make it practical and only MS is positioned to use it to their advantage.

    MBA had a great run, was a great product. Technology is moving on.
    • One little mispelling

      There, I corrected it.