"has been late to the game on the tablet front, and Surface's impact has been underwhelming thus far."
The Surface line is notable for its built-in kickstand. With the Pro 3, the kickstand can be adjusted to a range of positions, much the way a laptop's screen can be opened at various angles.
The Surface line puts Microsoft in competition with some of its own partners - the makers of tablets and laptops that use Microsoft's Windows operating system. Nadella sought to quell concerns by saying the company's goal was to create demand in new types of products and boost the entire industry.
"We are not building hardware for hardware's sake," Nadella said. "We want to build experiences that bring together all the capabilities of the company."
The vision of the Surface, he said, was to design a product that "takes the best of the tablet and the laptop" and enable people to read, create, write, watch and enjoy.