The Redmond technology giant is set to unleash the Pro variant of its Surface tablet on February 9. And an awful lot hangs on that upcoming slate — to say otherwise would be a flagrant misstatement.
Whether that device turns out to be a success or a letdown will go a long way in shaping the future of the Surface brand in general, and Microsoft’s hardware ambitions in particular. But one thing the company would be hoping for is for Surface Pro to start replacing laptops in the business sector.
Microsoft has, very obviously, positioned the Surface with Windows 8 Pro for business users.
While the Surface RT is marketed at consumers looking to buy a Windows powered tablets (albeit an ARM based one), recent marketing reveals that the Pro version is something the company thinks is more appropriate for corporate users.
In fact, as Stella Chernyak, the senior director of Windows Enterprise at Microsoft revealed to The Wall Street Journal, Redmond has designed the Surface Pro based on feedback they received from around 800 business customers.
A large segment of the survey corporate users emphasized the need for a keyboard along with a stylus that can be used to draw or write on the screen — the reason Microsoft has bundled a Touch Pen with the device instead of a Touch Cover or Type Cover.
Power users will still be attracted to the upcoming device, with its ability to run any and all Windows software, corporate decision makers should be enticed by the seamless device management and ease in efficient administration it offers to IT staff.
For Microsoft, the most significant challenge now would be to convince IT departments to invest in Surface Pro tablets for their employees. If it manages to do that, it would go a long way in putting the Surface lineup on the trajectory of success.