Microsoft’s more powerful version of its Surface tablet finally has a release date. Surface with Windows 8 Pro comes to market February 9. It comes packed with Intel’s Core i5 processor and it supports apps available in the Windows Store as well as legacy programs that run on Windows 7 and other previous OS’. More Pro advantages: this slate sports a 1920 x 1080 full HD display, 4GB of RAM, a fast USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort, and a pen with Palm Block technology. The Pro starts at $899 for the 64GB model; alongside it is a 128GB model that will sell for $999. Unlike the RT version, the Pro doesn’t come bundled with a keyboard cover. The Touch Cover and Type Cover sell separately for $119.99 and $129.99, respectively.
In addition to fully fleshing out the Pro’s future release, Microsoft announced a new pricing option for the Surface for Windows RT. This is the 64GB model but it ditches the keyboard cover to sell for $599. It joins the standalone 32GB model ($499), the 32GB model with Black Touch Cover ($599), and 64GB model with Black Touch Cover ($699).
And there’s more. Microsoft is adding more to its Surface accessory lineup. Three new limited edition Touch Covers featuring funky designs in red, magenta, and cyan are coming soon; they’re priced at $129.99. Also on deck is a wireless Wedge mouse whose design is inspired by the modern look of the Surface; it’s priced at $69.95.
Take a look at the Surface with Windows 8 Pro, along with the new accessories, in the gallery below.
Windows 8 is out, and Microsoft’s been pushing its own hardware dubbed Surface to highlight the best its tablet-friendly OS has to offer. When Surface was first announced, Microsoft detailed two different models: one running Windows RT and another with Windows 8 Pro. Surface for Windows RT was released into the marketplace the same day as Windows 8–on October 26. Surface for Windows 8 Pro would be saved for a later date.
We still don’t have a specific release date for the more powerful Surface, but this week Microsoft did announce pricing. As expected, the slate running Win8 Pro is pricier than its WinRT sibling (which starts at $499). Surface for Win8 Pro starts at $899 for the 64GB model; a second option with 128GB of storage space will go for $999. Microsoft is calling these “standalone versions” since they do not come bundled with an attachable keyboard cover. The Touch Cover and Type Cover sell separately for $119.99 and $129.99, respectively.
So you want to know the differences. Let’s start with software. As explained in a previous post, Windows RT runs off ARM processors and does not support legacy applications made for Windows 7, Vista, XP, and so on. RT will only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store. Windows 8 Pro, on the other hand, supports x86 processors and will run all legacy apps just fine. What makes this version of Windows 8 “Pro” are its enhanced security features including BitLocker encryption.
Moving onto the hardware side of things, Surface running Win8 Pro packs a more powerful processor with Intel’s third-gen Core i5 chip, double the RAM at 4GB, a higher resolution 1920×1080 full HD display, a faster USB 3.0 port, a Mini DisplayPort that can enable an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution, a larger 42 W-h battery, and it supports pen input. It ships with a pen and display tech called Palm Block that “prevent[s] your handwriting from getting interrupted if you accidentally place your palm on the screen as you write.” This enhanced Surface boasts the same 10.6-inch screen size, but its body is bigger and its weight heavier; it measures 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53in (compared to Surface for WinRT: 10.81 x 6.77 x 0.37in) and it weighs half a pound more at 2lbs.
So there you have it. Surface for Windows 8 Pro is coming in January. Keep your eyes peeled at Microsoft’s portal, and when the release date becomes apparent you’ll know.
Three years after Microsoft’s last major OS release the next one is out of the bag. As of 12:01AM on October 26 the next version of Windows was let loose into the wild. Windows 8 is an entirely new OS, built from the ground up supporting touch input and a new Start screen that borrows its Live Tile look from Microsoft’s foray into the mobile smartphone space. Though the new OS begs to be touched, it has been proven to work just as well with the typical mice and keyboard setup. PC manufacturers like Dell, HP, Acer, and Lenovo are already selling devices running Windows 8 from desktops to laptops to tablets and convertibles.
