1. Tsang Fai's Avatar
    Before the launch of Surface, Microsoft basically focused on its Windows OS and suites of software. Its business model was quite different from Apple.

    And now with the Surface product lines, and also Lumia Windows phones, it seems that Microsoft is trying to create a brand name, although this brand name effect is still not comparable to Apple's. I think Microsoft is in the right direction - in the long term, in order to build better reputation for its OS and ecosystem, there is really a need to make their "own devices", instead of just letting vendors to produce laptops, desktops, phones with wide range of qualities.

    Surface Pro 3 does give me a strong feeling of choosing a good "brand name". I am sure I will buy SP4, SP5 in the future just because of this good brand name effect. It can be seen that Microsoft was very serious in every part of the design - the type cover, pen, charger, kickstand, and most importantly, the build quality - it is comparable to Apple products. And even for the box packaging, you can see that Microsoft has tried to build something users would "love".

    I do hope that Microsoft will succeed in building a good brand name. Yes, it needs time but it is worth to do so. Once a good brand name is created, Microsoft just don't need to waste energy and money on promoting its devices.

    Have got my i5 128GB SP3 just one week. To me it is more than just a nice device, but also something I am proud of to carry around, and also something I want to keep in very good condition. It is not just useful but also beautiful. I feel so great when I switch it on, put on my lap and start working in less than 10 seconds.

    I have used desktop computers for nearly 30 years. The products that give me a strong sense of "brand name" are Apple products. And the second is Surface Pro 3.
    09-07-2014 09:45 AM
  2. MBytes's Avatar
    I agree.
    For many years, many people associated PC with cheap, low quality devices, with problems. And Apple with "it just works".
    We know the reality. It is clear that you get what you paid for. Apple has stricter quality assurance check, they tend to use high quality hardware and components, the system is well engineered including its cooling system, the products tend to be solid, decent to good battery life, and you have superior after sale service, and lets not forget: comes junk free. You pay the premium price for. But that is how you get a system that "just works".

    For many years, the only way to get this, in the PC specs, is custom build system, and you can't really custom build laptops and tablets. The closest you can get, was buying business class systems, but to access those, it is online purchase only, and you need to actually look under the business section of the manufacture, which many people think that you need to be a business to order from there. Plus, the average consumer, like to visually see the product physically. If you go at the Apple store, everything has been thought about. The angle of the laptop lid, is on purpose to be incorrect for most people that walked in, so that the customer touches the device, to tilt the screen correctly to them, and have physical contact with the system, making you feel the build quality. Anyway, that is a bit off topic, back to topic:

    Why do people complain about BSODs, when my custom build systems never did for years... the last one I had was back with XP, and that was due to faulty memory. Yet, it seems an often occurrence on pre-build systems. Also, manufactures in the PC space don't seam to innovate. The best innovation I have seen is putting 2$ speakers instead of 0.50$ ones, and slap some audio company name under license, to try and push a device to sale.

    I know some people will disagree with me, but since the Surface Pro 1, this is where manufactures started to freak out (and I think we all remember that, complete with their bashing of Windows 8, and Surface, to try and make it all fail), and this is where we see manufacture putting SOME effort in their system, and tries to innovate, also, I have seen an increase in build quality for some manufactures for the med range models. Microsoft has pushed the industry.

    The Surface Pro is a premium device. It is the Nvidia GeForce Titan of Microsoft, or if you have no idea what I am talking about: its Halo title.

    A pricey system, but it showcases the best of Windows, and the best of Microsoft. And it does deliver on that front.
    It's the first system where you don't need to worry about driver updates. You know that you put Windows 9 on it, everything will just continue to work. And i am sure if you put Linux based OS on it, and you have the drivers for everything, everything will continue to work, as even the special keys on the keyboard are all done at a hardware level, while for many manufactures on their consumer grade devices, you need to install this bloated, poorly programed, software that bogs down the system, just to get the special keys working. I even encounter a system, a few years back, it was an Acer, if you didn't install the bloated software, you can't even adjust the screen brightness. Not even in Windows. And it was doing an OS check, and if it wasn't the OS the system came with (basically, what Acer supported for this product), it would not install. Not even compatibility mode trick will help you.

