Microsoft is sincerely hoping that its new Surface tablet will be the first device to really give Apple’s iPad something to worry about. But for mobile workers, the iPad has one thing the Surface cannot replace: A 3G/4G wireless data connection.
According to sources “familiar with the matter” who have been speaking to Bloomberg, Microsoft’s Surface tablets — both the Windows RT and the Windows 8 Pro versions — will go on sale with only Wi-Fi connections at first. Wi-Fi-only slates are dominating the market right not, and so it is believed that Microsoft decided to put the 3G connection on hold to keep costs to a minimum.
This news will be hardly surprising to many of you, considering Microsoft didn’t mention 3G capabilities during its Surface unveiling event earlier this week. But some will consider this limitation to be a problem. Ben Bajarin, an analyst at technology consulting firm Creative Strategies, believes that without 3G, the Surface may not be a suitable notebook replacement.
Bajarin told Bloomberg:
“The way that Microsoft is positioning this product — that it’s highly mobile but also has the functionality of a notebook — that customer might be more interested in working from any location and not being bound by Wi-Fi.”
Unfortunately, these sources provided no indication when a 3G-capable Surface will be available.
Will its lack of 3G connectivity make you think twice about picking up the Surface, or is this not an issue for you?