By Vamien McKalin | Nov 25, 2012 12:30 PM EST
The Microsoft Surface RT tablet is the company's first real attempt at competing in the tablet market, and it's not a bad effort so far. The device is doing partially well and is expected to do better as tablet users go hunting when the holidays come around.
Due to the Surface RT not being the full version of Windows 8 that is able to do all kinds of wizardry, some folks might have thought that Microsoft wouldn't support the device in the long term, but that is not so.
Microsoft has officially made it known that the company plans on supporting the Surface RT for a long time to come, 4 years to be exact. That should be enough for anyone who currently owns a Surface, or for those who are gearing up to purchase one. Normally, Microsoft would support a newly released version of Windows for 5 years. However, the Surface RT is a hardware and software combo, so the rules it follows by is a little bit different.
The exact end date for the Surface RT public support is on April 11, 2017. Support will not be extended because there is no such thing for consumer devices when it comes down to Microsoft products. If after April 11, 2017, a user still has a Surface RT tablet and it is riddled with this one bug that causes a lot of problems, this user will have to live with it or purchase a new device.
This 4 year support is quite generous of Microsoft, as it is the only company that will be doing this when compared to Apple and Android OEMs. An iPad might only get updates for only two years and that's the end of it, the same thing can be said for Android devices from Google and Samsung. This short support cycle force users to purchase the newest devices, and for those who are unable to, well, they are left to fend for themselves.