Good afternoon, Reddit, we are the Microsoft Surface team. On Tuesday, we announced the addition of Surface 3: our newest tablet that works like a laptop. It’s a killer device and we know you’ll enjoy it!

Super pumped to be here for the AMA - thanks for how great you've all been to us. We only have an hour, but we'll do the best we can.


THATS IT! Another awesome experience for the Surface team. I am super inspired by the support and all the great questions. We hope to be back soon...

Comments: 701 • Responses: 53  • Date: 

JonBensonDesigns53 karma

Hello, There has been a lot of reporting from artists (including myself) who use the SP3 of a distinct "jitter" to the Pen when trying to make slow careful passes. This jitter makes creating fine smooth lines near impossible. You can get a good idea of the problem at this forum:

Are there any plans to fix this flagrant error in the Pen or will those who have reported this problem continue to be met with skepticism and denial from Microsoft and N-Trig support?

SurfaceTeam67 karma

Hey this is StevieB, working on it… we noticed this happening in a very specific instance. Likely when you draw really slow and across the diagonal of the screen… so it is quote a specific instance specific. It is really hard to a draw a straight line without the use of a ruler or the digitizer picking up the jitter in your hands… so that is why people use a ruler to do this test.. but the ruler messes up the signal as it capacitivly couples . Most touch sensors are oriented as a grid, when you draw across the diagonal the touch controller has to interpolate position of the pen and linearize its path. As for active capacitive digitizer we’re the best out there! But we can do better. One of the improvement just involves boosting the voltage of the pen. So I cannot give you a timeline, but just know things are in the hopper. Other digitizer techs have other artifacts and issues, they don’t do linearization as well, and have accuracy issues. Pen is really important to us, and our best people are really focused on making and maintaining it to be awesome and the most realistic digital pen experience in any tablet!

MichaelEPS551 karma

What can you tell us about the Surface Pro 4 other than that it will not be released until Windows 10 drops?

SurfaceTeam90 karma


CmdrKeene40 karma

Windows 10 guts out a majority of the powerful edge gestures and "power user" interface elements like semantic zoom. These had a higher learning curve, but lead to a better experience once mastered. Do you feel that removing these lessons the usability of a device like the Surface?

SurfaceTeam17 karma

I think you will find awesome benefits as you learn to use Windows 10. I am using it day in and day out, and I have found the product increases my effectiveness, and I am now much more fluid with it. Granted, I use a different test device on a daily basis as we need to continuously test every aspect of the product, but I will tell you it has felt great to use Windows 10 on Surface.

Peter_Venkman_128 karma

Does the Surface 3 with LTE have a GPS chip? This feature is vital to compete with the iPad for people in the field. Lots of on-site professionals need it for EXIF data and the like. It's the only thing holding me back from pushing my company to switch from iPads.

SurfaceTeam44 karma

yes, the LTE versions have a GPS chip.

fastforward2327 karma

Hey guys, big fan of the Surface since the announcement of the originals.

1) Why micro/full sized USB over USB-C?

2) Can I have one?


SurfaceTeam40 karma

micro USB ... enables charging through all the chargers out there today. Optimized for charger (13W) in box.

Full size adapters needed for everything in market today.

DrFate0920 karma

Why did you choose to use the 3 fixed angles for the kickstand of the Surface 3 in comparison to the unfixed kickstand of the Surface Pro 3?

SurfaceTeam24 karma

We chose to put the 3-position hinges in Surface 3 in order to optimize size and cost of the device. In addition, the 3-position hinges allow the user to flick open the kickstand more easily to the pre-set angles enabling quick operation for on-the go use.

alashcraft18 karma

2 questions:

How well does the Surface 3 handle a bunch of Bluetooth connected devices? Say I have a BT KB/Mouse plus a headset for listening on Xbox Music and I'm also syncing my FitBit. Any issues?

How about the WiFi? Any issues like the SP3 had?

SurfaceTeam15 karma

For sure you can connect all the Bluetooth devices you mention above at the same time.

As for WiFi, no issues... People will get the same WiFi experience that Surface Pro 3 users are getting today.

meniscus-18 karma

Why did the team decide to ditch the Surface text logo for the Microsoft logo?

SurfaceTeam48 karma

We realized that a Surface contains all of what we as Microsoft has to offer. It is the physical extension of a software experience. To reflect that, we thought it was more appropriate to carry the Microsoft mark. And we all liked this idea :)

iHATEwritingprompts18 karma

Can we convert the charging micro-USB port to a full-size USB port with an adapter, and then plug in any USB device to it?

