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

What will happen to Windows on ARM?

surface 2

According to Mary Jo Foley, one of her sources has tipped her that Microsoft may be moving away from building new ARM powered Surface devices and will focus on Intel based Surfaces. We’ve also heard today from Satya Nadella that Microsoft is very committed to the Surface business, and will moving forward full steam ahead in bringing more accessories and has confirmed that Microsoft is indeed working on a new Surface Pro.

However, Nadella didn’t mention ARM-based devices, and with Mary Jo’s recent report these two pieces of information go hand-in-hand. If Microsoft chooses to do away with ARM chipsets, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that they aren’t working on a Surface 2 successor with a 10.6″ screen, as they could choose to go with Intel’s Atom chipset which would run fan-less and give users the ability to run desktop apps on an entry-level Surface device.

We expect Microsoft to clarify their position on whether they’ll continue with ARM devices or use an Intel chipset, or perhaps even scrap smaller Surface in favor of the Pro devices.  We doubt that’s the case, as an entry-level Surface which is capable or running full Windows is crucial for Microsoft as it enables them to target lower price-points with such high quality devices.

The confusion over whether Surface RT devices run desktop apps still exists with consumers, and if Microsoft can just have all devices run full Windows the message would be much clearer and would give them a compelling offering that no other platform could offer in a tablet.

With Windows 10 arriving in the spring/summer of 2015, Microsoft is rumored to allow more than just modern-styled universal apps in the Windows store – they didn’t offer more information on that particular subject however.  Modern store apps will also be optimized to run in Windowed environment on the desktop and possibly enhanced even further to work more efficiently for desktop users. These modern apps and the additional types of apps (most likely Microsoft certified desktop applications) will still be “sandboxed” or in the case of desktop apps they’ll have to be approved by Microsoft abiding by strict guidelines.  With this in mind, Windows RT becomes less relevant for Microsoft in the future and a full Windows experience on Intel chipsets makes plenty more sense if it spans across less expensive and smaller  Surface devices.

Microsoft is the 3rd largest Windows OEM by volume

Surface-Pro-3-057

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

Surface3-1024x697

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.