Contained is the announcment of the Microsoft Surface. All information in ‘The Announcement’ section is obtained directly from The Verge’s live blog announcement during their attendance of the event. Their live blog can be viewed here: The Verge’s live blog
Microsoft have been keeping this event in LA hush hush over the past couple of weeks which is strange for such a sprawling company. Usually, announcements like this are leaked well in advance, but for this one there’s nothing.
My information comes from The Verge who have been kind enough to tweet and photograph every moment of the event. This post will summarise
3:48pm PST: So, they seem to think it’s a tablet.
4:01pm PST: Dual Screen tablet?
4:11pm PST: They’re trying to get a photograph of the table on the stage, to see what it signifies.
4:12pm PST: Steve Ballmer makes his appearance.
4:13pm PST: He’s talking about Windows 8
4:14pm PST: They’re bringing the focus around to Mobile Computing in a big way!
4:16pm PST: So they’re talking about Windows and it’s history and essentially how it drove hardware. Keyboards and Mice appearing on screen.
4:14pm PST: Microsoft Surface, and Kinect appear.
4:17pm PST: Notion that they control, design and manufacture their products in-house. An impressive notion.
4:18pm PST: Windows Needed a Mouse, so they built one!
Microsoft suggesting that they lead innovation, so much that an item that we use everyday was designed and build specifically for Windows.
4:19pm PST: Combination of Hardware and Software culminates in the XBox. Software and Hardware working together.
4:20pm PST: Partnerships are driving Microsoft.
4:21pm PST: Bringing it back to Windows 8; Windows 1, needed the mouse, they wanted to bring Windows 8 it’s own hardware.
4:22pm PST: Windows Surface. Steve brings out a tablet. “It embodies hardware and software working together.”
4:22pm PST: A wild Steven Sinofsky appears.
4:23pm PST: The Microsoft Surface Tablet! “A tablet that’s a great PC. A PC that’s a great tablet”
4:24pm PST: They’re referring to it as The Surface as a PC, but at the same time as a tablet. “It’s the first PC with a magnesium case.”
4:25pm PST: Music, Movies, Games, Windows Store, Entertaiment. Surface.
4:25pm PST: Technical Difficulty.
4:26pm PST: The new Surface Netflix app is shown – Semantic Zoom
4:27pm PST: The Surface has the best Wi-Fi of any tablet today. A bold claim. Also, a Kickstand! Awesome. “Once you have the kickstand you can sit back. Put it on a table, lay back, and watch a movie.”
4:28pm PST: Gorilla Glass… I’m sold because I’m accident prone.
4:29pm PST: They’ve ‘innovated’ a magnetic cover, straight from Apple. Wait. It’s also a keyboard. Touché Microsoft. Surface wins this round!
4:30pm PST: Showing the Camera. Nice.
4:31pm PST: Obviously Surface has Office on it built in.
4:32pm PST: A wild Michael Anguilo appears.
4:33pm PST: “Less than 2lbs, less than 14m — but it’s a full PC.”
4:34pm PST: “The entire family of products was designed together.” Surface will champion all the Ultrabooks to be sure.
4:36pm PST: He’s talking about it’s specs in detail: Power Consumption, Perimeter Venting, Pen Input, Digital Ink sampled at 600dpi
4:36pm PST: “The distance between the stylus and the screen is .7 inches.” It looks quite impressive.
4:27pm PST: “This surface has two digitizers. One for touch, one for digital ink. It sees the proximity of the pen and stops taking hand inputs.” They’re focusing on the use of the pen on the Surface.
4:38pm PST: He’s showing it’s integration of Surface with Windows 8.
4:39pm PST: More information on the Surface’s so-called ‘Type Cover’
4:40pm PST: A wild Panos Panay appears. He’s showing a video on the ‘creation of the product’
4:43pm PST: Lucky bastards in attendance get a ‘hands on’
4:46pm PST: Looks like they wasted time on the ‘feel’ of the kickstand closing, the sound and it’s ‘emotional attachment’ Focus on Usability Microsoft.
4:47pm PST: Nice open view of the case
4:48pm PST: Talking about the VaporMg case. It’s smooth, and moulded to exact quality.
4:49pm PST: Surface Touch Cover comes in different colours. Nice move Microsoft. Let’s get the pre-teens involved with new colours. I see Blue, Pink, Orange and Standard Black.
4:50pm PST: This could be an iPad
4:51pm PST: “This spine feels like a book. You’ll hold it like a book. It will feel like it’s another book when you carry it with books.”
4:53pm PST: The USP of the Surface tablet seems to be the Touch Cover, though will it seem like a bridge between PC and iPad?
4:55pm PST: Pricing of Surface seems to have been blown over. They say ‘competitively’ with no specifics.
4:56pm PST: Why now Steve?
4:58pm PST: Steve Ballmer closes the event, to dubstep music apparently: The Verge writes: Wub wub wub wub SURFACE wub wub wub, and Wub wub wub Type Cover wub wub wub.
5:00pm PST: Those lucky bastards are off to grab a Hands-on, whereas us guys in Wales, UK, are just watching the rain beat upon our windows as our eyelids scream for bed.
Conclusion of Microsoft Surface Announcement
Y’know what, Microsoft have really pushed the boat out on the Microsoft Surface. The touch cover is basically like iPad 2′s amazingly innovative cover, but with a keyboard built in, which I think steals the baton a little bit from Apple.
There’s very little I could say in terms of criticism for this piece of Surface’s hardware. One is sure to be their focus on this digital ink pen that they’ve developed, they seem to have invested a lot of time in this but is this a good idea? People want hands, gestures and physical touch.
To summarise, I can see that Microsoft have spent a great deal of time, capital and resources on developing the Hardware for the Surface. They talked a lot about the importance of getting Hardware and Software to work together beautifully, and from my paradoxical angle (blogging a liveblog), I can’t see anything wrong with the Surface hardware. My worry is that the Windows 8 software will let it down.
Let it be said now, that I would very much like to get my hands on one of the Surface tablets.
All in all, I’d suggest that this tablet is looking to be quite a formidable piece of hardware, is it an iPad killer though? That remains to be seen upon it’s launch; hopefully familiarity with Microsoft will steal the show.
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