SurfaceTeam37 karma

Yes! The micro-USB port charging port also handles USB data

DDReaper16 karma

The design of every Surface so far has been marvelous, do you plan to introduce other type of device in the future? (Small tablets, phones or laptop?)

SurfaceTeam20 karma

No mystery, we are always working on different products and we will not stop being relentless about it... I think we both know that we can't talk about what and when :-)

wilton2parkave14 karma

Will there be a trade-in program for those loyal fans with orphan devices (RT/Surface 2)?

SurfaceTeam23 karma

they aren't orphans! they are great - my kids and my mom are still using them and love them. there will be an update from Windows for them and they will continue to work great.

we'll definitely think about trade-ins. we don't have plans right now. will also see what retailers are thinking - those are often done by the retailers themselves.


HawknDawgs14 karma

Hello Panos, et al. My question for you is multi-part: Does the S3 support 4k displays at 60Hz? Also can you tell the folks that run the MS Online Store that the EDU discount is not working for the S3 accessories?

SurfaceTeam23 karma

4K at 30Hz with Intel X7 Gen8 engine.

EDU - Thanks for feedback, on it.

coolcorona13 karma

I enjoy the connected standby-ness of my Surface RT. I can press the powerbutton to turn off the screen, and still listen to music and stream video to my smart TV. Will the Surface 3 be able to do InstantGo (Connected Standby)?

SurfaceTeam16 karma


iHATEwritingprompts12 karma

Will there be any unique deals for Surface 3 or its accessories for students?

SurfaceTeam17 karma

Yes! Surface 3 is a great product for students and Microsoft Stores offers a 10% discount on the device and accessories.

lzandman12 karma

Why did you release the Surface 3 now, instead of releasing it alongside Windows 10?

SurfaceTeam18 karma

really simple answer: it was ready and is great for students in particular. lots are looking at what to get now. the good news is that it's a free upgrade to Windows 10 so everyone that buys Surface 3 before then will still end up there.

WithinRafael11 karma

Does Surface 3 support Always On Always Connected (Connected Standby)?

SurfaceTeam16 karma

Behavior is just like Surface Pro 3. 4 hours of connected standby, then into hibernate.

SurfaceTeam10 karma

yes it does! Connected Standby fiorst and then we do go to hibernate after 4 hours.

goudkoorts11 karma

Will there be a surface pro 4 release in 2015?

SurfaceTeam8 karma

No mystery, we are always working on different products and we will not stop being relentless about it... I think we both know that we can't talk about what and when :-)

NotCassim10 karma

Have you considered creating a Surface user voice to gather feedbacks from your customers :)?

SurfaceTeam16 karma

Hey /u/NotCassin -- try the Surface App in the store. It has a place for you to give direct text feedback, and we read and value that feedback very much. We both have an automated system to pull out keywords/trends as well as we get the full text.

SurfaceTeam11 karma

we have a lot! we do a number of things - we have a lot of fans that we are personally connected with that are great with feedback (e.g. see this from this week, we have great and vocal business CIOs that are part of a formal advisory council, we have regular surveys that go out, and we really do rely on the feedback that we get in the Surface app (you can get it in the windows store).

barbbowman10 karma

I’m interested in how the pressure sensitivity performs with Ntrig drivers for apps that need them on the new Surface 3. The community has been vocal about performance issues when drawing slowly. Output is wavy as opposed to straight lines. See - can you talk about the performance when drawing slowly?

SurfaceTeam11 karma

Hey this is StevieB, if I understand your question correctly what you are seeing is a linearization issue.. and has nothing to do with the pressure sensor. This artifact likely happens only when you draw really slow and across the diagonal. Most touch sensors are oriented as a grid, when you draw across the diagonal the touch controller has to interpolate position of the pen and linearize its path. As for active capacitive digitizer we do the best out there, but we can do better. We do so by boosting the signal from the Pen and the bettering the controller… Surface 3 takes a step in that direction. Other pen technologies have other artifacts that have their own issues.. every technique has a compromise.. Pen is really important to us, and our best people are really focused on making and maintaining it to be awesome and the most realistic digital pen experience in any tablet.

barbbowman5 karma

Thanks for that. So for those afflicted customers w/SP3's, there really is no "fix" since it is hardware related, correct?

SurfaceTeam11 karma

We can boost the signal and the pen to fix :) !! stay tuned :)

cornystool10 karma

Any chance we can get an updated video driver for the SP3? Windows 10 has destroyed the stability of the displayport out, making the device kinda useless in my case.

