Microsoft is planning to end production of its Atom-based Surface 3 tablets in December 2016. Will there be more devices coming in the Surface line this year or next? There’s no official word.
Microsoft’s Surface 3 has been on the market for over a year with no successor in sight, but it now looks like the lower-cost Windows tablet is on its way out… well, eventually. The company has confirmed to ZDNetthat it will stop producing the Surface 3 by the end of December, or more than a year and a half after it hit store shelves. As it stands, the company says that stock is “limited.” You might not get the model you want at your preferred store, then.
The question is whether or not there will be a replacement around that time, assuming there is one in the works. Microsoft says that there has been “strong demand and satisfaction” for the Surface 3, but it’d odd to wind down sales of a popular product half a year before production stops. And there’s no doubt that the higher-end Surface Pro 4 and Surface Bookare the stars of this hardware generation. While the Surface 3 lowered the barrier to getting a Microsoft tablet with pen support and a full app ecosystem, its Atom chip and limited storage make it a tough sell as a laptop replacement. This isn’t necessarily the end of the line for non-Pro Surface models. However, Microsoft may only want to jump back in when it can sync with a major new Windows release (ZDNet points to the rumored “Redstone 2”) and make a more compelling case for a lower-cost tablet.