15 December 2016

Microsoft Surface family grows in popularity

Source: Microsoft. The Surface family.
Source: Microsoft. The Surface family.

From Surface Pro, to Surface Book, to Surface Studio, to Surface Hub, the Surface family is enjoying its "best holiday ever', says Brian Hall, CVP, Microsoft Devices Marketing, wrote in a blog post. November was the best month ever for consumer Surface sales, Hall said.

The Surface Studio was introduced in October, and 10+ million people have viewed the Surface Studio launch video since, Hall noted. He announced that the Surface Studio is now shipping.

Microsoft’s trade-in programme for Surfaces in exchange for MacBooks is at its best ever, which Hall attributed to "the combination of excitement for the innovation of Surface coupled with the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro – especially among professionals".

In Asia Pacific, Surface Book with Performance Base will go on sale in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Japan early next quarter, and is now available in Australia and New Zealand, Hall added. The Surface Book with Performance Base laptop, also introduced earlier in the year, has twice the graphics power and 30% more battery than the previous model.

By the end of 2016, nine months since launch, Surface Hubs will have shipped to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets, Hall disclosed. "The average deal size we see in the pipeline is approximately 50 units, but we’ve seen orders as large as 1,500 units to a large car manufacturer. This makes our team so, so proud," Hall said in the post.

Surface Hub production has been ramped up and it is available worldwide. "To help meet the demand for Surface Hub, and to provide a great experience for customers, we’re adding more value-added partners who will resell Surface and provide five-star service to our customers," Hall promised.

A Surface Hub Try-and-Buy Program is rolling out as well, where selected resellers will provide customers Hubs for 30 days before they commit to purchasing a large set of devices. The This Asia Pacific launch date is not yet known, however.

"In a February 2016 study, Forrester estimated that the ROI of integrating a Surface Hub into an organisation was 138%. They measured meeting time saved per meeting to be 15 to 23 minutes and sales as a result of the Surface Hub were up 20% with a payback period (of) nine months. We believe our momentum in just nine months proves the study correct, and we’ve added some features that our customers have asked for most upgrade executive offices and conferences rooms around the world – with the power of a software-driven product," Hall said.

Other new Surface Hub capabilities announced after customer feedback and observing how customers use the Surface Hub include:

+Inking support across Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
+Saving and recalling Whiteboards directly through OneDrive.
+Support for more third party peripherals like BiAmp TesireForte CI, Jabra 810, Logitech PTZ Pro and Polycom CX5100.
+Preloaded PowerBI, OneDrive, and Photos apps.


Watch the video introduction to Microsoft Surface Studio