SurfaceTeam21 karma

We are so aware of this.. drivers are under test. When we have one working to our satisfaction, we will make it available. We dogfood the same stuff, and we are feeling the same pain.

seansallings10 karma

Will you trade me my iPad Mini for one? My plan was to sell it and buy a surface, but this way, you'd get to brag that people are begging to get rid of their apple products for a windows machine.

SurfaceTeam18 karma

our team is a little to humble to brag...

so go with your original plan!

pondeb10 karma

why surface pen is separated basic component? however, i still want to get it :)

SurfaceTeam16 karma

we love the pen! we wanted to hit a great price point and we wanted to let people choose their color. students in particular definitely should get.

dovellonsky9 karma

in Italy Surface 3 costs € 609, € 159 keyboard, does not it seem a bit pricey considering that other tablet with Windows and baytrail cost little more than 100 €? Do not you think it is appropriate to reconsider the prices to not make the same mistake made with Surface RT? you have benchmarks that show the differences between core and M Cherrytrail of Surface 3?

SurfaceTeam16 karma

this is a tablet that also works like a laptop. it's an amazing, high quality device. you can get some great windows tablets and laptops for much cheaper. one of the cool things about windows is that you have so many choices. we're proud surface is one of the best!

agaikwad20089 karma

Do you have plans to release an LTE/3G version that is internationally unlocked? I've been looking for a Full windows tablet with unlocked 3G/4G/LTE for about 4 years now and have not had any success. The Surface models (Although were Win RT) were carrier locked and I got no responses from Microsoft or the carriers about being able to unlock them. Other Manufacturers have announced models (...thinkpad 10) with no availability in sight. Is there a reason why Microsoft only releases locked LTE models? Is it that difficult to release an unlocked model and if so can you explain what the difficulty is with it?

Other than that I would like to congratulate the team on two exceptional products. I'm stuck using the original surface pro at the moment but that is one amazing product and so are the pro 2 & 3 and now also the surface 3. Great work guys!

SurfaceTeam10 karma

thank you! all of us in the room appreciate your congrats!

we are doing an unlocked LTE version. can't say where it will be available yet, but we hear you and in many markets we will have it available. stay tuned for more!

fryguy1019 karma

As the owner of a Surface RT, does the Surface 3 have the same satisfying click sound when opening/closing the kickstand?

It's definitely not a dealbreaker if it doesn't, but... man that sound is just so satisfying for some reason.

SurfaceTeam21 karma

Absolutely! On Surface 3 we defined the sound before we engineered the parts. The sound is created by the materials of the foot snapping onto the magnesium. The hinge snaps the kickstand to the Surface body and imbedded magnets hold it perfectly flat. .... which gives it the perfect sound.

SpongeBobSquarePants8 karma

I am affiliated with a University charter school that is STEM focused which is interested in possibly acquiring Surface 3 for a lot of our students. Who would be the best person at Microsoft for us to contact to about this?

SurfaceTeam7 karma

we're DMing you - definitely would love to chat. this is a GREAT product for all students, but STEM in particular. I was a math major and would have LOVED to have been able to take my notes with a pen on a Surface.

meniscus-8 karma

Hi Mr Groene, Surface has always had a very distinct (and sexy) hardware design. What were your inspirations for the design (if any)?

With the Surface 2 launch, your team was very invested in custom covers for different tasks, do you see those covers coming back in the future?

Does the Surface team take interns?

SurfaceTeam11 karma

Hi there, this is Ralf. The inspiration of our surfaces comes from the idea that the hardware should be a stage for software. It should blend into the experience while you use it. Many things we do is removing things to make the experience crisper, easier. What we then leave in the product we fanatically obsess about it and make it as great as we can. ...and yes we always have more ideas :) ....and ping me on the intern question.

cheers ralf

NotATurdBurgler8 karma

the surface 3 4gb/128gb model (£500) is £50 cheaper than the SP3 64gb/4gb (£550) in the UK, at this price point it makes no sense to buy the S3. How did you come to this price point?

I'm looking at upgrading my SP1.

SurfaceTeam7 karma

They are both great options - and we definitely see that there are trade offs and actually like a lot that people are picking what's best for them versus us trying to essentially dictate through price. Surface Pro 3 i3/64 has the bigger screen and is a little faster than the Surface 3. Surface 3 is thinner and lighter, and some people really do prefer the size because it's more mobile/fits in bag easier. but feel good that either is a great choice.

And thanks for being a Surface Pro 1 user!

jasonvelocity8 karma

Does abandoning the Surface RT feel anything like leaving a child to die in the snow?

