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Off Cycle Update Theories


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I am curious if anyone has any ideas about why MS chose to release the SP3 now, which is off standard cycle for the Surface Lineup.  I guess the first thing that jumps out at me is that maybe I am assuming that the standard cycle is Fall and I am just plain wrong.  I know that the original SP was announced with the Surface RT in the fall but I do seem to recall that shipping a few months later. Anyways, I have a few questions for the Podcast guys.


1) Why do you think they made this move now with the SP3 when the SP2 was only 6-7 months old?


2) Do you think that this was a play to beat out the rumored IPad Pro (rumored 12") to be coming either late fall or early 2015?  I know that the assumption is that the IPad pro would run IOS but why would it need to? They could possibly allow options to have it spec'd to install and run OSX and that would be a direct competitor for the SP lineup (legitimate or not).  I just think that the IPad Pro is an obvious play for enterprise, and while many IPads exist in the Enterprise today, they are still so limited.   The possibility of a 12" screen with better specs, maybe an OSX option, and the rumors about split screen finally coming to IOS in IOS8 all scream enterprise, at least to me.  Maybe MS felt that Enterprise is the one niche tablet/convertible market that is still yet largely able to be had and they pushed to get the SP3 out there as the serious Enterprise Laptop Alternative.  For many I talk to, they haven't considered the SP lineup as a full time replacement for their laptop at work because A) the screen is to small B) The Keyboard issues.  Most were willing to overlook the keyboard and use Bluetooth options, but many at my place of employment have a dual monitor setup with the laptop as one of the screens and the SP2 was just too small.  The fact that there were so few solid leaks about the SP3 existence until the last week, makes it feels like they moved this along quite quickly and there must be a reason for that, especially considering they clearly don't have a supply of inventory and are still manufacturing inventory since we are a month out from the ship date.  


3) Do you think that this has anything to do with the fact that they are trying to push this as a Laptop replacement/alternative and the Laptop refresh cycle is coming up.  To me (from feel, not empirical data to support this claim) it seems like the Laptop refresh cycle is generally from May-July while consumption devices and phones tend to be Sept-Nov.   If they truly feel this is a laptop replacement, maybe that is why they are dropping this in the laptop refresh cycle instead of the standard tablet cycle and in the future we will see the SP lineup refreshed in May/June and the Surface (Arm based) updated only in the Fall???


So this is just me throwing some junk out there, most of my thoughts are probably completely off base, but just like everyone else in this world, I love to speculate!

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As Dave mentioned in the latest podcast, Microsoft probleby had the i5 model ready and wanted to get a device out as fast as possible. The i3 and the i7 will be released close to the 1 year cycle, so that makes more sense.

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