Microsoft has unveiled new developments in Windows 10 and new hardware with a Surface PC. Many Microsoft fans hoped to see Microsoft surprise with a Surface Phone, however there was a wave of slight disappointment as the event closed with no phone announcements. Microsoft needs a smartphone. It is not making any sense to not offer a decent smartphone as their software is most impressive.
The only affordable announcement is the free Windows 10 Creator Update. The update, coming in early 2017, includes new features for augmented and virtual reality gaming, and lets users on mobile devices take three-dimensional photographs by scanning an object as they walk around it, something along the lines of Google Project Tango. Microsoft is also launching “Paint 3D” to allow for the editing of photos and other designs in three dimensions.
New hardware is arriving, the new Surface Studio is a beat of a platform with a price to match. This is an all-in-one PC retailing for a staggering $2,999, rising to $4,199 when fully kitted out. A 28-inch IPS display touchscreen with 4,500 x 3,000 pixels (Apple’s 5K iMac has a higher 5,120 x 2,880 pixel resolution) sit on top of a little box filled with a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, 8gb DDR4 RAM, a 2TB hybrid drive, Dolby 2.1 speakers and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 980M GPU making things look pretty.
The Surface Book has been refreshed for the year as well, the Surface Book i7 is a high-end version of the Surface Book with an enhanced CPU (surprise, it’s a Core i7), and GeForce GTX 965M. There’s also a redesigned heating system and a claimed 30% boost to battery life – that’s 16 hours per charge. Pre-order from today for $2,399, ships in November.
The Surface Dial has a hockey-puck design with a customisable interface. Designed to work on the desktop with any Windows 10 PC running the new Creators Update, however has onscreen functionality with the Surface Studio all-in-one. You can set up commands for rotating with top or pressing it down, but only on the Studio can you use it on the touchscreen itself to play with images produced.