Seriously though, are Surface RT owners at least going to get a half update (Windows 8.10?). The same thing happened with Windows Phone 7.8, and it was better than nothing.

SurfaceTeam15 karma

as a parent of 3, I am proud to say I have no idea what that would feel like...

Windows has announced that there will be an update for 8.1, but want to set expectations that it definitely is not windows 10. there wont' be an upgrade path.

amw5877 karma

Why no continuous kickstand like SP3?

SurfaceTeam9 karma

This was a key decision for Surface 3 to keep the product affordable (and thin and light). We know from research the most important angles from Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, and then we added the 3rd most shallow angle based on feedback from Surface Pro 3. Overall, keeping price as a priority while giving large range of angles was the goal.

piotrgoreckijr7 karma

I have a question about the design – particularly about the thickness and weight. In the era of 6mm (430-450 g) iPads, Galaxy Tabs and Xperias, why Surface 3 is almost as thick as Surface RT from 2012? I mean it’s only .4 mm thinner than SP3 (24nm Core i5/i7 with fan) while having fanless 14nm Atom inside. I’m sure there’re some design/hardware reasons. But can you clarify if is it the hinge, battery, full USB or the processor that forced to stay at the ~9mm in thickness?

PS: thank you for the Surface 3 with LTE! Already preordered one for my wife who is in the middle of her PhD. I think it stop her from envying my Surface Pro 3 ;)

SurfaceTeam11 karma

Hi there, congrats on your wife's PhD. The answer to your question is "a little bit of all" :) ... meaning: The combination of a powerful machine, with all day battery life, full USB and a great kickstand results in 8.7mm. this is the fittest device we could create by not removing these essential elements. I think it's pretty fit :)

callizer6 karma

Why do you guys keep using some kind of cloth for the type cover? It's not that easy to clean and picks up dust easily. Would you consider another material for the next iteration of type cover?

SurfaceTeam14 karma

What ideas do you have?

minipolliwog6 karma

What Windows 10 features can Surface RT and Surface 2 users expect to see?

SurfaceTeam4 karma

nothing new to announce there! sorry!

lzandman6 karma

Did Panos or Satya ever ride a new Surface like a skateboard? Or was Sinofsky the last one who dared? :-)

SurfaceTeam6 karma

Panos shreds!

Jaxidian6 karma

Will the Surface 3 support two 1440p displays via daisy-chained DisplayPort connections? My i5 SP3 handles this great but don't know if this would work with the S3.

P.S. Thanks for answering all of our questions. Your team is pretty awesome!

SurfaceTeam9 karma

Hey - The Surface 3 does not support daisy chaining monitors over DisplayPort. The Pro line is great for folks who need this.

Just_Dont_Blink6 karma

Can you upgrade my surface 2 to a surface 3? But seriously, what does the surface team think the most significant improvement is between the surface 3 and surface 2?

SurfaceTeam14 karma

There are a bunch of things - but I'd highlight a few that are really all about taking the best of Pro and bringing it to Surface 3: 1. full windows - run all apps. 2. screen and aspect ratio - 3:2 makes a big difference in height for using as a laptop and width when using as a note taker which gets us to ... 3. PEN. Also love that we have a dock.

yeahbuddy6 karma

Why does the $499 price require like $170 in extra accessories for real usability? I get it, entry level price attention, but it's disingenuous.

How about bundle the keyboard and pen for $79 or something?

SurfaceTeam12 karma

most people definitely get a cover for it, but they want to pick their color. Not everyone wants a pen. we definitely think that choice is a good thing.

skizztle5 karma

With the Surface 3, will we have to wait 7 months for a decent WiFi driver?

SurfaceTeam9 karma

We have taken the learnings from the Pro3 and applied them to the Surface 3. It has the same wifi/bt chip and the same driver, so all the work we did on the Pro3 directly applies to the Surface 3, on day 1.

shubhan4 karma

Thanks for doing this Surface team!!

A) How future proof is the Surface 3? Will it get obsolete as soon as newer tech comes out like in six months? B) Surface 3 still uses a 3:2 ratio but is in the 10" range. Does that divert from design cues from SP3? C) Where can I get a Surface T shirt? D) Are you planning on a Surface Phone? or heck may be a Surface All in one?


SurfaceTeam7 karma

Cutting edge. We built this product to last, and feel amazing about its performance, battery life, usability, etc. Every element of the design is meant to incorporate 'future proofing'. We are super clear our customers expect it from us, and we work hard to be sure you are good with it.

