Microsoft bets on larger, more powerful Surface Pro 3 to capture enterprise customers

Dispelling rumors of a "mini" Surface tablet launch, Microsoft announced on Tuesday the availability of a thinner, more powerful Surface Pro with a larger screen, the Surface Pro 3, apparently targeted at the enterprise market.

The new device, with a 12-inch screen, runs the Windows 8.1 operating system and is powered by an Intel Haswell processor. Unlike the Windows RT Surface, the Surface Pro line tablets can run the full complement of Windows apps and services. The Surface Pro is 800 grams (1.8 pounds), and it's the thinnest Intel-core-powered device on the market at 9.1 millimeters (one-third of an inch), according to Microsoft.

The Surface Pro 3 "takes the best of the tablet and the laptop and enables any individual to be able to read and create and write, allows you to watch a movie and make a movie, enjoy art and create art," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in unveiling the new tablet.

"Pushing to 12 inches was critical. If we want to do more, if we want to be more, if we want to be more productive ... this is a critical element," added Panos Panay, head of the Surface division.  

In a research note supplied to FierceMobileIT, Jack Gold, founder and principal analyst with J. Gold Associates, observes that the new Surface Pro tablet is "destined to be an enterprise play and not one targeted at the highly competitive consumer and/or BYOD market. This is a smart strategy, clearly differentiating Microsoft's product from other tablets and the best hope for Microsoft to finally have impact in this space," he says.

Gold says that with the launch of Surface Pro 3 Microsoft has decided not to compete directly with the iPad in the consumer market. "Directly targeting the high end of the enterprise market with full Windows compatibility across all apps is an area where Microsoft can win and it doesn't need to sell tens of millions of this device to be successful," he observes.

For more:
- check out Microsoft's Surface website

Related Articles:
Microsoft loses $1.2B on Surface
Microsoft snubs channel partners in Surface deal with Delta
Surface retail partnerships