There is always something to be said for having the gumption to stick to your guns. Microsoft’s unveiling of the latest and greatest in their Surface family of products, the Surface Pro 3, shows that the future is now for Microsoft. From the tough and durable hardware, to its ever increasing fluidity of the Windows 8 touch experience Microsoft has soldiered on and proved that focus can sometimes be your biggest ally in the fight to stand out from the crowd. Quick, name me one device that does anywhere near the things the Surface Pro 3 does in anywhere near the same manner? Give up yet? Don’t worry, from the start it was a fool’s errand to try and answer the question. The Surface Pro 3 announcement is a major milestone as much for what was announced as what wasn’t.
“Lighter Than Air” is a tagline I’ve seen Microsoft toss around since the unveiling of the Surface Pro 3. Make no mistake, this rendition of the Surface Pro family is aimed smack dab square at the MacBook Air. This makes total sense. While a journalist will poo-poo the Surface Pro 3 as just another Microsoft attempt at convincing Joe & Jane Public that they need only one thing to meet their needs they will be missing the point entirely. The Surface Pro 3 is meant to be an aspirational product. It isn’t meant to be common place or even the best seller. It is meant to deliver a premium experience for users who create in the visual medium. Time and again I am left with no recourse but to recite an ever accurate mantra I once read from former Microsoftie Charlie Kindel. It reads simply “Consumers don’t buy things, they are sold things”. Ladies and gentleman the success and failure lies in the heart of the story.
Here is where the story of how art school or creative arts academy students are venturing out into the world and capturing images, drawings and the Surface Pro 3 is empowering them to turn a nice day in the park or on the roof of a high rise building with a scenic view into an opportunity to create one of the most epic modern creative pieces. Getting a partnership struck with Adobe and having Adobe themselves show off the touch optimized Photoshop CC is a major deal. It shows that Microsoft is targeting the creative community and has a sharp focus on the things that matter to a creative. Apple, no less, has a history of trotting out Adobe big wigs anytime they want to show how the MacBook is made for the creative. There is no less significance, some would argue more, when Microsoft does the same. There is a very profitable niche market for the Surface Pro 3. There are thousands of schools for Microsoft to target. There is also an entire creative industry which is fast moving to Adobe Creative Suite to meet their needs. Now is a great time to deliver a Pro product that can deliver and provide a sense of panache by owning one. There is no built-in digitizer pen support that you can have when traveling with your MacBook Air. No quick and easy note grabbing either. These are things that matter for the creative. People are choosing to focus on their gripes and not on the breakthroughs the Surface Pro 3 brings to the table. No latency, or parallax effect, while writing is a game changer. It is one of those things that you don’t realize how powerful and important a feature it is until you’re using it. Best of all the Surface Pro 3 looks and brings premium Pro features to the forefront. Where once the argument was all about the apps; Microsoft has managed to change the argument to something else entirely. From where I sit, the Surface Pro 3 is an aspirational, breathtaking device that shows Microsoft made the best Surface Pro they could make. There is something spectacular about setting out to do something significant and getting the mission accomplished.