Microsoft Debuts the Surface Pro 3

Microsoft Corp. debuted the Surface Pro 3 hardware device in New York City on May 20, 2014. Powered by either an Intel i3, i5, or an i7 quad core processor, this device has the computing power of a laptop and the physical form of a tablet.

Satya Nadella provided the introductory remarks for the debut. Mr. Nadella conveyed a sense of urgency as he reported on the degree to which Microsoft is adhering to its “Mobile First, Cloud First Strategy”: “this is our focus for every device and for every service that we launch at Microsoft” (transcribed from the audio track of the Surface Pro 3 webcast).

With this intensity as the backdrop, he went on to report how “in particular, with Windows, we’re advancing on every dimension, from form factors, to business models . . . . and today is the next step on that journey.” (transcribed from the audio track for this webcast) Of course, form factors are the stuff of hardware devices, are they not? Therefore, with his brief opening remarks, Mr. Nadella actually provided a very helpful emblem of how the hardware device to be introduced, meaning the Surface Pro 3, represents, actually, more of the state-of-the-art refinement of this Windows product strategy for hardware devices, than anything else.

So, to take this a step further, if we look at the product from this vantage point, concerns about the future growth potential in the tablet market, given the global fiscal Q1 2014 results recently published by IDC likely have little bearing on what the sales future for the Surface Pro 3 will look like.

Perhaps this product will provide Microsoft with a knife and fork to cannibalize the laptop market, as some analysts have noted. But, then again, the product may prove to be a very useful method of capturing some of the very high end business laptop business Apple has come to own with their “Air” portables — iPad and MacBook.

This latter scenario is certainly reinforced by the participation of Adobe in this launch. The Surface Pro 3 will be the first computer built for a new version of Photoshop, which has been written for a touch screen interface, including the new pen Microsoft will ship with the Surface Pro 3.

Disclaimer: I’m long Microsoft

Ira Michael Blonder

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2014 All Rights Reserved

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