Microsoft has found a good niche for the Surface Pro 3, touting the company's latest device as the "tablet that can replace your laptop." Though revenue for the Surface line, in whole, still shows huge losses (see: Microsoft posts its worst-ever quarterly Surface loss), the Surface Pro 3 is reported to be helping Microsoft pick up awareness and purchase dollars. It will probably be a long while before Surface numbers are in the positive, but expanding sales worldwide should help, if only a bit. Microsoft has started rolling out Surface Pro 3's in 25 more countries this month.
A lot of businesses are finding an easy choice when replacing existing Windows laptops for Surface Pro 3 units, but, it’s the other side of the OS coin that can make the decision troublesome. Ever the pugilist, Microsoft has come out swinging against Apple products again. In the past, Apple's iPad was the catalyst for its competitive messaging, but now that the message has changed (tablet that can replace your laptop), the company is wading out into different waters. In the latest round of commercials, Microsoft is pitting the Surface Pro 3 directly against a similarly positioned MacBook Air.
Pitting Apples to Apples, in the usual us versus them style Microsoft compares the MacBook Air 13-inch, 128GB storage, 4GB RAM, i5 processor to the Surface Pro 3 with similar specs: 12-inch, 128GB storage, 4GB RAM, i5 processor. Both are priced at $999.
Microsoft is hoping, it seems, that you'll forget that the MacBook Air comes with a keyboard by exalting the touchscreen and pen capabilities of the Surface Pro 3. However, I think it's important to note that Microsoft is currently running a promotion where you can get $650 in-store credit when you trade in your MacBook Air and buy a Surface Pro 3. The Surface Pro 3 Type Cover costs $129.99, so I guess if you use that methodology, the Surface Pro 3 can seem cheaper. You could even throw in a new Surface Pro 3 Docking Station ($199.99) and still have money to spend.
What do you think of the new commercials? Are they enough to entice long-time Apple users over to Windows 8? And, that might be a problem Microsoft cannot surmount. With Microsoft seemingly shifting efforts to complete Windows 9 for an early 2015 release, Windows 8 users seem to be getting the shaft. Surface Pro 3 will most definitely be upgradeable to Windows 9 (for free), making the purchase of a Windows 8 device a bit less risky, but what Mac OS X user would switch platforms if the destination platform is suffering from poor adoption and from apparent disinterest by the purveyor.
Anyway, here's the new commercial offerings from Microsoft. Let me know what you think.