While it may not be releasing a successor to the Surface Book, Microsoft's "ultimate laptop" certainly knows how to be in the news even one and a half years following its announcement. After being rolled out to newer markets, the UK government has announced the deployment of Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 in the Department for Education (DfE).
The government department which oversees around 20,000 schools is looking to deploy the devices for its 5,000 employees as part of the department’s broader digital transformation program.
Adrian Tucker, Chief Technology Officer at the DfE explained:
“We have seen significant technology modernisation over the past 18 months, and the Surface devices have been a big part of that. The Surface Book has been a core part of our mobility and productivity; it’s allowed us to use a device that’s secure in a mobile way. We have also upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and we are able to collaborate, share documents and use the cloud. We haven’t had these benefits before, and now we want to exploit the technology.”
Various departments in the government are cutting costs due to an Efficiency Review announced in the 2016 Budget that aims to ensure public finances are “on a sustainable path” with savings of about £3.5 billion in 2019 to 2020. The software giant had previously trialed Surface Pro 3 with the department, its success leading to the rollout of Surface Pro 4 "as it became available".
Surface Book was chosen primarily because it could turn into a tablet, giving government employees "flexibility, annotation and a tablet". Ryan Asdourian, Windows and Surface Lead at Microsoft UK, said that it is significant “to see government departments such as the DfE make bold IT decisions for the future".
Microsoft recently announced its initiative to add digital skills to traditional teacher training so that they could cope with the increasing workload.