IDC reviews Surface Pro & it exceeds expectations

As some of the most on-the-go professionals in the world, the analysts assessed Surface Pro across five critical areas to ensure there was no risk to delivering on their work requirements.

The five areas they assessed were:

  • Mobility – specifically around size and weight due to working in numerous locations, including international travel
  • Applications – with a reliance on Microsoft Office, it needed to deliver a satisfactory experience, with additional applications considered as nice-to-have
  • Functionality – the ability to connect to external devices and peripherals was considered critical
  • Collaboration – a tablet that inhibited collaboration capabilities – Lotus Notes, WebEx and Skype – could not be considered an option
  • Reliability – the tablet had to be reliable

Summarizing a few of the highlights from the product review, the analysts observations include:

Mobility – “the Surface Pro’s lightweight and performance makes it an extremely attractive option.”

Applications – “Surface Pro is able to run all existing desktop applications required by IDC analysts.”

Office 365 was also utilized and with its integrated support for the touchscreen, it meant the analysts found sharing data and presentations easier.

Functionality – due to one USB3 port and one Displayport, the analysts were able to “leverage both HDMI and VGA ports through adapters, as well as utilize third-party USB-based docks for office use.”

Collaboration – the analysts experienced “no issues migrating the desktop-based Lotus Notes email to the device, with all of the collaboration tools also being supported.” They also commented that “because the Surface supports full Flash and Java-enabled Web browsers, almost all types of virtual conference are supported.”

Reliability – the analysts concluded that “thus far, the Surface Pro has been extremely reliable.”

IDC concluded that: “The performance and usability of the Surface Pro Tablet and applications far exceeded our expectations. During the initial phase, we carried our laptops as backup when we would go to events or customer meetings – just in case any issues arose with connecting to external monitors and projectors. However, it was soon obvious that this was not required.”

Lessons learned
IDC came to the conclusion that “not all tablets are the same.” Continuing in this vein, they provide guidance that “a consistent experience on business-critical applications is essential for success, which means laptop replacement primarily will be driven by tablets running Windows 8 operating systems.”

Accessories are also considered essential, and IDC recommend the following accessories for business professionals using a tablet:

  • Multiple power sources
  • Docking station for Ethernet connectivity, additional USB hubs, and connecting to external monitors
  • External monitor, keyboard and mouse
  • HDMI and VGA connectors for projectors and external monitors.”

Charles Reed Anderson and Ian Song conclude with a paragraph “seeing is believing.” With one of the reviewers quite skeptical about the potential success of this trial, and as such, building up contingency plans for every potential problem or weakness, it only took him one week to realize his fears were unfounded.

Microsoft is absolutely delighted to read this review by IDC Asia Pacific and we would like to extend our gratitude to both Charles Reed Anderson and Ian Song for creating this document. We hope you enjoy this thorough analysis of Surface Pro and if you would like more information on Surface Pro, or any Windows 8 devices, please follow the links or go to

To read the review, you can download it here.

N.B: Microsoft was not involved in the creation of this review, did not sponsor it or suggest it to IDC, and have agreed to buy rights to this content. However, Microsoft ‘seeded’ a Surface Pro to one of the analysts who wrote this case study. The other analyst purchased their own device.

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