Microsoft is gradually launching its Intel-based Surface 3, which comes with built-in 4G LTE and was revealed in March. As the company informed consumers in a blog post, the first Surface 3 devices were unveiled in Japan with partner YMobile two weeks ago.
For business users first
According to a post from Friday, the gadget will be available in Germany and the U.K. through Deutsche Telekom and O2 respectively. Microsoft will be launching the Surface 3 in France (Orange Business Service) and Spain (Movistar), but the timing is not known yet.
In April, the Surface Team confirmed on Reddit that the company will release an unlocked version of the Surface 3 at some point. However, not many details are available on such development. The first shipments of the new Surface 3 devices will be entirely for businesses and sales groups. Microsoft is giving more priority to enterprise buyers as it expects the gadget will appeal less to retail consumers. The updated tablet will eventually move out to the average consumer.
Microsoft’s Surface 3 4G LTE will be available in two models. The cheaper one most likely will ship with 64 GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, and the expensive one will offer 128GB of storage and 4GB of memory. The pricing for both models is still being kept secret. However, in March, executives said adding 4G LTE will cost $100 more.
Will it help Microsoft win buyers?
Since the first Surface’s release in 2012, Microsoft has seen only modest success with its tablets despite making strong efforts. The software firm hopes that adding 4G LTE will help it entice buyers, and it could, considering the standing of a hybrid gadget which can be used both as a laptop and a tablet. Microsoft’s offering of 4G LTE could attract businesses which are looking for an alternative to the costly Surface Pro 3. Along with built-in 4G LTE and Windows 8.1 pre-installed, a promise for a free Windows 10 upgrade could further help the company attract buyers.
“We see particular excitement for our LTE-enabled Surface 3 with businesses and their sales forces, which is why this initial announcement is focused on business availability,” read Microsoft’s blog post.