Microsoft is wooing enterprise IT purchasing execs with a set of enticements it hopes will convince them to buy Surface Pro 3 "the tablet that can replace your laptop" to actually replace corporate laptops.
These include an extended warrantee program, a limited-time discount bundle of Surface Pro 3 with accessories and an assurance that accessories businesses buy today will be compatible with later models of Surface Pro.
The extended-warrantee package is sold as Microsoft Complete for Business and Microsoft Extended Hardware Service, but the company didn't say what it costs. It includes:
- An extended warrantee program that pushes coverage from one year to three.
- Replacement of two devices accidentally damaged.
- Extending Microsoft support for setting up the devices in an enterprise from 90 days to three years.
- Faster exchange service if a device needs to be replaced. In the U.S., that means cutting the exchange time from five to eight days down to three to five days.
The discount bundle consists of a Surface Pro 3, a type cover/keyboard and a docking station at up to $150 off the list price. The offer is available now in the U.S. from authorised resellers and is good for about the next quarter or until supplies run out. The company wouldn't say how many packages they have available. The offer will be available in other major markets "in the coming weeks," a spokesman says. About half of commercial Surface Pro 3 sales include these add-ons, and the package is designed to appeal to small and midsize businesses.
The type cover, docking station, power adapter and Ethernet adapter that work with Surface Pro 3 will also be compatible with later models of Surface Pro, the company says. A spokesman says the device will work with Windows 10, the next version of Microsoft's desktop operating system.
As an additional lure, the company says Surface Pro 3 meets Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star requirements and is listed on the EPA Web site.
For doubters who think Microsoft might pull the plug on Surface Pro 3, the company issued this statement from CEO Satya Nadella :"We believe a strength of the Microsoft platform for enterprise is the rich ecosystem of hardware and applications developed by our partners, the community at large, and some of our own teams at Microsoft. In particular with Microsoft Surface Pro 3 we are now offering an enterprise-class device that can deliver great end user productivity. Microsoft is putting its full and sustained support behind the ongoing Surface program as one of a number of great hardware choices for businesses large and small."