In what could be Microsoft’s most exciting event in years, the company launches a new set of devices including the HoloLens, Microsoft Band, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, the highly anticipated Surface Pro 4, and the surprise of the event – Microsofts first ever laptop – the Surface Book.
The event kicked off with what looked like a cool presentation of the HoloLens. Demoing a game codenamed Project X-Ray, Microsoft showcased what it calls ‘Mixed Reality’ gameplay.
Next up is the Microsoft Band 2. Like other wearables, it’s designed to be your quick access and fitness companion. But the most interesting about the band continues to be how it collects your fitness data, stores it in the cloud, and then shows you a graphic representation of that data. Talk about advanced analytics.
Then, Microsoft unveiled its first Lumia phones specifically designed to run Windows 10. The Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL. The phones sport powerful processors, 20 megapixel PureView cameras, and for some reason, are equipped with a liquid cooling system. But the most impressive thing about the showcase was the Windows 10 feature called Continuum. With the help of the Microsoft Display Dock, a Windows 10 phone can give you a Windows desktop experience. Powerful stuff.
Another important announcement was Facebook backing Microsoft’s universal apps strategy by building universal apps for the Windows 10 platform. If other developers follow Facebook’s footsteps, good things are bound to happen for Microsoft.
The most awaited device was the Surface Pro 4 – the tablet-laptop hybrid, essentially a category that Microsoft invented, that was inadvertently hyped thanks to Apple’s release of the iPad Pro and Google’s unveiling of the Pixel C. It turns out Microsoft was really onto something when they first released the Surface, and now the device-type is catching on.
Microsoft calls Surface Pro 4 the thinnest, lightest, and most powerful PC ever made. It also comes with an improved type-cover keyboard that now features a fingerprint scanner. The Surface Pro 4 also comes with a pen that actually has an eraser… *cough* Apple Pencil *cough*
And right when everyone thought Microsoft was done with announcing devices, they unveiled what they call ‘the ultimate laptop’ – the Surface Book. It’s a essentially a bigger, more powerful big brother of the Surface Pro 4. It is Microsoft’s first ever laptop. It’s 13-inch display supports both touch and stylus input so yes, the Surface Pen will work with the Surface Book. It also promises 12-hours of battery life.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella nicely caps off the event with this quote on why they make these devices. He said, “We make things, to help you make things, to make things happen.”
If this event was any indication, it looks like big things are in store for Microsoft.