3:2 ratio, this is the future. Once you put this product in your hands you feel the benefits of Windows scaling to 3:2, you will also love the weight distribution on the device as you hold it in portrait to use it to write and read.

gildmechanic4 karma

Hey guys, amazing new product you have put together!

I was wondering whether the Surface 3 would be compatible with previous type covers?

Thanks for doing this AmA!

SurfaceTeam9 karma

yes, previous covers work with Surface 3. the size is a little different, though with the new 3:2 aspect ratio, so if you use your Type cover 2 it just won't cover the whole screen.

SurfaceTeam6 karma

Thanks.... we are super excited about Surface 3! Yes, the previous type covers are functionally compatible. Obviously the size is different so the cover might not align perfectly.

DenizYakamoz3 karma

When are we going to see the next Surface Event? I'm eagerly waiting for the next one.

SurfaceTeam16 karma

It is all dependent on me being able to pick out the right shirt.

coolcorona3 karma

Will the Surface 3 support virtualization so I can run the device emulators in Visual Studio Express? The Surface 3 could potentially be used as a small development machine. I could use the time pendling to work, to mess around in Visual Studio and get my mind ready for work.

SurfaceTeam8 karma

For virtualization recommendation is SP3. This is based on available memory & 8GB SKU.

duanelr2 karma

I'm happy user of a Pro3, I'm also a pessimist and anticipating the day I drop my machine and crack the screen. What will be the best way of repairing such a machine? Videos of people opening and repairing Surfaces reveal a daunting process.

SurfaceTeam3 karma

yeah, don't do that.

don't just be a pessimist, though... be an active pessimist! get the warranty next time and/or get a protective case. that's what we're doing on the NFL sidelines.

ct2k72 karma


I'm a software engineering student and I've just bought a Surface 3 to take notes and consume content. I will be using it lightly to perform some uni tasks, but not heavily

When I bought it, I was told that no student discount was available (via the chat). Can you confirm the status of this?

In terms of performance, what limits with an IDE could I stretch the top end Surface 3 to, and should I instead be looking at getting the Surface Pro 3 or the next gen. Surface?

I'm coming from OS X and an iPad: why should I beware of? I use Windows 7 daily at work as a developer but also in the cockpit when I fly.

Do you see a revolution or evolutionary change in the next 2 years of the Surface and Surface Pro?

The surface isn't just a cool device for me, it's something which can replace the need for me to have an iPad and a MacBook Pro, that is something I am very keen on.

SurfaceTeam3 karma

ok, lots here!

couple things we'd say: 1. you'll be in great shape developing on Surface 3. IDE will work great. if you're doing big compiles or anything like that or have lots of plug-ins etc then you should go with Surface Pro 3. 2. THANK YOU FOR ASKING about coming from OSX/iPad. we made this for you! 3. we're going to keep pushing the envelope. we definitely don 't look at the next two years and say "I think we've pretty much nailed this. let's just iterate and be evolutionary." :-)

DenizYakamoz2 karma

I saw some great blogs for making music on Surface. Will there be some sound improvements for running something big like FL studio without lag? Or will there be an official tool for sound?

SurfaceTeam4 karma

Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 are both amazing for making music. As we announced on Tuesday, an incredibly app called StaffPad that was written for use with the Surface pen. It launched in the Windows Store on Tuesday. You can check it out here. or here

sparkwaveXs2 karma

Hi. Are you planning to release Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 in other regions?

SurfaceTeam3 karma

we don't have plans for more regions right now. sorry!

auditeric2 karma

Does the Surface 3 have a TPM?

SurfaceTeam3 karma

It has a Firmware TPM as part of the SOC.

coolcorona2 karma

I have a Windows 8 Pro license to spare. Would it be possible to install it on a consumer version of Surface 3 and thereby make the Surface 3 a business version, or is there any hardware difference between the consumer and business versions?

SurfaceTeam3 karma

Nope. The hardware is not different between them.

FutureWorldProblems2 karma

If you are working on a desk, are there any scenarios where you prefer touching the screen rather than using a mouse? Which are they? What little examples/funny details do you have where you prefer touching with the finger?

SurfaceTeam3 karma

I like using touch when reading PDFs, browsing a long document, reading Reddit .. I find it direct and convenient depending on my posture. Also I find it convenient to use touch when I want to hit a dialog box button. The beauty about what we are doing in Surface is building a computer that is able to give the user the right tool for the right job. It allows the user to seamlessly switch between touch, keyboard, mouse, and pen.