Microsoft: Surface Pro line is here to stay

Microsoft's latest public compatibility commitments regarding the Surface Pro tablet line refute new rumors that the company is planning to discontinue completely its Surface products.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft officials seldom deny publicly rumors about product futures, even when they are from some sites with less-than-stellar Microsoft-prediction track records.


But on October 9, Microsoft execs broke that rule (at least indirectly) and posted on the Microsoft Surface blog that "Businesses can buy with confidence. We are here to stay."

Digitimes published a report on October 9 claiming Microsoft is planning to exit the Surface business, citing unnamed supply-chain sources.

In spite of CEO Satya Nadella's recent characterization of Surface (and hardware in general) as supporting rather than "core" Microsoft businesses, Microsoft isn't dumping the Intel-based Surface line, officials said.

"Surface Pro 3 is off to a strong start with both individuals and businesses," maintained Surface General Manager Brian Hall in that blog post. He said Microsoft is guaranteeing that Surface Pro 3 will be upgradable to Windows 10. And he said the current line of Surface Pro 3 accessories — Surface Pro 3 Type Covers; power adapter, Ethernet adapter and other "infrastructure accessories", and the docking station — will be compatible with "the next generation of the 'Pro' line of Surface."

(Hall didn't make any claims about Windows 10 compatibility for the Surface Pro and Pro 2 devices, but I am hearing from my sources that both those models should also support Windows 10. I'm less sure about the ARM-based versions. All Microsoft will say re: Windows 10 compatibility for Surface RT and Surface 2 is: "Windows on ARM-based processors continues to be an important element of our strategy for phones and tablets, and we’ll have more to share on the Windows experience for mobile devices at a later date," in the words of a company spokesperson.)

Microsoft introduced today a limited-time Surface Laptop Replacement Bundle. Via that bundle, which Microsoft is making available through its authorized Surface resellers, users can get up to $150 off a bundle of a Surface Pro 3, Type Cover and Docking Station when purchased together.

The deal is availale in the U.S. immediately and coming to the "majority of markets where Surface is available worldwide in the coming weeks." It's a "while supplies last" offer.

There have been a number of renewed rumors lately about Microsoft's plans to roll out an ARM-based Surface 3 and/or a revised ARM-based Surface Mini.

I haven't heard from my contacts that either of these things are happening. In fact, I've heard from one of my trusted sources that Microsoft's Surface strategy, going forward, will be to focus on Intel and to cease production of any future ARM-based Surfaces. But that's only from one source, I'd note. 

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