You heard it right, Microsoft is paying Macbook Air users up to $650 to swap their Macbook Air for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. This offer is designed to give Apple users cold hard cash to upgrade their 11 or 13″ low-resolution Macbook Air laptops for Microsoft Surface Pro 3’s. If you look at the specs of the Surface Pro 3, it does look much more attractive than the Macbook Air on paper with a higher resolution touch display, active pen, and optional keyboard. However, if you know the resale prices of most Apple products a Macbook Air could probably still fetch north of $650 if its anywhere near 2 years old or younger, so Microsoft is likely targeting an older Macbook Air crowd that is likely experiencing some of the aging issues that most laptops experience. Not to mention, they are probably trying to target the people looking for a more ‘modern’ and unique device.
There are a lot of differences between the Surface Pro 3 and the Macbook air, but the ultimate result is that Microsoft is clearly aiming for a demographic that can afford a Macbook Air and wants to pull them towards their premium offering, the Surface Pro 3. Now, I don’t really know if this strategy is going to necessarily work, but there’s a good chance that a lot of people that have Macbook Airs that were on the fence about it will probably give it a try and likely not take as big of a risk paying full price for a Surface Pro 3. The nice thing about the Surface Pro 3 is that its very thin and very light and it enables some use cases that the Macbook Air simply can’t because of the way that it is designed. Frankly, I’m still a bit surprised that Apple hasn’t released any touch laptops or desktops while their competitors have tons of them (albeit most of them not very good).
As it stands right now, The Surface Pro 3 is one of the premier Windows 8.1 devices out there today and if there’s a device that might entice someone to switch to Windows, the Surface Pro 3 is probably it. And yes, it does start at $799, but as of right now you can only buy the i5 version of the Surface Pro 3, which starts at $999 and has only 128 GB of SSD space. If you want to go cheaper, you will have to wait and if you want to get an i7 (just a beefed up i5 with higher clocks) then you will also have to wait.