When Microsoft pitched the new Surface Pro 3 as a rival to the Macbook Air it not only raised a few eyebrows, it raised a few belly laughs too.
But for the first time since its release in October 2012, the Surface has just recorded a quarterly profit. Even the biggest Apple devotee might be forced to take notice now.
It would appear that pitching the SP3 as a laptop alternative, rather than fighting a losing battle against the consumer-popular iPad, actually proved to be a rather shrewd bit of positioning from Microsoft.
Don’t get me wrong, the SP3 isn’t yet trading blow for blow with Macbook Air. But it is one hell of a step in the right direction. By supporting legacy software and hardware, it can provide a level of productivity that a stand-alone tablet simply cannot.
But what’s changed?
It was only last year that the ARM-based Surface RT sold so poorly that Microsoft were forced to write off $900m of inventory. Gregg Keizer of Computerworld claims Microsoft hemorrhaged $1.73 billion in total through its first seven quarters.
But as followers of today’s techy-trends will testify, a lot can change in a couple of years. Microsoft have seemingly delivered on their 2-in-1 proposal because unlike the Surface RT before it, this is a genuine ‘laplet’.
A top-quality detachable keyboard; USB port; integrated kickstand; 12-inch screen; Surface Pen and full Microsoft Office capabilities all allow for both mobility and productivity. This is a portable business management device designed with professionals in mind.
In short, this all falls within the bounds of our cloud-first, mobile-first world. It’s something that’s was discussed in Barcelona, at Convergence Europe 2014. Already, the message there is about BYOD, facilitated by the cloud.
Based on the above, the consistent thrust of this message is working.
We’ll be posting more on Convergence Europe here.
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