In keeping with prior expectations, Microsoft is currently in the process of rolling out its Surface Pro 3 tablet-hybrid to 25 new markets over the next 24 hours.
With the 25 new markets all live, Surface Pro 3 will be available in a total of 28 markets. The rollout of the device has therefore been quite constrained to date. Microsoft also detailed in a post today that the new Surface dock will sell in the new markets, ahead of its general availability in mid-September.
The new markets give Surface a chance to put more revenue-points on the board. Surface revenue is a figure that Microsoft breaks out in its earnings, making it simple to track. Top line from the hardware project fell by more than half from the fourth calendar quarter of 2013, to the second calendar quarter of 2014.
Given that Microsoft may be in process of stepping back from its Windows RT-based Surface devices, it’s up to the Intel-based Surface Pro 3 to carry the torch. The device has received the strongest reviews of any Surface device. Microsoft positions it as a computer that can replace a traditional laptop.
The Surface project has been an expensive effort for its parent company. If the Surface Pro 3 fails to ignite revenue in Microsoft’s hardware group, it isn’t immediately apparent what a next step would be — the Surface Mini was yanked moments before its planned announcement, so other new SKUs could be somewhat far from making it to market.
Regardless, New Zealand is up first, along with 24 other markets. We’ll see if the bets that Microsoft has made were worth their time, and expense soon enough.