Microsoft struggled with its Surface tablet-laptop hybrids for almost 2 years, but the Surface Pro 3, launched in June 2014, has inspired a following and level of enthusiasm rarely associated with a new Windows device. The Surface Pro 3 was responsible for most of Microsoft’s 65% increase in annual Surface revenue in 2015, and the Surface Pro 3 (i5)* scores highest in the 2015 U.S. Tablet Satisfaction Study—Vol. 2.
With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft took a page from Apple’s playbook by developing hardware to integrate with its software, but unlike Apple, it envisioned a tablet capable of multitasking that could be used in professional and academic settings where laptops dominate. By coming preloaded with a full version of Windows and pairing with accessories that make it more versatile, the Surface Pro 3 has helped move hybrids from niche products to mainstream while suiting a growing customer segment for tablets: business users.