A year ago, the Surface was a surprise to many and Microsoft’s first serious foray into the hardware side of the PC market. In many ways, this was a situation Microsoft was forced into. The OEMs had stopped innovating years ago focusing on squeezing the maximum profits and loading their “PCs” with crapware to further worsen the experience. In the meantime Apple had been seriously innovating in the hardware space, with Google also looking into getting in the game as well.
The devices and services strategy is starting to pay off, even if there was an initial $900 million blunder. The OEMs are finally starting to put out decent devices, and most are now touchscreen, even if it is a year later than it should have been. The Surface has set the standard of a what a PC can be. While the distribution channels were not ready a year ago, the Surface 2 & Surface 2 Pro will be launching in 22 markets simultaneously, pre-orders could be made the day after the announcements, and retailers will have the Surface in stock on launch day.
Large enterprises and businesses en masse are starting to adopt the surface. We previously reported on Delta Airlines giving 11,000 of its pilots Surface 2 tablets.
The Surface Blog reported on a number of them today:
Hokkoku Bank, a highly regarded financial services company in Japan purchased more than 2,000 units of Surface Pro across their 112 retail branches and 11 loan centers. “The fact that it is a hybrid device that can be used as both a PC and tablet is a big plus,” said Junichi Maeda, Senior Managing Director, Hokkoku Bank. “We had some tablets in use alongside notebooks and desktop PCs, but with a switch to Surface, we can save with a single device that suits our needs, and managing them will also be easier. Moreover, the Surface Pro’s screen is really beautiful, which is a big advantage when presenting products to customers, and the stylus input capabilities are useful when drawing up contracts.”
City National Bank is a boutique bank with 3,000 employees serving customers in 80 branches. They’ve chosen Surface Pro particularly where they’re opening new branches and bringing forward high-touch customer service programs. Jim Ellaboudy, SVP Enterprise Services adds, “People are changing the way they’re banking. Our relationship managers are using Surface Pro to provide a high-end, technology-enriched experience that gives them access to all of their tools. Surface allows us to empower our mobile colleagues while providing the type of extraordinary service our clients expect.”
Education: Over the past few months, many schools have taken to Surface RT. The original Surface device was a great choice for schools because it came equipped with Microsoft Office. Now, Surface 2 is an even better value with additional services that are great for students and collaborative learning including free Skype calling to landlines in 60 countries and free Skype WiFi at over two million hotspots for a year. And every Surface 2 comes with 200GB of SkyDrive free for two years.
The London School of Business & Finance purchased almost 10,000 Surface RT devices for their 2ndyear students working on business productivity software, replacing an existing tablet program with Surface because they wanted to ensure their students were getting prepared for the work force using the same tools they’d use on the job after graduation. Vicente Fraser, Chief Information Officer at LSBF, commented, “We’ve used other tablets in the past, but the feedback from many of our students doing internships at businesses has been that they need a mobile device which will be versatile enough to use both in the classroom and at work. Surface RT comes pre-installed with Office 2013 which was a big benefit for many of our students who are working with Excel spreadsheets for financial models, presenting business plans with PowerPoint, and using OneNote to record class lectures and meeting notes.”
Sales Force: Mobile professionals and road warriors are a natural fit for Surface. These power users love the durable magnesium body, dual-position kickstand, click-in keyboards, and full size USB 3.0 port that are available in both Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2.
Novartis is a worldwide healthcare products provider rolling out Surface Pros for their pharmaceuticals sales staff to use.
Expeditors International, a global logistics company, is also putting Surface Pro devices to use with their worldwide sales force.
Source: Surface Blog