Microsoft will give you up to $650 towards a purchase of a Surface Pro 3 but there's catch

SurfacePro3Primary_PageThe Surface Pro 3 was a major upgrade over the previous models, but many people who purchased the Surface Pro 2 were very disappointed to see that Microsoft launched its successor much sooner than expected. Microsoft is now running a new promotion offering the trade-in value for their used Surface devices for a gift card of up to $650 towards a Surface Pro 3.

Before you get excited though, it’s not as exciting as it seems. The only way to get the full $650 is to actually trade in a Surface Pro 3, which some may want to do if they’re looking to get a more powerful version. However, a 128GB Surface Pro 2 which was the most popular configuration of the model, would only get you $221. Don’t even bother with the original Surface RT because that would only get you a measly $84.

To see how much your device is worth, head over to this website to get it appraised. This promotion runs from February 15th to the 8th of March and is only available in the US and Canada. You’ll then receive a trade-in voucher if you proceed and it must be used before April 8th of 2015.

Overall, if you’re someone who doesn’t prefer to sell their electronics privately and appreciate the convenience of dealing with Microsoft, then this is a pretty good way to save some money off of a brand new Surface Pro 3.  However, if you have the time and willingness to sell your device privately, it’s definitely a way to make more money off of the sale.

Get your Surface appraised here

Source: Microsoft

Microsoft is the 3rd largest Windows OEM by volume

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Every month, Ad Duplex releases a report for Windows Phone that shows how each device is selling (compared to other Windows Phones, at least). This month, however, they gave us a look at Windows 8 usage statistics, which they do about twice a year.

For those that don’t know, Ad Duplex claims that it is the largest cross-promotion network for Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Phone 8/8.1 apps. Let’s hop in and look at some of the highlights to see what’s going on with Windows this month.

Microsoft is the 3rd largest OEM for Windows 8 devices – No surprise that Dell and HP are at the top of the list, but what may come as a shocker to some people is that Microsoft is the third largest OEM, beating out some major companies such as Asus, Lenovo, and Acer. It seems that Surface is becoming a major brand in the Windows world.

Surface Pro 3 is seeing lots of success– despite only being released within the past month, the Surface Pro 3 has already passed the Surface Pro 2 and is only .07% behind the original Surface Pro. Microsoft may have just found a hit with the Surface Pro 3. It is of note, however, that in the US (where the Surface Pro 3 launch before the rest of the world), the Surface Pro 3 has already passed it’s predecessors.

This has been a very interesting study from Ad Duplex. While some people that you meet online might insist that Surface RT was a failure, it just goes to show that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. I look forward to seeing how the landscape will change when Windows 9 comes along.

Source: Adduplex

It's patch Tuesday! Here are the Surface firmware updates you'll be receiving

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Microsoft has released firmware updates today for almost all of the Surface family of tablets. Sadly, the trusty old Surface RT is left out for this month’s patch Tuesday, and so is the Surface 2.  However, the original Surface Pro and Surface Pro 3 will be getting a lot of updates. Check out the change log below.

Surface Pro 3

  • Surface Pro Embedded Controller Firmware (v.38.2.50.0) reducing power consumption, and enhancing system stability.
  • Surface Pro System Aggregator Firmware (v. 3.8.250.0) enhancing battery life, and increasing efficiency and reliability in low power states.
  • Surface Type Cover Firmware Update (v. 2.0.1021.0) improving trackpad reliability and system stability.
  • Surface Accessory Device (v. 2.0.1012.0) helping the on-screen keyboard (OSK) appear and disappear at the correct times.
  • Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth (v. 15.68.3042.79) enhancing system stability, reducing power consumption in low power states, and improving some WiFi connection scenarios.

Microsoft will issue an update on Wednesday, July 16, to further improve Wi-Fi connection and throughput scenarios.

Source: Surface Pro 3 update history page

Surface Pro 2

  • Wireless Network Controller (v 14.69.24054.176) enables functionality on wireless networks utilizing hidden SSIDs.

