5 Years Later: How Microsoft Originally Marketed Surface Pro

Posted on February 11, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 32 Comments

While reviewing my archives about the original Surface Pro, I came across some interesting marketing materials. Key among them are two videos, which I’ve posted to YouTube. Each is an interesting peek at Microsoft’s earliest Surface Pro marketing efforts.

The Vibe

“The Vibe” is a confusing follow-up to a confusing commercial that Microsoft aired for the original Surface device, now called Surface RT. The theme then, as with “The Vibe,” is the clicking sound that the Type and Touch Covers made when connected to Surface. You were instructed to “click in at a Microsoft Store” to learn more.

And my God, is this nonsense. It features the same dancing actor that we saw in the Surface RT commercial, but he’s apparently graduated from the Glee-like community college he attended previously and now has a job. Get it? Surface Pro! This time, the emphasis is on the pen, which was unique to Surface Pro, so the clicking isn’t as pronounced. I can only assume this commercial made everyone as uncomfortable as it made me.

Welcome to Surface Windows 8 Pro

This more traditional product overview highlights the new and unique features in Microsoft’s first “real” PC. You had a choice of two “ultra-thin, revolutionary keyboards that double as covers. You could switch to the pen—not yet called Surface Pen. It ran “real” Windows apps—e.g. “the programs you use everyday,” unlike Surface RT—or “great apps from the Windows Store.”

Surface Pro came in 64 GB and 128 GB variants, provided a USB 3.0 port and a microSD card slot for expansion, and it had a “dual-purpose charger” that could charge the device and your phone at the same time. Obviously, they showed a Windows phone, because that’s what everyone used back then. Surface Pro had a 1080p display and could display externally via miniDisplayPort.

It was, in Microsoft’s words, “new and exciting” and “trusted and familiar.” Using this device, you could “click-in and do more.”


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