Microsoft has conventionally supported different versions of its operating systems for at least five years. However, Surface RT tablets are a unique case, since they run both the hardware and software by Microsoft. Now, the company has announced that it will provide support for Surface’s Windows RT version for at least 4 forthcoming years.
Consumers and businesses have been unclear as to what kind of support Microsoft may extend to its Surface tablets. Now, nearly a month later, Microsoft has finally come out in the clear and announced that it will continue supporting Windows RT tablet until at least April 11, 2017. This date marks the end of Microsoft’s ‘Mainstream Support End Date.’
What exactly does the Mainstream Support imply? During this phase, “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. … 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).”
So if you decide to buy a Surface tablet with Windows RT, you can be rest assured that Microsoft will be sure to dish out the latest updates at least until 2017. Other tablet vendors in the arena usually provide tablets with a lot shorter support span, so Microsoft’s offer is indeed a lucrative one.
However, we are not sure, if the offer will also extend to the Windows RT copies running on the machines of other vendors such as Dell, Acer, Samsung etc. Nonetheless, it can be expected that Microsoft may decide to extend a five-year support policy to these OEM partners.