Microsoft Surface Pro 2–Initial Thoughts

Microsoft has recently announced the release of the Surface Pro 2 which is slated to ship October 21st.  For anyone following this blog, you’ll know I’ve been using the first Microsoft Surface Pro as my only desktop at work.  I’ve been pretty happy for the most part and very vocal about my feedback and suggestions to Microsoft via many social media outlets (@MicrosoftCanada, @Surface, and the Microsoft Canada Enterprise Forum via LinkedIn) as well as our Microsoft Account Manager.  There are a few things that Microsoft could have done to make this a game changer and I’ll get to those in a second.

The new Surface Pro 2 has some great features which will contribute to what I think has been a pretty good device. 

  • Intel i5 processorsurface-pro-2-in-purple-640x353
  • Up to 512GB of Flash Storage
  • Dual-angled kickstand
  • Increased battery life
  • 1080p display
  • 200GB of additional SkyDrive storage
  • Docking station (Early 2014)

Now these features really don’t change a lot, just increase the performance of the devices.  What I was looking for was more enterprise features that would make this device a game changer and would help penetrate the enterprise. 

  1. Direct Access – This was something I’ve mentioned multiple times however has not been well received.  If Microsoft wants to see more of these devices in the Enterprise they need to incorporate Direct Access out of the box.  Currently the only way is for IT shops to reformat the Surface device and install Windows Enterprise edition.  Not acceptable.
  2. Docking Station Accessory – I do have to give props in that Microsoft did listen to consumers and created this accessory.  However “early 2014” is to late.  Accessories need to be delivered when the device goes live.  Unsure why the delay here, no explanation to date.
  3. LTE/4G cellular support – A lot of laptops and tablets from other manufactures are including this which helps extend the connectivity of the tablet. To compete with the iPad this needs to be standard fare and is another miss.

Time will tell if Microsoft hit the mark with it’s consumers and I’ll probably end up getting one to test however Microsoft needs to be ahead of the curve here not behind.  I’m afraid they are still behind the mark when compared to the rest of the tablet market and if they want market share they need to do better.  I’d love to replace the iPad’s in our environment however won’t be able to until at minimum Direct Access is enabled out of the box.

If you’re looking to pre-order one you can check out the Microsoft Store here

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