Microsoft this morning announced a grip of new hardware, including Surface products, high-end smartphones, a wearable, Windows 10 for the Xbox One and its first laptop.
The laptop, called the Surface Book, stunned in an event marked largely by products Microsoft watchers were expecting.
TechCrunch presumes that you did not wake up early in the morning to watch a livestream of the event, so we’ve collected all the important bits and pieces here for your easy digestion.
Microsoft kicked off the event by announcing Windows 10 now operates on 110 million PCs. Microsoft wants the operating system on one billion devices in the next few years, and that puts Microsoft 11 percent of the way toward its goal.
Also up top was some welcome news for Windows 10 users: Facebook is building several ‘universal’ apps for the platform. The move should improve the social functionality of all Windows 10 hardware.
The surprise hit of the day was the Surface Book, which Microsoft considers a laptop. Although the Surface line was designed to have some in-lap functionality, the Surface Book should offer more than the company’s past hybrid tablets. The Surface Book may not look like its predecessors, but there’s a twist. The damn thing comes apart into two pieces so you can use it as a stand-alone tablet.
The convertible laptop sports a 13.5-inch display, a trackpad made of glass, a backlit keyboard and a machined magnesium body. The Surface Book has the latest generation of the Intel Core processor and an Nvidia GPU with GDDR5 memory. Microsoft claims its the fastest laptop of its size ever made, and has 12-hour battery life, 267 ppi pixel density display and a keyboard that is said to be very quiet.
The Surface Book starts at $1,499 and is available to pre-order on October 7.[gallery ids="1220133,1220132,1220131,1220130,1220129,1220128,1220127,1219827,1219825,1219814,1219772"]
Surface Pro 4
By far the most anticipated device before the event, the Surface Pro 4 is real, up for pre-order tomorrow, and is essentially a strong iterative improvement on its predecessor. That’s not shade — the Surface Pro 3 sold well for a reason. Microsoft noted at the top of its show that Surface now generates around $3.5 billion in yearly revenue, up from nothing just a few years ago.
The Pro 4 stands out for keeping a similar design to the Pro 3 but fitting a larger screen into the space. That means less bezel, of course.
The Surface Pro 4 will have to face off against similar products from both Apple and Google.
Microsoft says the Pro 4 is its thinnest Surface Pro to date. The 12.3 inch screen has 267 PPI and supports over 5 million pixels. Microsoft revamped its stylus and Type cover. The stylus will now contain a year’s worth of battery life and snap to the edge of the device. The Type cover will have a chiclet-style keyboard.
The device will retail for $899 and be available on Oct. 26.[gallery ids="1220119,1220120,1220118,1220117,1220116,1220115,1220114,1220113,1219725,1219726"]
Lumia 950 And Lumia 950 XL
The media called this one some time ago, but it was still edifying to see Microsoft trot out new phone hardware. Keep in mind that it was only so long ago that the Redmond-based software giant had to endure an embarrassing multi-billion dollar writedown related to its smartphone business.
The phone and phablet are exclusive to AT&T in the U.S. Both come with octacore and hexacore processors as well as liquid cooling technology. The phone features a 5.2-inch display, while the XL phablet has a 5.7-inch display. Their OLED displays have a pixel density of 564 ppi and 518 ppi respectively. Both have 20-megapixel cameras with natural flash and can shoot 4K video. They come with 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot and a new USB Type-C connector.
Both will ship in November. The 950 retails at $549, and the XL sells for $649.[gallery ids="1220101,1220100,1220099"]
Microsoft’s augmented reality project HoloLens picked a decent whack of stage time during the event. Microsoft faced the challenge of demoing it to an audience that didn’t have their own devices to track along, but the company made some news all the same.
Microsoft showcased new live games for HoloLens on Tuesday, including a shooting game that projects robots on your living room walls. The real potential for the HoloLens lies in the projects third party developers create.
However you still can’t buy one. The Hololens developer kit will set you back $3,000 and won’t be available until the first quarter of calendar 2016.[gallery ids="1220091,1220090,1219610,1219609,1219608,1219607,1219606,1219604,1219603,1219601,1219599"]
Microsoft surprised many last year when it released its first smart watch, the Band. Microsoft’s Band 2 is a sleeker and smarter iteration of its predecessor.
The Band 2 is more sensitive to touch and features thicker gorilla glass. It’s able to sense changes in elevation, and has an improved set of health tracking tools.
It’s available for pre-order today for $249 and will retail on October 30.[gallery ids="1220047,1220046,1220045,1220044"]
Xbox One <3 Windows 10
Microsoft will bring its Xbox One gaming console under the aegis of Windows 10 this year, so you don’t have much longer to wait for that code to drop.
This means you’ll be able to play your XBox 360 games on the XBox One. The company also announced limited edition consoles inspired by hot games like Halo5.