Microsoft to support Surface Pro tablet until 2017
Hardware gets 4+ years of support, but the Windows 8 Pro OS gets 10
Computerworld - Microsoft will support its Surface Pro tablet until July 2017, or almost four-and-a-half years after its launch last weekend, the company's website confirmed.
Like its predecessor the Surface RT, the Windows 8-powered Surface Pro sports a support lifecycle that's less than half the usual 10 years Microsoft allots its software products.
Microsoft will support the Surface Pro only in a "Mainstream" support phase, the company said on its lifecycle website.
Last year, Microsoft announced a similar support schedule for the Surface RT. That device, which launched in late Oct. 2012, will be supported until April 2017, or nearly four-and-a-half years.
Microsoft typically supports consumer-grade software only during a five-year mainstream stretch. Business software and operating systems receive another five-year span, called "Extended" support, for a total of 10 years.
During the four years of support for the Surface Pro, Microsoft will offer hardware repair -- free during the warranty period, for-a-fee after that -- as well as make available parts and replacement units. Telephone-based support will also be offered only during the four-year period.
But the Surface Pro's operating system -- Windows 8 Pro -- will continue to be supported long after the hardware is retired.
"For the Surface device, the software embedded in it is subject to the Microsoft software lifecycle support policy, as is any software that is installed or downloaded on that Surface device," Microsoft stated in an FAQ.
Microsoft will support Windows 8 Pro for 10 years total, with the decade broken into five years of mainstream support and five of extended support. Non-security bug fixes and feature updates will be available during the former, while vulnerability patches will be offered in both.
Windows 8 Pro's mainstream support ends in Jan. 2018, while extended runs until Jan. 2023.
The company has yet to spell out the length of support for Windows RT, the limited version of Windows that powers the Surface RT tablet. As of Tuesday, an FAQ on its website continued to state, "Additional information regarding the Windows RT lifecycle policy will be communicated as available."
The shorter-than-usual support for the Surface Pro hardware is not groundbreaking: Apple also supports its tablets for short stretches.
For example, Apple last issued an iOS update for the first-generation iPad on May 7, 2012, just two years and one month after the tablet's April 3, 2010 on-sale date.
iOS 6, which Apple launched last September, does not run on the 2010 iPad. Assuming Apple maintains that unwritten practice, it will drop the iPad 2 from support before the middle of this year.
- 2-in-1 devices face a long, slow slog to credibility
- Microsoft support tells Surface Pro 2 owners firmware fix will ship Jan. 14
- As customers fume, Microsoft promises Surface Pro 2 firmware fix ASAP
- Analyst credits Surface sell-out to Microsoft swinging conservative
- Best Buy does what Microsoft won't: Takes Surface tablets in trade
- Deja vu all over again: Microsoft warns of Surface 2 sell-out
- Microsoft steers same strategic course in Surface do-over
- Dumping a Surface? eBay averages double the return of a buyback vendor
- Microsoft's Surface to be under revenue microscope
- Microsoft's most loyal users ask for Surface trade-in program
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Tablets in the Enterprise: A Checklist for Successful Deployment How can you enterprise manage and secure tablets in order to protect corporate data while providing access to the information and applications employees...
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Tablets White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!