Support and the managed obsolescence of legacy software and hardware has always been a strong spot for Microsoft, and that doesn’t seem likely to change with the Surface. According to Microsoft’s Support site, the Redmond-based corporation will support their new Surface RT tablet until April 11, 2017. That’s roughly four solid years of support – slightly longer than most iOS devices, and definitely longer than what most manufacturers provide their respective Android devices with.
Microsoft is supposedly speeding up the development of Windows, and is hoping to move away from its slower, multi-year release cycle. Instead, rumors are swirling that Microsoft is hoping to issue one “major” update to Windows every two years, with a “minor” update coming every other year in between. That would put Microsoft roughly on equal footing with what Apple is doing with its yearly update cycle of OS X, though Apple has the advantage of only having to target a limited range of hardware that they provide. Windows is run on thousands of different SKUs, so such an update cycle will truly be a test for Microsoft’s engineers, and its commitment to backwards compatibility.
There is a downside to this: as long as Microsoft is forced to support older hardware, it will be forced to develop for the lowest common denominator. While the Surface RT is still a fast tablet, it will be considered ancient in four years. After all, how old does the original iPad seem? Remember, it’s slightly less than three years old. Hey, technology moves fast.