This release marks the first time Microsoft is selling hardware of their own to promote it. Surface for Windows RT is out now, and Surface for Windows 8 Pro is coming soon. In case you don’t know the difference, Windows RT runs off ARM processors and does not support legacy applications made for Windows 7, Vista, XP, and so on. RT will only run apps downloaded from the Windows Store, open today. If your needs require such older apps, you’ll have to opt for the Pro version which does support x86 processors and apps designed with that chipset in mind. In a nutshell, Windows RT devices pack small ARM processors that allow for more compact, lighter PC designs and extended battery life; legacy apps won’t run. Windows Pro devices use x86 processors and these PC designs are typically thicker and heavier; legacy apps will run.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shared his excitement for the latest software release in a press statement: ”We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs. Windows 8 brings together the best of the PC and the tablet. It works perfect for work and play and it is alive with your world. Every one of our customers will find a PC that they will absolutely love.”
To get Windows 8 today you have a couple options: you can either download it from Windows.com for $39.99 or purchase a physical copy for $69.99. Click here for more. There’s also a Windows Upgrade Offer available if you purchase a Windows 7 PC. Check that out here. Order a Surface here.
In addition to the PR, you’ll also find a couple videos after the break. Bill Gates talks Windows 8 and Surface in the first, and if you’re excited about this release as I am you’ll allot about an hour to watch the Windows 8 launch event hosted by Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky with an appearence by Steve Ballmer.
Happy Windows 8 Day! (Click here for more…)
Let Microsoft’s first Surface commercial dance right into your heart [Update: Pricing & specs revealed, preorder today, ships 10/26]
With the release of Microsoft’s radically new operating system coming out so soon, the company has let loose a fun commercial touting its in-house tablet dubbed Surface. Directed by Jon Chu (Step Up 3D) and choreographed by Christopher Scott and Jamal Sims, the spot incorporates an infectious track and aggressive dance moves to market its snazzy slate to a young crowd. Though it doesn’t offer specs and pricing, it does highlight the Surface’s ability to snap to a cover/keyboard hybrid the company calls Touch Cover and Type Cover, and it also puts the device’s built-in kick stand in the spotlight. It also screams that Windows 8 begs to be touched.
Surface for Windows RT releases day and date with Windows 8 on October 26.
Update: Now there’s even more to celebrate. Today Microsoft put up a product page for Surface with Windows RT and it includes a final spec list and pricing. Three separate SKUs are offered. The tablet starts at $499 and that gets you a 32GB slate. For $599 you get the same storage capacity and the slate is bundled with a black Touch Cover. And for $699 storage jumps to 64GB and you’ll get a black Touch Cover. The company is selling Touch Covers separately at $119.99 in a variety of colors including black, white, red, cyan, and magenta. Also sold separately is the Type Cover at $129.99 in black only. According to the site, the cheapest SKU ships “within three weeks” while the other two will arrive on your doorstep on Windows 8 launch day October 26. Preorder today.
When Microsoft announced Surface in June, they didn’t fully divulge all of the tablet’s specs. Now we’ve got ‘em all. Been wondering what the 10.6 inch display’s resolution is? It’s 1366 x768. For a full list of juicy specs, jump after the break for the official PR. Glance at new images that just surfaced below.
With Microsoft’s next iteration of Windows on the horizon, the company has decided to go head-t0-head with its longtime industry competitor Apple by introducing its very own tablet. Though Microsoft is best known for its software, it has developed hardware over the years including innovative mice and keyboards. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made this case: “Much like Windows 1.0 needed the mouse to complete the experience, we wanted to give Windows 8 its own companion hardware innovation.” Meet Surface. And no, the company is not referring to its bulky, pricey multitouch Surface table; this is a brand new line of tablets running Windows 8.
Currently the new Surface family consists of two devices and two covers. Surface for Windows RT is powered by an NVIDIA-based ARM chip. It is 9.3mm thick and weighs 676 grams. It packs a 10.6-inch ClearType capacitive multitouch display, front and rear-facing cameras, a 31.5Wh battery,USB 2.0, microSD, and Micro HD Video ports, and 2×2 MIMO antennae for “the best WiFi performance possible” no matter how you hold it.
