Microsoft Enters the Battlefields: Devices
After a fairly mediocre start, Microsoft have officially joined the field of devices with a bang. It is evident that Satya Nadella’s vision [CEO, Microsoft] of the interplay between cloud and mobility is coming to fruition.
While this day was highly anticipated and rumours had circulated no one could have really expected the strides that they have taken into their convergence of hardware and software.
From my point of view I was über impressed: partly because I didn’t quite expect a great deal of innovation, and secondly because the advancement were beyond my frame of mind. Maybe dogmatic, but I HAD seen Microsoft primarily as a phenomenal software company, but not an ‘all-in-one’ – that has changed.
What was different?
While I love the advancement that Apple have made in products, the heart of their products are not for business productivity, they are for people’s leisure. Never in recent years have the new features been beneficial from a business perspective. Yes, you say the camera, the graphics for gaming, the screen, the size. All of these are very helpful as part of normal life, but for business reasons, they never quite fill a void.
There are 110 million devices running Windows 10.
Microsoft haven’t got this type of background. They focus on business productivity, it started from BASIC, and it is at the heart of all the products they are involved in. Take the cloud, when Apple makes the announcement, they talk about moving photos from devices, Microsoft talks about it from a files point of view – collaborating on documents and sharing spreadsheets.
This different, but not necessarily better approach is why Microsoft’s latest product launch were so powerful. Beyond my amusement of the comparison of products, the reason I talk about them is because that’s exactly what both Apple and Microsoft do. They go on stage and find areas that their product supersedes their opponent, and takes in the applause.
What was launched?
Well *deep breath* updates to the Xbox, the Microsoft Band 2 [we are still not quite convinced], HoloLens developer package [we cannot help but love this], 3 new Lumia Phones [EPIC], Surface Pro 4 and the Microsoft Surface Book.
The phones released were incredible, absolutely incredible. They didn’t have a 258 megapixel camera, but they were great business tools. They were made in tandem with Windows 10 and they show it. In addition to the great UI, you were able to run your phone into an external monitor as a normal PC, open Excel, present to people, and run your phone as well. Genius!
They one day may make a phone too good that you won’t need anything else, so from a consumer’s point of view – thumbs up.
The Surface Pro 4 was a nice welcome, with a great screen resolution [more than 5 million pixels] and a welcome magnetic attachment for the pen. They have also increased its maximum available RAM and storage, a real effort at making the tablet a full-blown desktop/laptop replacement.
The new pen is a great attachment, with different colours, and more than 1,000 pressure levels, so it is a great accessory. From my point of view, this is the device of the people, a tablet, a laptop, Windows 10. Who could want more…
You had to ask 🙂
Don’t worry we were prepared for this launch, we had read the rumours, done our background checks – but we had no idea what was coming next.
A laptop – Microsoft’s first ever laptop. Aluminium, beautiful, surface-like, ports, then, out of nowhere… the screen is detachable. Wow. You can see by this photo, it looks beautiful, it’s the future of computing. It’s powerful, with a 12 hour battery life, and the latest Intel Core i7. The true mix of a laptop and tablet. Now the name… the Microsoft Surface Book, either Apple have given them the go-ahead, or they are damn bold, because it seems a lot like the MacBook, but we won’t judge.
Yes, there are some incredible small features, but when you step back and look at the far & wide range of devices out there, these features are what makes the product step out from the rest and are genuinely useful features (not just gimmicks). We are coming into a new age of productivity, and Microsoft has shown their cards. Granted, it needs work and there are kinks. But from someone who is looking how technology can benefit people’s lives, they are right on track.
Microsoft have really grown up in Satya’s reign, they have become the company that so many wanted them to. They have pushed barriers. When they launched products at Build earlier this year, I said Microsoft were back on track, and I think they have now taken lead.
From RedPixie’s point of view, we want to improve people’s lives. Let them work to their potential, remove friction… Microsoft has put a grin on all our faces, and we cannot wait to see more.