Microsoft Surface RT has five year update limit

By Alan Ng - Nov 27, 2012

If you are a new Microsoft Surface Tablet owner and are still getting to grips with the new Windows RT operating system, we have some important details which you may want to read over in relation to where you stand with regards to future support from Microsoft. An update to the company’s support pages has revealed that the Surface with Windows RT is bound to Microsoft for almost five years, with consumers in line to receive further software updates for the device until this period is up.

Five years of official support is very generous in our opinion, especially when you consider that the Apple iPad, released just two years ago in 2010 is no longer eligible for official support from Apple and will remain on iOS 5.1.1 after the company made it clear that it wouldn’t be getting an update to iOS 6.

Microsoft has quietly made the changes on their support website, as discovered by Zdnet. If you look on the page, you’ll see that the Surface with RT now has a Mainstream Support End Date of April 11, 2017. During this period, consumers should expect to see the Surface RT in line for any official updates along with any other device from OEMs running Windows RT.

Further information on Microsoft’s rather elusive website also reveals that during the Mainstream Support phase, Surface RT owners are eligible for a lot more than just updates as well. Looking at the chart, we see that Microsoft are committed to provide hotfixes, security updates, complimentary support, paid support and also an entry which reads ‘request to change product design and features’ – there is no clear explanation on what this entails though for the moment.

As expected, hardware support is also covered during this four year phase, although free service repairs will only be carried out to those with a valid warranty, with Microsoft confirming that a fee will be required in all other cases. Considering that the first iPad is now discontinued and indeed the third generation iPad as well, is it pleasing to see that Microsoft has given the Surface RT a rather generous five years of official support? We wouldn’t have been surprised to see two years at the very most – three at a limit, but a solid four years stretching to five years should be considered a very pleasing outcome.

Take some time to study the Microsoft Surface RT support guidelines here and here – then tell us as an owner what you think of the five year limitation. Suddenly that urge to upgrade to the Microsoft Surface Pro may not be too heavy any more.

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Also See: Could Microsoft’s Folding Tablet be the gadget of 2018?