Surface for Windows Pro is powered by an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor. It is slightly thicker and heavier than the RT model measuring at 13.5mm thick and weighing 903 grams. It too packs a 10.6-inch optically-bonded ClearType capacitive multitouch widescreen 16:9 display, but this one outputs full 1080p HD. Front and rear-facing cameras are present, as is a larger 42Wh battery, speedier USB 3.0, microSDXC, Mini DisplayPort, and 2×2 MIMO antennae. Surface for Windows Pro supports digital inking and comes with a magnetic stylus that sticks to the side of the device when it’s not in use. Built into the display are sensors that detect when you’re using the pen versus your finger on the touch display. The display won’t trip out when you’re drawing with the stylus while your palm rests elsewhere on the screen; Microsoft calls it Palm Blocking.
What the two models share is an extremely durable design Microsoft calls VaporMg (pronounced Vapor-Mag). Surface is the first PC with a full magnesium case. Described as “incredibly strong yet airy,” Surface boasts a permanent search and ware-resistant design and the display has a protective layer of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2.0. Edges are beveled away at 22 degrees “so the PC itself fades into the background.” The design makes room for a built-in kickstand that morphs the tablet into a functional laptop. And every laptop needs a keyboard and trackpad… (Click here for more…)
I’m sure you’ve heard of (and maybe even interacted with) Microsoft’s Surface. It’s a multitouch table that can be found in banks, hotels, and AT&T stores. An example of its function: at an AT&T store you can place down two smartphones and the table will recognize their presence and provide with specifications and features to help you make a purchasing decision. Surface is known for its multitouch and object recognition capabilities. This week at CES 2011 Microsoft detailed the next generation Surface dubbed “Surface 2.0 Experience.” Building on top of the original Surface functionality, the new experience features PixelSense technology, “which gives LCD panels the power to see without the use of cameras.” Microsoft explains, “PixelSense gives an LCD display the power to recognize fingers, hands and objects placed on the screen, including more than 50 simultaneous touch points. With PixelSense, pixels in the display see what’s touching the screen and that information is immediately processed and interpreted.” For instance, in addition to recognizing touch inputs like your fingers, Surface can now “see” things that touch the screen. For example, if you placed a piece of paper with the words “Hello, world” printed on it on top of the Surface display, the software will recognize and interpret the letters instantly. In a word, Surface has become smarter.
Microsoft has collaborated with Samsung to create the next physical Surface table called “SUR40.” Table specs: 40-inch 1920×1080 HD multitouch display, 2.9GHz AMD Athlon II X2 dual core processor with AMD Radeon HD 6700M Series GPU. And now that the table comes in a thinner form factor (it’s four inches thin) customers can mount the table onto a wall if the space calls for it. Otherwise, standard or custom table legs can be designed and requested.
At $7,600 the Surface is still geared toward business customers and not the general consuming public. Companies like Dassault Aviation, Fujifilm Corp., Red Bull GmbH, Royal Bank of Canada, and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts have expressed their interest in developing custom software for the Surface and deploying it at their respective locations. SUR40 will be available “later in 2011″ in 23 countries around the world. Look after the break for official PR and a video demonstration of the new Surface experience in action.
Microsoft Research is back, and this time they are bringing a new technology to the table (hehe) that’s going to eliminate any desire you might have had to purchase an exuberantly priced Microsoft Surface.
LightSpace combines elements of surface computing and augmented reality research to create a highly interactive space where any surface, and even the space between surfaces, is fully interactive. Our concept transforms the ideas of surface computing into the new realm of spatial computing.
In essense LightSpace rips out the multiple depth 3D cameras and projectors from their secret cove beneath a table and places them up in the ceiling. In effect, this means that all Surface user interfaces and features can be displayed on virtually any flat surface; the actual Surface table is no longer required. You’re going to want to watch the video demonstration above; some of the LightSpace applications are quite extraordinary. In one example the Microsoft researcher “picks up” an object located on a table projection and transfers it in his hand to a second wall display. It’s drag-and-drop IRL. Now remember, this is a Microsoft Research project so there’s no telling how long it’s going to cook in the labs before it makes its away to the general public (if ever).
Microsoft Research is back with a new way to interact with their Surface multitouch table.
Manual Deskterity is a prototype digital drafting table that supports both pen and touch input. We explore a division of labor between pen and touch that flows from natural human skill and differentiation of roles of the hands. We also explore the simultaneous use of pen and touch to support novel compound gestures.
The combination of pen and touch input makes for a wide range of gestures like holding, tapping, dragging, and crossing that can be used in ways you likely have never seen before. Check it out in the video demonstation above. I smell a hint of Courier here.
