Categories
IT News, Tech Information and Analysis Microsoft

Welcome Microsoft Surface: A New Family of Tablet PCs

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.

Additional Product Information

Surface for Windows RT

  • OS: Windows RT
  • Light(1): 676 g
  • Thin(2): 9.3 mm
  • Clear: 10.6” ClearType HD Display
  • Energized: 31.5 W-h
  • Connected: microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Office ‘15’ Apps, Touch Cover, Type Cover
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 32 GB, 64 GB

Surface for Windows 8 Pro

  • OS: Windows 8 Pro
  • Light(1): 903 g
  • Thin(2): 13.5 mm
  • Clear: 10.6” ClearType Full HD Display
  • Energized: 42 W-h
  • Connected: microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae
  • Productive: Touch Cover, Type Cover, Pen with Palm Block
  • Practical: VaporMg Case & Stand
  • Configurable: 64 GB, 128 GB

For more information about Surface, visit http://www.surface.com.

Categories
General Microsoft

Windows 8 – What features would you suggest?

A fellow Microsoft MVP, Michael Pietroforte is running a poll on Windows 8’s desired features on his website, 4sysops (http://4sysops.com). His idea is to run the poll on multiple Windows blogs using an online poll service. This means the poll results from all participating blogs will be gathered automatically, stored centrally and displayed on all blogs.

I think, it is now a good time to run such a poll because Windows 8 is still on its early planning stage. I am currently putting together the feature list for the poll. If you have ideas for the list, please let me know.

I would recommend, you take the Windows 8 poll here: http://4sysops.com/archives/the-windows-8-poll/

This Poll is being run on all these below blogs. Hence, Kindly give your votes and comments ‘only once’. The survey results will be integrated and shared in the future.

Demonic Talking Skullmarkwilson.itmsigeekStandalone SysadminTeching It Easy: with WindowsThe Experience BlogThe things that are better left unspokenThe Windows ClubWindowsProWithin Windows7tutorials4sysops

Some of the Features listed there:

New user interface

Android and iOS are good examples of operating systems with innovative user interface models. Even more revolutionary will be Windows 7 Phone. These examples show that OS interfaces beyond the Windows Start Menu and the Windows Taskbar are possible.

Support for different form factors

Support for different form factors, such as tablets and netbooks, includes the ability to run Windows with minimal hardware requirements and on devices with small screen sizes (as small as 5”). Optimization for touch, the ability to run Windows without mouse and keyboard, and orientation detection are other essential features.

More modularity

Linux is a good example of a modular operating system. It allows you to install only those OS components you really need. This would require a package manager that resolves software dependencies. The advantages of more modularity are lower hardware requirements, a reduced attack surface, and simplified patch management.

Bare metal hypervisor

A bare metal hypervisor would enable you to run multiple Windows installations simultaneously on a PC. You could move your virtualized Windows installation with all applications to another PC or to a VDI environment by simply copying the virtual system drive.

Application virtualization

Virtualized applications run in an isolated environment that ensures no modifications to the OS are made during installation and at runtime. Application virtualization can solve compatibility issues and improves security.

Windows Restore Button

If you messed up your Windows installation, this feature would enable you to restore Windows to its original state without losing your data and without the need to reinstall all your applications.

Cloud APIs

Third-party software vendors could allow you to use cloud APIs to add cloud features to their applications. For instance, a web browser vendor could store your bookmarks, plugins, and browser settings in Microsoft’s cloud or in the cloud of a third-party provider. That way, all your settings and data would automatically be available on every Windows machine you log on to.

New authentication methods

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could log on to Windows or an online service with a smile at your web cam (facial recognition), with a friendly “Hi, it’s me” (voice recognition), or by just touching your beloved PC (fingerprint recognition)? Biometrics applications have already been available for a while, but they will only have a fair chance of being adopted in the Windows ecosystem if Microsoft fully integrates these functions into Windows.

Instant-On

Instant-On means that Windows wouldn’t have to boot up when you turn on your PC. Considering that computers are becoming more and more an integral part of our daily life, this could be an interesting feature for home users in particular. It is probably a must-have feature for tablets.

Malware protection

If Windows were delivered with integrated malware protection, every PC would be protected right after the installation, which would make the whole Internet a safer place. Third-party vendors could offer services such as antivirus signatures and antivirus applications that run on top of the Windows malware scanning engine. This would also reduce notorious compatibility problems with antivirus scanning engines and would even allow you to run multiple antivirus applications at the same time.

Better UAC

Compared to Sudo in the Linux world, UAC (User Account Control) is a fairly simple security privilege solution. A UAC with more configuration options could improve security, especially in business environments.

Migration from Windows XP

Windows XP is a very popular operating system and it will still probably run on many computers even when Windows 8 is released. These Windows customers would appreciate a seamless migration from Windows XP to Windows 8.

Better compatibility

Better compatibility includes better hardware and software compatibility with legacy hardware and software.