When Microsoft first displayed its Surface computer last year, many believed that it would have no chance of becoming a viable consumer product for quite some time. In fact, the company said that a consumer version would take at least five years.

However, Microsoft on Thursday said that Surface development is going well and consumers may be able to get their hands on it a full two years ahead of schedule.


Three-year time window

"In the three-year time window, we absolutely see how to get there," Microsoft's Tom Gibbons told Fortune. "If we can beat that, we'll try to beat that."

But before it can make promises, Microsoft said it first needs to work out its distribution issues with its business customers that will be using the Surface computer much sooner than consumers.


Still some time to wait

"We're running a couple of months later than I'd like with our deployments," Gibbons said in the interview. "While I was hoping we'd have something out now, we'll definitely have something out in the next couple of months."

So far, Microsoft is unwilling to commit to an exact release date, but judging by the progress it has made, look for the Surface sooner rather than later.