Microsoft Bids Farewell to the Fifth-Generation Surface Pro, Ending Official Support

January 15, 2024 – Marking the end of an era, Microsoft has officially terminated support for the fifth-generation Surface Pro, also known as Surface Pro Model 1807 or simply Surface Pro “5.” As of January 15, 2024, this device has reached the end of its lifecycle, signifying that it will no longer receive any driver or firmware updates.

The fifth-generation Surface Pro made its debut on May 23, 2017, at a special event hosted by Microsoft in China. Unlike its predecessors, it was the only Surface Pro model, aside from the original Surface Pro released in 2012, not to bear a numerical designation. At the time, Microsoft justified this decision by stating that the upgrades were not significant enough to warrant a new generation label. Despite boasting over 800 new improvements, the Surface Pro “5” primarily featured minor processor upgrades and retained the same exterior design as its predecessor, with no changes to color options or port layout.

Nevertheless, the tablet introduced noteworthy innovations. For instance, it was the first to offer a fanless configuration for the base model equipped with a 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor. Higher-end models with Intel Core i7 chips featured a redesigned cooling system for improved thermal efficiency. Perhaps the most significant upgrade was the optional LTE configuration, a feature previously seen on the troubled ARM-based Surface 2 and the entry-level Surface 3, which incidentally, was the only Surface device to sport a micro-B USB port.

While lacking a drastic redesign or groundbreaking upgrades, the fifth-generation Surface Pro emerged as a superior device compared to its predecessors. It boasted longer battery life, enhanced performance, and more stable hardware performance. Unlike the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, which suffered from issues related to the Intel sixth-generation Skylake processor, the Surface Pro 5 delivered a smoother and more stable user experience thanks to its 7th generation Kaby Lake chip.

Interestingly, in late 2018, Microsoft released the Surface Pro 6, which despite bearing minimal differences from its predecessor, was unexpectedly assigned a numerical designation. Despite its incremental upgrades, the Surface Pro 6 had a shorter lifecycle than its predecessor, with Microsoft discontinuing support on June 30, 2023.

Although the LTE version of the Surface Pro 5 was released several months after the standard Wi-Fi model, both variants have now reached the end of their respective lifecycles. The termination of official support implies that the device will no longer receive new drivers or firmware updates. While it will continue to receive operating system updates, the overall experience may gradually deteriorate as Microsoft plans to introduce new features exclusively for Windows 10. It’s worth noting that the fifth-generation Surface Pro never officially supported Windows 11.

With the retirement of the Surface Pro 5, the next Surface device slated to reach the end of its lifecycle is the Surface Pro 7. Considered the last of the classic design line (excluding the enterprise-focused Pro 7+), its support is set to end on February 28, 2024.

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