Linux can be installed and run on Surface devices even now, as Betanews points out, but the experience should become much smoother when the 4.8 kernel is released.
In the first 4.8 release candidate, developer Dmitry Torokhov announced that he had included a driver for the touchscreen controller found in Surface 3.
The Surface 3 line costs about US$499. It has an Intel Atom processor on which Linux runs very well.
He wrote: "This seems to be building up to be one of the bigger releases lately, but let's see how it all ends up. The merge window has been fairly normal, although the patch itself looks somewhat unusual: over 20% of the patch is documentation updates, due to conversion of the drm and media documentation from docbook to the Sphinx doc format. There are other doc updates, but that's the big bulk of it.
"If you ignore the documentation format change, things look fairly regular, with about 60% of the non-documentation diffs being drivers (gpu, networking, media, sound, etc) and about 15% being arch updates (arm, powerpc and x86 dominate, but there's mips and s390 too).
"The rest is spread out: core networking, tooling (mainly perf), include files, core kernel, vfs and low-level filesystems (xfs stands out)."