Microsoft has enlisted high-profile allies including Coca-Cola and the Seattle Children’s Hospital to tout the enterprise credentials of its Surface Pro 3 tablet-laptop device.
The Surface Pro 3 was unveiled earlier this month, with Microsoft promoting its ability to work as both a tablet and a laptop as a feature that sets it apart from the competition.
At the launch Microsoft said that BMW and the Coca-Cola Company were going to be offering the Surface Pro 3 to staff. V3 immediately contacted the firms for information on these rollouts, but no detailed information was forthcoming. Coca-Cola merely confirmed the device was being offered “as a choice” to staff, while BMW said it could not provide any more information beyond the Microsoft release.
However, now Microsoft itself has spoken with the chief technology officer of Coca-Cola, Jim Scholefield, to ask why he sees the Surface Pro 3 as a key device for staff at the company.
“Productivity is a key driver for the company and Surface Pro 3 is a potential enabler that will allow our workers to be more efficient and nimble in an ever-changing landscape,” Scholefield said.
“With personal productivity platforms converging between PCs and tablets we want to be able to leverage new form factors to enable our workforce to use devices that are highly mobile, easy to operate and provide the capability of a traditional PC.”
As well this backing Microsoft has also been able to announce that Avanade and Seattle Children’s Hospital are going to be deploying the Surface Pro 3, as Wes Wright, the CIO at the hospital, explained in a video interview.
“Surface Pro 3 is going to be our laptop replacement. We look at weight, battery life, application compatibility...it was kind of a no-brainer for us,” he said.
“Surface Pro 3 brings that desktop-like experience to a mobile device […] the screen size on the Surface Pro 3 allows our physicians to see more data at one time.”
While cynics might point out that the hospital is based in the same city as Microsoft's headquarters, and Avanade is a former unit of Microsoft, also headquartered in Seattle, Microsoft Surface senior director Cyril Belikoff said it was clear businesses were in need of a device like the Pro 3.
“Surface Pro 3 appeals to businesses that are interested in the opportunities that come along with increased mobility, but are challenged by the complexity and cost that can be associated with purchasing, managing and securing a laptop and an iPad for a single user,” he wrote in a blog post.
“Simply said, Surface Pro 3 can replace a laptop and an iPad. Why should businesses buy both?”
However, while Microsoft is able to call on some strong brands to back the Surface Pro 3, there is no doubt it will face a tough challenge in getting anywhere near the iPad, which continues to generate huge cash for Apple and enjoys strong market demand.
By contrast, the Surface Pro is proving a costly adventure for Microsoft, as recent financial documents showed it made a loss of $45m on the device in the last financial year.
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