    Another thing I like about the Surface Pro line, is that everything used inside, is properly speced. I have see too many laptops and Windows tablets where they claim "SSD!!!!!! BUUUYY MEE!", but the SSD is the slowest one that you have ever encountered in your life and makes you wonder if it's a 5400RPM HDD inside in reality, not even a 7200RPM one. Or RAM, where they say 8GB, but it's 1033MHz or such, and not the max the CPU supports, in the case of the Surface Pro 2, 1600MHz is what is used. Sure it's cheaper, but battery life is crap, and the device is slow for the basic specs given and what you thought you are getting, quality is not there.

    So yes, The Surface Pro is a bit on the expensive side, but you do get top notch hardware, smartly engineered system, solid system, great battery life, and well... it just works.

    Is it perfect? No. But it seams that Microsoft is getting better rather quickly, at every Surface version release. Most problems of the SP2 looks like they are solved in the SP3, the same with the SP2 from the SP1. I like seeing a company doing its best to target perfection, and the continuous firmware upgrade to try and rectify the flaws it can fix, is great. Most manufacture don't bother unless it's something big that they could see as a problem that can potentially hurt their sales, or reaches the media. So big props for Microsoft.

    I think a big issue with that Microsoft faces, and that is A BIG DOWNSIDE, is their warranty service. If the device is still sold in stores, and you have a Microsoft Store near you, great! You get Apple style service. But if not, then it looks like it gets shipped to a third party company pinching for money, and has 0 care in repairing the device. properly, so people end up with scratched up devices. Too lazy or cheap to replace the enclosure. It's like: you have it opened, the casing is the cheapest thing from the this device, replace it. Heck, even Dell does this for their refurbished models when they see something scratched on it. And the cool thing about the magnesium body that the Surface Pro has, you can take the scratch up or damaged parts you removed from the device, and melt them to make new ones either the same, or newer model (I mean the metal is melted you can do what you want). This will also make Microsoft look more green as well. Everyone is happy.
    Last edited by MBytes; 09-07-2014 at 11:38 AM.
    09-07-2014 11:24 AM
  3. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I agree with you. The Surface name does sound good and is catchy. I hope it gets more recognition and even gets expanded.
    Tsang Fai likes this.
    09-07-2014 11:25 AM
  4. Tsang Fai's Avatar
    Agree that Microsoft must improve its after-sales service.
    Let me share my experience of my recent purchase at Microsoft Online Store (Hong Kong)
    1. The hotline staff claimed that the Surface Arc Mouse will ship in 1 day. But it turned out that it was shipped at the same time as the SP3. He just did not know that Surface Arc Mouse is also a pre-order item.
    2. My SP3 suddenly arrived at my home without any notification (email/sms) before shipping. Two days after I received my SP3, I received an email from Microsoft telling me that my SP3 is "going to ship".
    3. I ordered an accessory and the later on the same day I cancelled the order by calling the hotline. I was told by the hotline staff that the product had not shipped yet. But then the next day courier was sending the accessory to my home. Of course I rejected the delivery but it is really not a good experience. I just felt that they forgot to cancel the order for me.

    To build a good brand name in the long run, after-sales service can never be neglected.
    09-08-2014 06:06 AM
  5. Coreldan's Avatar
    I think Surface has been a brand name by every definition already. And I think there couldn't be a much better device to be the flagship hardware of Microsoft. Even my brother who is a big Apple fan and likes to bash on Microsoft products couldn't really come up with anything but praise when I handed him my original Surface RT long ago (just talking about HW build, he didnt actually use it).

    That said, I think Surface as a brand name isn't the easiest at least for non-native speakers. Something like iPhones and iPad or Macs are much easier in that regard. For example here in Finland you have the "option" to just say how it's written (but not how its actually pronounced) and I think this is the most common thing I hear even from MS reps. Pronouncing it properly sounds sorta... "tryhard" :D I don't know how to explain it, but somehow fe. iPhone is much more natural for a finn to pronounce properly, at least in comparison to Surface.

