Tuesday, 13 November 2018 21:12

VIDEO: Surface Go with 4G LTE arriving 22 November


The wait for the 4G LTE-enabled Surface Go is nearly over, with pre-orders now open and 22 November being the date when the connected GO goes live, as Microsoft promotes Surface for Business as big beneficiaries.

One of the big differences between iOS and Android tablets compared with Windows 10 tablets is Windows 10's ability to run the same enterprise, commercial and consumer software that desktops and notebooks run every day.

While Android tablets have to a large degree stagnated compared with Windows, save mostly for Samsung's innovations, and certainly against iPads, iPads are the biggest tablet competitor out there to Windows devices.

iPads also have the ability to run an ever growing range of dedicated apps, with Apple's iPad Pros its most impressive - and expensive devices yet.

This is one area where Microsoft hopes its new 4G-enabled Surface Go models, with 10-inch screens, and prices starting from $999 for consumers, and $1099 for "commercial devices", will do far more than just scratch the surface of Surface sales.

Apple does, after all, sell more iPads than any of its individual competitors do of their entire desktop and notebook product lines, and while PC makers in aggregate outsell iPads, Apple can truly boast that iPads have done very well indeed.

The Surface Go is one of Microsoft's moves to strike back and really grow its market share as much as possible over the next year, along with the Surface Pro 6, new Surface Laptop and all of the other Surface models now available.

We'll be able to see over the next year just how successful or otherwise Microsoft will be, but the company has been solidly committed to its hardware range in a way that it wasn't with smartphones, and certainly, Microsoft needs to ensure its flagship OS has flagship devices, even though Microsoft has a wide range of OEM partners all vying for the same dollar.

To celebrate the announcement, Microsoft's senior director of Surface Commercial Marketing, Ali Alpay, who must look at the Alipay phenomenon and wonder why he isn't getting major royalties, wrote a blog post entitled "Surface Go with LTE available now", which you can read here

In the post, Alpay notes the recent launch of the Surface Go, and how the company has seen "seen strong momentum for Surface Go".

Alpay notes that "business customers tell us they love Surface Go because it is compact, performant, manageable, affordable, and offers advanced security with Windows 10 Pro".

"Surface Go is a great device for Firstline Workers who are out in the field, directly interacting with customers. In K-8 classrooms, Surface Go provides a versatile device for sparking creativity and inspiring exploration."

He then tells us of the "Surface Go with LTE for Business" now available in selected markets, of which Australia is one, which "offers organisations the perfect balance of performance, portability and connectivity their Firstline Workers need to get the job done in the field".

We're asked to imagine:

  • No more dependence on Wi-Fi at a jobsite – construction project managers can input real-time assessments and photos of contractor progress into their cloud system.
  • No more reliance on a client’s home Wi-Fi network – insurance claims adjusters can submit damage reports and receive quotes while assessing a vehicle.
  • No more tethering with reduced speeds and depleted phone batteries – census takers can upload household demographic information in real time.

Alpay then tells us that "Surface Go with LTE devices also are great for organisational management and security. For example, removing field worker dependency on guest Wi-Fi reduces security risks from unsecured networks".

"LTE-connected devices make it easier for IT administrators to manage rolling out business-critical updates and new device deployments".

Indeed, Microsoft says its push with Surface Go with LTE for Business is the company's latest in its "expanding portfolio of enterprise-grade and optimised Surface devices. This comprehensive family of devices has contributed to the growth in the Surface business".

"Based on customer feedback", Alpay said "we created Surface for Business, products tailored specifically for commercial and education customers.

"On Surface Pro 6 for Business and Surface Laptop 2 for Business, we have designed our products and services to include: a higher-performing, faster 8th Gen Intel Core processor on the i5 configuration; advanced security with Windows 10 Pro; premium support at no additional cost; and readiness for Microsoft 365.

"We continue to be amazed by how our commercial and education customers are transforming their industries using Surface for Business devices".

We are then supplied "a few recent examples":

  • Goldcorp is focused on responsible mining practices throughout the Americas. In addition to Power BI and Microsoft 365, Goldcorp standardised on Microsoft hardware and modern workplace solutions gaining performance insights, improving security, reducing costs and building a foundation for the future of technology-enabled mines. Deploying more than 1,400 Surface devices, Goldcorp selected the fan-less Surface Pro for miners to use in the mines, as well as a variety of Surface devices throughout headquarters, including Surface Pro, Surface Book 2 and Surface Studio.

Here's the Goldcorp video on using Surface in its business:

  • John Holland, a Melbourne-based infrastructure, building and rail leader, selected 1200 Surface Pro with LTE devices to power its field workers across large geographical construction zones. Using cellular and Wi-Fi, the Surface devices seamlessly connect workers with key information like blueprints and documents at project sites. With this change, John Holland is helping deliver a better experience to employees and a higher standard to customers.
  • Mashreq Bank, based in Dubai, is a regional market leader with an international presence. To keep ahead of evolving industry trends, the bank recently switched to Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced devices, implemented Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, and replaced their security offering with Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection. The results have included a more than 50 percent increase in digital transactions, an annual savings of $250,000 USD in security spending, a stronger mobile workforce, and an acceleration of company growth.
  • For New York City Administration for Children’s Services, Surface Pro with LTE devices will provide frontline staff with greater access to critical documents and case history while out in the field. Additionally, new software will automatically identify and flag high-risk cases that need additional review by managerial staff.

So, Microsoft's Surface Go with LTE is available now for pre-order via Microsoft Store and starts at AU$999.00 for consumers, and from AU$1099.00 for commercial customers. By 22 November, Surface Go with LTE will be available for general sale within Australia.

More information is available here.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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