Microsoft Expands Availability of Surface Laptop, Free Windows 10 Pro Upgrade

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 33 Comments

Microsoft Expands Availability of Surface Laptop, Free Windows 10 Pro Upgrade

Microsoft announced today that it is making Surface Laptop available in multiple colors in 20 new countries. Additionally, it is bringing the Core i7/Platinum version of Surface Laptop to Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for the first time.

“If you’ve been holding out to purchase a Surface Laptop in Cobalt Blue, Burgundy, or Graphite Gold, Visit or your nearest Microsoft Store to learn about pre-orders and in-store availability in your country,” Microsoft’s Raphael Aquino Jose explains.

So you can now pre-order Surface Laptop in your choice of colors in the US, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherland, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Taiwan, HK, China, Norway, Australia, and New Zealand.

As you may recall, Surface Laptop comes with Windows 10 S, the limited new version of Windows that cannot run desktop applications. Fortunately, Microsoft also revealed that it is extending the free upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro through March 31, 2018. Previously, the free upgrade period ended on December 31, 2017.


Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (33)

33 responses to “Microsoft Expands Availability of Surface Laptop, Free Windows 10 Pro Upgrade”

  1. Rob Bazemore

    This device should have never launched with Windows 10s. No one who buys this level of premium hardware would want an constrained OS. If anything it should have just had downgrade rights.

  2. Tony Barrett

    Well, like almost everyone else I guess, I've not been holding out to purchase a Surface Laptop in whatever colours it's available in. I doubt many in all these new countries have either. Do I smell a whiff of RT v2 in the making?

  3. bbold

    The 'free upgrade period' to Windows 10 Pro should be 'Permanent,' especially for the price they are asking for the Laptop. I'm the biggest champion of the Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S, but it would be presumptious to assume that is the use case for all. 99.9% of users will want to upgrade to Pro, and I feel Microsoft should just make it a free switch for all those who buy into their premium Surface ecosystem. Note that this shouldn't be the case for cheaper laptops, such as the sub $300 ASUS and HP ones that have been touted recently.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to bbold:

      If 99.9% of Surface laptop buyers would opt for the upgrade to Pro, why wouldn't MSFT simply offer some Surface laptops with Pro rather than S preinstalled? That is, assuming MSFT wants to give buyers what they buyers want rather than getting a few to try S first.

      As for cheap laptops with Windows 10 S, were any of them available in time to be evaluated by any school districts in July? Are any of them in use in more than pilots in any school district for the 2017-8 school year? If not, and if they're not meant for general sale to the curios public, how many will OEMs have manufactured by next June so they'd be available for evaluation by next July and available in sufficient numbers in August to be realistic alternatives to Chromebooks?

      I can accept the assumption that MSFT wants Windows 10 S to gain a substantial niche, but I can't accept the assumption any of its OEMs give a damn about Windows 10 S without some evidence.

  4. skane2600

    Very few people who are interested in running Windows Pro are going to buy a Surface Laptop and mess around with upgrading. The "free" update is likely already baked into the expensive price anyway.

    Ms's strategy of introducing a limited OS on an expensive laptop is incomprehensible. At this point, it just makes Chromebooks look like a better value.

    • feedtheshark

      In reply to skane2600:

      Windows 10S is aimed at low cost laptops, it's just the usual bad marketing from MS that has meant they've stuck it onto the new Surface Laptop. That was a mistake and a distraction in my opinion, but that doesn't mean that 10S or the Surface Laptop are bad. So I think most people who buy it know what they want, know what its is (a well crafted device) and will update to Pro.

      On cheaper laptops it makes sense, for it's limitations it's still more powerful than a Chromebook.

      • Steve78

        In reply to feedtheshark:

        Why does it make sense on cheaper laptops? There's still hardly any apps & developer support is still abysmal and this won't change. Developers & users have rejected Windows Store & UWP apps. It's effectively as dead as the Windows Phone platform.

      • skane2600

        In reply to feedtheshark:

        Including 10S in the Surface Laptop isn't marketing, it's a product design decision.

        Given the SL's HW specs, it IS more powerful than the average Chromebook, but it's not clear that it would be more powerful than a high-end Chromebook. Historically you'd point to something like Windows support for local printers as an advantage, but given the issue raised recently about 10S drivers, who knows?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to skane2600:

      Be more cynical.

      Surface laptops at their prices and with Windows 10 S preinstalled would only appeal to the more rabid end of the MSFT fan base. Some of them would likely be so intent on proving to the world that it's great that they might have come up with some use cases MSFT could use in ads targeting Chromebooks. Essentially, MSFT is getting its Kool-Aid drinkers to pay US$1,000 or more for the privilege of helping MSFT's marketing department. The majority who upgrade to Pro are useful too in gauging the shape of the tail of the distribution of the rabidness of the fan base. That is, how many days did they try S before upgrading to Pro?

  5. chaad_losan

    Free Windows 10 Pro upgrade should be unlimited.

  6. Jari Pennanen

    Windows 10 S should be a "mode" in regular Windows 10. If one really wants to have a S user, then there should be a way to create account with S "experience".

    It would be great for older folks who screw up and fill their computers with malware junk.


    Hamburger at Steak Prices... These devices lack any superlatives other than price.

  8. SherlockHolmes

    Wow, MSFT already admits that Windows 10 S has already failed. Otherwise why the extention of this Upgrade Offer?

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      If Windows 10 S had failed, why wouldn't Surface laptops come with Windows 10 Pro preinstalled by default?

      I figure sales have either been a bit disappointing or MSFT now wants as many holidays sales of them as possible but 31 Dec 2017 as the end of the free upgrade would be a bit tight for that.

      • SherlockHolmes

        In reply to hrlngrv:

        Because MSFT is desperate? I would love to see the numbers on how many do Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. A Premium device like Surface laptop and a limited Windows 10 S doesnt go together. Not now, not in 6 month, not in a year. The Windows Store is just to limited.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to SherlockHolmes:

          My view is that MSFT has other purposes for preinstalling Windows 10 S on Surface laptops than trying to make the Windows Store more attractive to developers. Unfortunately, I can't come up with more than a few mostly pointless ones, the main one being gauging demand for 3:2 laptops. Apparently not enough so far to have interested any of the OEMs, more's the pity.

    • MutualCore

      In reply to SherlockHolmes:

      Not failed, but we'll see what happens with the cheap 10S PCs in education first. That will take 2-3 quarters to know.

      But with regard to Surface Laptop - yeah nobody wants a crippled OS on that.

  9. SvenJ

    "the limited new version of Windows that cannot run desktop applications."

    Hmm, mine is running Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, Outlook (2016), IrfanView, EverNote. The Edge it runs is the same one my Surface Pro runs. It even runs IE and Notepad (for MJ) as well as Paint and Media Player. So it does run desktop applications. You just can't go to any dark alley on the internet and get one. The collection is extraordinarily limited right now. If you are specifically looking for legacy desktop apps bridged to get into the store you may be disappointed, but unless you are Paul, you could get work done with what is available in the store, bridged or 'native'. If your line in the sand is Chrome, then yea, S is not for you.

Leave a Reply