    And by saying "how it's written" I don't mean like "Sir face", but a finn would more like read it "Sur fase" if that makes any sense, english is a weird language where nothing is pronounced the way it's written and words are pronounced differently depending on context fe. just "face" is different than the face in "Surface".
    Last edited by Coreldan; 09-08-2014 at 06:35 AM.
    09-08-2014 06:24 AM
  6. RTGent's Avatar
    Surface replaced the Windows logo since the 2nd generation. You're seeing all NFL teams using Cyan-covered, Surface-branded tablets on the sidelines to review photos of all plays this season.
    09-08-2014 01:15 PM
  7. vegardaleksander's Avatar
    I'm taking an bachelor i business and at the school I go to here in Norway, 95% of the students uses an Apple MacBook Pro/Air.

    First time I took the SP3 out in class I immediately got a "wow, thats cool" comment followed up by questions about what it is from some random Apple sheeps. When I started using the pen I could see they looking at their Macbook in disgust. Found it very interesting that it got that response with people that are so brand loyal to Apple.

    SATYA NADELLA'S MICROSOFT WANTS TO MAKE PRODUCTIVITY SEXY, INSPIRING, AND FUTURISTIC

    "At our core, Microsoft is the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more."
    Surface sure fits the bill.
    12-06-2014 08:59 AM
  8. stephen_az's Avatar
    Agree that Microsoft must improve its after-sales service.
    Let me share my experience of my recent purchase at Microsoft Online Store (Hong Kong)
    1. The hotline staff claimed that the Surface Arc Mouse will ship in 1 day. But it turned out that it was shipped at the same time as the SP3. He just did not know that Surface Arc Mouse is also a pre-order item.
    2. My SP3 suddenly arrived at my home without any notification (email/sms) before shipping. Two days after I received my SP3, I received an email from Microsoft telling me that my SP3 is "going to ship".
    3. I ordered an accessory and the later on the same day I cancelled the order by calling the hotline. I was told by the hotline staff that the product had not shipped yet. But then the next day courier was sending the accessory to my home. Of course I rejected the delivery but it is really not a good experience. I just felt that they forgot to cancel the order for me.

    To build a good brand name in the long run, after-sales service can never be neglected.
    No offense but everything you mentioned would be part of retail service, not after sales service. They are about getting you your product. On that front, Microsoft's online retail operation is genuinely embarrassing. In my experience, they are the worst in the business among major online players. Actual after sales service, on the other hand, has been (again in my experience) exceptional.
    12-06-2014 11:39 AM
  9. stephen_az's Avatar
    In as much as it will ever exist, Surface is already a brand name with recognition. As for making it some definitive identity though, as Apple, Amazon, and Google have done with their hardware, I am sorry but it is not likely to happen. Microsoft's business model is based upon being everywhere to everyone. Being closely identified with one hardware name (other than Windows) is contrary to that model. It is one of the reason's I find it irritating every time people say they are waiting for some great "Surface Phone." You would think after three years everyone would get that it is not happening. Microsoft also really does not want to be aggressively competing with their OEM partners.

    Personally, I expect they are quite happy with the market performance of SP3, and will continue to aggressively push it head to head against Apple's MacBook. They will, however, almost certainly continue to do that as a product line, not a broader marketing identity. FWIW, they have already been quite clear that their future is not Surface or Lumia or even Windows Phone. It is to become the online/cloud/services version of what they were in the past couple decades on desktops and laptops: the name you can't miss wherever you go.

    BTW, I point this out sarcastically but it can also be taken pretty seriously. You would think if Microsoft viewed the Lumia name as being essential, they would have updated their own spell checker for Windows 8.X to actually recognize it as a first order word choice. Instead if you type Lumia, three years later, it still autocorrects to Lumina - best known as a really bad car Chevrolet stopped making quite a few years ago.
    12-06-2014 12:04 PM

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