Imagine this: In the future magazine stands will be interactive on the consumer-end and communicative with your portable tablet computer. Cynergy’s magazine kiosk concept bring that future to life today. Using a Microsoft Surface table and proprietary software, Cynergy created a highly intuitive and seemless way to preview and purchase magazines on the go. As you can see in the video above, it’s as simple as this: You go up to one of these “public” tables and browse a full library of magazines and sort them by category, popularity, etc. Once you find something you’re interested in, you tap the cover to view its table of contents and preview it. When you’re ready to buy a digital version of it, you place down your tablet device (that’s running Cynergy’s “custom designed and built” software) onto the table and it’s instantly recognized. Your name and credit amount pops up on screen. To take the magazine with you, simply drag and drop the zine’s cover from the Surface to your tablet. (The visuals during this part are very neat; the zine actually appears to move from the table to the tablet without hiccup). And now you own the magazine; it’s sitting in your digital (print) media collection on your tablet. I can totally see something like this being implemented for tablets like the iPad and (future) color screen e-readers. Look after the break for a second demo.
We’ve seen multitouch surface tables before, but never have we seen them quite as stylish and visually attractive as the Touchy Remix from Intactlab. Being heralded as “the marriage of precision engineering and quality design” the Touchy Remix was designed to support and enhance collaboration with surface computing. Its minimalistic and curvy shape attracts people to sit around it, unlike the boxy Microsoft Surface-esque tables that come off as uninviting. It’s made from a fiberglass shell built around an aluminum chassis. Though its design is most prominent, I’ll share some internal notes with you: it features a 40″ WXGA (720p HD) internal projection screen and runs custom software from Intactlab that comes preloaded onto an integrated Mac mini; there’s four USB ports and a dock for an iPod. See additional pictures below and a demo video of it in use after the break.
Microsoft Surface learns a new trick with the Lumino Project. Surface has always been able to recognize physical objects when they are placed down. With the newly constructed (and still being tested) Lumino blocks, Surface can recognize when a number of blocks are stacked on top of each other, and these various three dimensional orientations can correspond with different outcomes. Watch the video above to see examples. Though these examples may seem juvenile at the moment (re: checkers), the researchers can see this kind of technology being implemented in the future by architects and engineers.
CRISTAL, or “Control of Remotely Interfaced Systems using Touch-based Actions in Living spaces,” is very reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface in that it is controlled by touch-based gestures on a coffee table surface. It is one of the coolest concept devices I have seen put to use. CRISTAL allows you to control and manipulate various things in your living room space including TV, speakers, lights, a vacuum cleaner, and a digital picture frame. The interface displayed on the table is a digital projection of your living room; it couldn’t be made any simpler. To interact with your lights, for example, you can turn them on and off or even dim them with a sliding gesture on the table over the projected image of your actual lamp. You can access your movie collection from a media server on the table. You simply drag and drop a movie from the collection list to the table’s main interface; from there you can view the movie on the table itself, or–get this–you can drag the movie from the center of the table to the projected image of your TV and it will immediately play on your actual TV in your living room! With photos, you can view and resize them directly on the table, and you can drag them to your TV or digital picture frame to view them on those devices. And here’s my favorite feature: you can tell your miniature vacuum exactly where to go to clean up a mess by drawing a line from the vacuum to the messy destination. Neat, huh?
Stacey Scott, assistant professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, member of the project: “We wanted a social aspect to activities such as choosing what to watch on TV and we wanted to make the process easy and intuitive. “Every time you get a new device into the living room, you get a new remote with it. And instead of difficult programmable universal remotes, this offers intuitive mapping of the different devices and home.” Christian Müller-Tomfelde, an Australian table-top display researcher: “It is a clever use of the tabletop as a ‘world-in-miniature’ interface to control room elements.”
Müller-Tomfelde commented that it could take five to ten years before we see something like this be manufactured and made available for the general public. As we have witnessed with Microsoft Surface, it can be very difficult to create and promote a table-top device with a steep price tag. Scott approximated that if CRISTOL was put on the market today it would cost somewhere between $10,000-$15,000. Today’s digital living room is packed with multiple devices that all perform different tasks. A device like CRISTOL that can put the control of all those devices onto one central table-top with a user-friendly interface would be a very helpful and exciting addition to homes all around the world.