Microsoft Surface Pro 4: The Right Update
The Surface Pro lost its place at the top of Microsoft's hardware stack yesterday, when Microsoft pulled the best 'one more thing' since Steve Jobs turned three devices into the iPhone back in 2007.
However that doesn't mean the Surface Pro 4 received any less love in its update. Microsoft managed to deliver exactly the sort of thing that builds user engagement and loyalty.
The Surface Pro 4 is more powerful, has a bigger, better screen and a more accurate pen. It even launched a new buzzword - PixelSense, a very Apple-like way of bypassing all the technical detail and making a forward leap easily digestible to the masses.
The really clever thing though was how it managed continuity of accessories. If you have a Surface Pro 3 with a Type Cover, case or Surface Pro Dock they'll work with you new Surface Pro 4 when you upgrade. That's the sort of thing that eases the buying decision at upgrade time.
On the other hand if you have a Surface Pro 3 and you're not ready to upgrade yet, the new Type Cover with fingerprint reader and the new Surface Pro Dock will work with your existing hardware until you are.
Its a good strategy that offers further benefits. The popularity of the Surface Pro 3 has seen third-party accessory vendors jump onboard like never before.
With the Surface Pro 4 having the same form factor and connectivity those vendors are seeing the potential customer base for existing products grow. Something that's likely to encourage the development of more accessories.
That's a quality that is more important than many OEMs realise. There's nothing like being able to accessorise a new device to validate a buying decision.