Monday, June 18th 2012

Microsoft Announces Surface: New Family of PCs for Windows

Today at an event in Hollywood, Microsoft unveiled Surface: PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows. Company executives showed two Windows tablets and accessories that feature significant advances in industrial design and attention to detail. Surface is designed to seamlessly transition between consumption and creation, without compromise. It delivers the power of amazing software with Windows and the feel of premium hardware in one exciting experience.

Advances in Industrial Design
Conceived, designed and engineered entirely by Microsoft employees, and building on the company's 30-year history manufacturing hardware, Surface represents a unique vision for the seamless expression of entertainment and creativity. Extensive investment in industrial design and real user experience includes the following highlights:
  • Software takes center stage: Surface sports a full-sized USB port and a 16:9 aspect ratio – the industry standard for HD. It has edges angled at 22 degrees, a natural position for the PC at rest or in active use, letting the hardware fade into the background and the software stand out.
  • VaporMg: The casing of Surface is created using a unique approach called VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag), a combination of material selection and process to mold metal and deposit particles that creates a finish akin to a luxury watch. Starting with magnesium, parts can be molded as thin as .65 mm, thinner than the typical credit card, to create a product that is thin, light and rigid/strong.
  • Integrated Kickstand: The unique VaporMg approach also enables a built-in kickstand that lets you transition Surface from active use to passive consumption – watching a movie or even using the HD front- or rear-facing video cameras. The kickstand is there when needed, and disappears when not in use, with no extra weight or thickness.
  • Touch Cover: The 3 mm Touch Cover represents a step forward in human-computer interface. Using a unique pressure-sensitive technology, Touch Cover senses keystrokes as gestures, enabling you to touch type significantly faster than with an on-screen keyboard. It will be available in a selection of vibrant colors. Touch Cover clicks into Surface via a built-in magnetic connector, forming a natural spine like you find on a book, and works as a protective cover. You can also click in a 5 mm-thin Type Cover that adds moving keys for a more traditional typing feel.
An Amazing Windows Experience
Two models of Surface will be available: one running an ARM processor featuring Windows RT, and one with a third-generation Intel Core processor featuring Windows 8 Pro. From the fast and fluid interface, to the ease of connecting you to the people, information and apps that users care about most, Surface will be a premium way to experience all that Windows has to offer. Surface for Windows RT will release with the general availability of Windows 8, and the Windows 8 Pro model will be available about 90 days later. Both will be sold in the Microsoft Store locations in the U.S. and available through select online Microsoft Stores.



Contributing to an Expanded Ecosystem
One of the strengths of Windows is its extensive ecosystem of software and hardware partners, delivering selection and choice that makes a customer's Windows experience uniquely their own. This continues with Surface. Microsoft is delivering a unique contribution to an already strong and growing ecosystem of functional and stylish devices delivered by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to bring the experience of Windows to consumers and businesses around the globe.
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126 Comments on Microsoft Announces Surface: New Family of PCs for Windows

#1
cedrac18
These are going to be so expensive. 1080p on the pro version i hear.
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#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Yup, the Pro has 10.6-inch 1920x1080 capacitive touchscreen. The RT isn't too bad, either (10.6-inch with 1366x768).
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#3
jalex3
If I had any real interest in buying a tablet I'd look at the pro. I don't though so I wont.
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#4
Chaitanya
better start saving for it now.
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#5
1c3d0g
So what can this possibly do that a Zenbook Prime or an X1 Carbon cannot do? Hopefully the price will be a consolation...
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#6
sergionography
:O this looks freaking awesome! microsoft finaly paying more attention to design than just be a bunch of nerds



by: 1c3d0g
So what can this possibly do that a Zenbook Prime or an X1 Carbon cannot do? Hopefully the price will be a consolation...
look better offcourse! and push microsoft hardware to compete with apple. I personaly care about performance and what hardware runs what, but for most people that isnt the case
its obvious here microsoft picked a certain theme which looks beautiful, and is sticking to it across the board(products). thats a very good thing with products as most people arent nerdy enough to even know what hardware runs what, so design is what pushes sales
im assuming the new xbox might have the same design theme which will be interesting
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#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: cedrac18
RT is Arm, pro is x86
by: v12dock
x86 or arm?
RT uses NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core ARM SoC, while Pro uses Intel Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" dual-core ULV.
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#10
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Wow, I'm shocked Microsoft would enter the market with their own hardware. OEMs aren't going to be happy.


by: btarunr
RT uses NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core ARM SoC, while Pro uses Intel Core i5 "Ivy Bridge" dual-core ULV.
A product to compete with other tablets on the market and a desktop replacement, nice!
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#11
cedrac18
hmmm we need some korean MMOS with touchscreen support they will play well on the intel HD4000
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#12
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: FordGT90Concept
Wow, I'm shocked Microsoft would enter the market with their own hardware. OEMs aren't going to be happy.
This product will be sold through OEMs such as Dell, HP, etc., just like EVGA, ASUS, et al. sell reference design GeForce graphics cards.
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#13
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Ah, so they can brand it as their own. Very clever Microsoft, very clever indeed.


Edit: This source says RT will likely be $500 or less while Pro will be around $1000.

Microsoft is no longer just a software company...
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#14
Totally
I'd love to see an AMD trinity model.
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#15
NC37
Well...I guess its better than the poopy brown color Zune they did...
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#16
DannibusX
by: FordGT90Concept
Microsoft is no longer just a software company...
They haven't been "just a software company" since 2001.
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#17
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: DannibusX
They haven't been "just a software company" since 2001.
Since early-1990s. They started selling their own branded 2-button serial ball mice.

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#18
rooivalk
and they're designing mouse since 1983
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#19
Delta6326
I like the looks. Now to me ables to game on it...
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#20
Drone
by: DannibusX
They haven't been "just a software company" since 2001.
Right. It seems that everyone ignored Microsoft's first tablet pc in the late 90s.
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#21
KissSh0t
I have a "Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000", Great feeling Mouse to hold in your hand.. Microsoft make Keyboards too~ Since... 1994?
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#22
RejZoR
Erm, hasn't ASUS already "invented" this with their modular Transformer tablets that you can attach a keyboard to them and turn them into PC or a notebook?
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#23
NdMk2o1o
by: FordGT90Concept
Ah, so they can brand it as their own. Very clever Microsoft, very clever indeed.


Edit: This source says RT will likely be $500 or less while Pro will be around $1000.

Microsoft is no longer just a software company...
$1000 for a tablet PC????

I really hope not, like the look of the pro, if it's going to be that expensive can't see it being a success.
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#24
Completely Bonkers
+1 to MS for taking the initiative after so many years of uninspiring netbooks and ULV luggables.

Shame on the PC industry that MS has to take the lead in hardware design.

One year earlier would have been a real win for MS. However, today, Apple is ready with "retina" Ipad/MacBooks. At least this new Surface competition will make Apple bring retina to Air much faster. Expect Apple refresh sooner than 1 year.

Apple needs to make bootcamp much more obvious/easy esp. XP (eg letting people install existing unused licenses) to the new Macbook/air range. That would make me a buyer.

***

Observation: there are a lot of "girl" colours in MS marketing and products today. I guess they now see 50% of their consumer market as no longer being c: based.
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#25
rainwilds
Very nice. I have been waiting for a tablet with keyboard like interface with Windows 8. Very cool indeed.
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