Yesterday, I reported on Microsoft’s Surface Enterprise Initiative and how Dell and HP would be reselling Surface Pro tablets to their own customers. Since then, HP has provided some more information about this partnership, including an interesting detail about which Surface Pro device they’ll start selling.
Contrary to my conspiracy theory-like notion that an early October “Surface Pro” release through Dell and HP might be a hint that the device will be a next-generation Surface Pro 4, HP’s Mike Nash says that the firms will instead begin with Surface Pro 3.
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“Customers–especially global customers–have said they would like to see HP not only selling Surface Pro 3, but also supporting it,” Mr. Nash writes in a new post to HP’s corporate blog. “To respond to this set of customer needs, we are excited to announce that as part of the Surface Enterprise Initiative with Microsoft, we will be offering the Surface Pro 3 through the HP direct sales force. Independently, we will also be offering a new set of HP Care Packs designed specifically to help customers to plan, configure, deploy and manage in enterprise environments. We also plan to offer some mobility workflow transformation tools and services that will be available next year.”
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that Surface Pro 4 isn’t coming soon and won’t be part of the Surface Enterprise Initiative. Indeed, Microsoft may well keep Surface Pro 3 in market alongside Surface Pro 4 as a lower-cost option. But, yes, I had sort of hoped there was a hint in Microsoft’s messaging.
I’m curious if Lenovo will join the Surface Enterprise Initiative, joining the other two of the top three PC makers. But as you may recall, Lenovo has—for now—opted to release a very Surface-like Miix 700 instead. That device is a Surface clone in many ways, but it fills the gap between the consumer/student-focused Surface 3 and the business-focused Surface Pro.