Source: Surface Pro 2 update history page

Surface Pro

  • Surface Pro System Aggregator Firmware (v2.84.0350) improves battery management when a Surface Cover is attached.
  • Surface Pro UEFI (v1.6.350) provides support for PXE boot with the new Surface Ethernet Adapter.
  • Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000 (v10.18.10.3496) improves Miracast wireless display experience and enhances display stability.
  • Intel(R) Display Audio (v6.16.00.3135) enhances compatibility and improves the display experience for DisplayPort monitors.
  • Surface Accessory Device (v1.0.338.0) improves the experience when using Surface accessories.
  • Surface Power Cover Firmware update (v1.0.339.0) improves the experience when using Surface Power Cover.

Surface 2 LTE

  • Modem Firmware Update (v5.706.306.1) enhances the performance and reliability of AT&T 4G LTE network on Surface 2 4G LTE.

Microsoft Store in US/Canada cuts the price of Surface Pro 2 as the Pro 3 launch looms

en-INTL_L_Surface_Pro_2_64GB_5HX-00001_RM2_mncoIn a bid to clear the inventory of Surface Pro 2 and make room for the incoming 3rd generation of the tablet/laptop hybrid, last month Microsoft started reducing the prices of the Surface Pro 2 starting with their UK online store.

Today we learned that Microsoft has slashed the price of Surface Pro 2 in US and Canada, by $100 to $200 depending on the model.

The entry-level 64 GB model of Surface Pro 2 now goes for $799 (previously $899) and the high-end models featuing 256/512 GB hard drive are discounted by $200.

Get Surface Pro 2 @ Microsoft Store US

Get Surface Pro 2 @ Microsoft Store Canada

Microsoft releases big updates for Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2

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Microsoft is steadily providing updates to their Surface family of products, and the time for these updates is usually the first Tuesday of every month. Microsoft calls these days “Patch Tuesdays”. Although this is June’s second Tuesday, Microsoft didn’t forget to ship their updates, they just did it a little late.

This update seems to be pretty big and provides many of improvements. However, the update is only for Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. For users who want these updates now, they can go to Windows Update to get them.

Here’s the what’s in the update

Surface Pro 2 update notes

  • Surface Pro UEFI (v2.4.950.0) and Surface Pro Embedded Controller Firmware (v24.1.50.0) updates enhance system stability with microSD products, improves compatibility with Power Cover, and increases the reliability of sleep state transitions. Surface Pro UEFI update also provides support for PXE boot with the new Surface Ethernet Adapter.
  • Surface Pro System Aggregator Firmware (v2.4.350.0) update improves sleep state transitions when a Surface Cover is attached.
  • Surface Accessory Device (v2.0.287.0) update improves sleep state transitions when a Surface Cover is attached.
  • Surface Power Cover Firmware Update (v2.0.288.0) improves reliability when the Power Cover is attached to Surface and folded behind Surface.
  • HD Graphics Family (v10.18.10.3496) update improves Miracast wireless display experience and enhances display stability.

Surface 2 update notes

  • Surface 2 UEFI (v4.21.500.0) update enhances overall system stability, including boot and reboot scenarios, compatibility with Surface Power Cover, and increased battery life when Surface 2 is not in use.
  • System Aggregator Firmware (v1.0.50500.0) update enhances the charging behavior of the Power Cover.
  • Surface Power Cover Firmware Update (v2.0.595.0) update improves battery life when using the Power Cover with Surface 2.
  • Surface Platform Power Driver (v2.0.557.0) update improves battery life when used with the Surface Power Cover.
  • Audio Driver Set (v 9.17.13.2819) and Display Driver Set (v 9.17.13.2818). This update provides enhanced support for external displays, improves the Miracast experience, and enhances the overall system stability while reducing power consumption in many scenarios.
  • Surface Accessory Device (v2.0.583.0) update enhances the experience when using a Surface Cover.

An additional update for Surface 2 4G LTE is listed below:

  • Wireless Network Controller (v14.62.28061.10179) and Bluetooth (v14.62.28061.10179) update simplifies and improves tethering for Surface 2 4G LTE.

Source: Microsoft