Microsoft is slowly starting to roll out its new Intel-based Surface 3 tablets that come with 4G LTE built-in.
The first Surface 3 devices with built-in 4G LTE were rolled out in Japan with partner YMobile two weeks ago, according to a post Wednesday on Microsoft's Surface blog.
Starting Friday in Germany and the UK, Microsoft will make its first Surface 3 with LTE models available to business customers. Some unspecified time after that date, Microsoft will add Surface 3 models with 4G LTE in France and Spain.
The company has worked hard to entice consumers and businesses to its Surface tablets but has found only modest success since their initial release in 2012. Adding 4G LTE to the Surface 3, which launched in May, is yet another effort to woo buyers.
Initially, in order to buy these 4G LTE Surface models, customers will need to be a business customer or partner operator. Following availability to business customers in these first few markets, Microsoft plans to offer 4G LTE-enabled Surface 3 tablets at retail and through commercial resellers in France, Germany, the UK and the US. This will happen "in the coming weeks," according to company officials.
Back in April on Reddit, the Surface team confirmed that an unlocked version of Surface 3 will be available at some point. There are still not many specifics about when and how these 4G LTE Surface 3 devices will be out.
In March, when Microsoft unveiled the Surface 3 tablets, company officials said the 4G LTE model would be available through T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless in the US "later this year."
The 10.8-inch Surface 3 with 4G LTE will be available in two models: 64GB or 128GB of storage, both with 4GB of RAM and running Windows 8.1 Professional, with the option of upgrading for free to Windows 10. In March, Microsoft execs said the inclusion of 4G LTE would add an extra $100 to the $500 to $600 base price of the Surface 3.
This story originally posted as "Microsoft starts trickling out Surface 3 with built-in 4G LTE" on ZDNet.