Microsoft announces four year support programme for Microsoft Surface

News 26 Nov, 2012

Hardware and software support will run until at least April 2017 for tablets with Windows RT

Microsoft will provide support for its Surface tablet running the Windows RT operating system for at least four years, according to an update on its official support pages.

Support will cover both the hardware and the software, and will be available until at least 11 April 2017. This is just shy of the usual five years offered by the company for consumer software – with an additional five years normally given to businesses.

Additional Information regarding the Windows RT lifecycle policy will be communicated as they become available

"Hardware repairs or replacements and parts are available throughout the support lifecycle. Services are free for products under warranty and available for a fee for products out of warranty," Microsoft said.

"Updates are available for the software/firmware and OS that is embedded into the hardware (except for Surface devices, which is covered by the support lifecycle policy for the operating system on the device)," the company added.

What is not immediately apparent, though, is how long support will be available for Windows RT running on devices made by other manufacturers. As it is a consumer-focused product, there is an expectation that it will be supported for the usual five years.

However, Microsoft has only said “[We] will make software updates, including security updates, available for Windows RT. Additional Information regarding the Windows RT lifecycle policy will be communicated as they become available.”

Nevertheless, the promised support is better than that of Microsoft’s two main rivals in the tablet market – Apple and Google. The original iPad, launched by Apple in 2010, no longer receives any updates, even for security issues. This could make the Windows RT tablet a more attractive proposition for IT professionals trying to justify corporate investment in tablets.