3 Reasons Why the Surface Pro 3 Will Change the IT Game

The laptop is dead. Long live the laptop!

The desktop is dead. Long live the desktop!

The tablet is dead. Long live the tablet!

No, really. Our three favorite form factors have all crashed into each other with the announcement of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3. It’s only the next chapter of the continuing saga of IT innovation – we’re already seeing the foreshadowing of the future that was held in the hands of Captain Picard on the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Here’s 3 ways that the Surface Pro 3 alters our game when it comes to IT:

1. Mobility Wins.
Nobody wants to be chained to a desk. With the rise of work-at-home, the freelance explosion, and the “millennial mindset,” everything needs to be available everywhere.

The Surface Pro 3’s type cover, nifty new any-angle-you-want kickstand, and docking station allow the Surface Pro 3 tablet to operate in the two modalities of desktop and laptop, as well as a tablet. It goes anywhere. Walk into the shop in the morning and drop your Surface Pro 3 into a dock, slap a USB keyboard and mouse in the mix and you’ve got a desktop. Pull out the tablet from the dock and take it to a meeting, and then drop by your local coffee shop in the afternoon and pop on the type cover to use it as a laptop. Done.

That means that our applications and services will need to go anywhere as well. Fortunately, Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012, Office 365, and Azure platforms have all that covered. As a matter of fact, you might say that the Surface Pro 3 is just the client for all these mobile-ready platforms. Now we have to be ready to implement them.

2. Bye-bye Easy Upgrades.
Lets get real – how many people will want a super powerful 32GB desktop with crazy bells and whistles when you can have almost everything you need in a svelte stylish package?

The days of switching out RAM and video cards are over. The future of everything is soldered to a motherboard.

Is that good? Is that bad? The answer is yes. It’s good because that frees up the IT staff to maintain servers, push apps to the cloud, and do all the stuff we probably should have been doing for 20 years but couldn’t because the CEO’s computer needed a new hard drive and RAM upgrade so he or she could watch movies on iTunes. However, it does mean that if something goes bad on a tablet, you’re probably looking at buying a new tablet or breaking out a soldering iron.

3. Everything Old Is New Again.
With the cloud revolution happening under our noses, we are quickly moving back into a mainframe-dummy terminal computing model. With so many applications living in the cloud, and this new all-in-one mobile form factor that is slowly taking over the hardware world like a giant blob of Nickelodeon GAK, we have to shift our mindsets to move BACK to a server-based infrastructure.

It doesn’t even matter where the server is, there’s plenty of remote access solutions available to make the shift easy, including Microsoft’s very own DirectAccess, where you’re connected to your shop’s resources via a secure tunnel as long as you have an Internet connection. Your new mobile friend, the Surface Pro 3, will force you to realign, reconfigure and rebuild your infrastructure to accommodate its shiny new on-the-go attitude.

You may be asking, is the Surface Pro 3 all it’s cracked up to be? It really doesn’t matter. What matters is that this is where the world is going. The hardware in this iteration may not outclass an Alienware gaming laptop yet, but it will, and soon.

People like tablets, that’s why they sell. They’re not going away, they’re not a fad, and if we don’t see the shift coming, we won’t be ready for the time when the CIO walks into our office, hands us a Surface Pro 3 or its successor, and says, “we have 12,000 of these coming in two months, figure it out.”

Will our servers be ready to deliver services to these new shiny mobile aliens? Can we break our addiction to RAM switch-outs and monitor replacements? Do we know what kind of impact these little rascals will have on our IT budgets?

Well, we better start getting ready. Otherwise, we might need to take voice lessons and learn the guitar and hope and pray that the American Idol judges give us that coveted ticket to Hollywood the next time they’re doing auditions in town.

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