Microsoft announces ‘Surface Book’ laptop, Surface Pro 4 tablet, three phones and a fitness tracker

“Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday unveiled a new laptop, a tablet, three phones and a fitness tracker meant to keep people tied to its array of online services… They face heavy competition from Apple and Android products,” Anick Jesdanun reports for The Associated Press. “With the new lineup, Microsoft appears to be targeting professionals, people more likely to have Windows already in their office computers.”

MacDailyNews Take: Professional dinosaurs, to be exact.

Jesdanun reports, “In closing a nearly two-hour event in New York, CEO Satya Nadella said the latest devices are part of Microsoft’s vision ‘to move people from needing Windows to choosing Windows to loving Windows.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Poor bastage must’ve hit his head… hard.

“The surprise announcement was a new Surface Book laptop, which comes after Microsoft has been touting its Surface tablets as replacements for laptops. Microsoft says the Surface Book is for scientists, engineers and gamers who need more performance than a tablet,” Jesdanun reports. “The screen is detachable and becomes a tablet with a clipboard feel while on the go. But unlike Surface tablets with keyboard covers attached magnetically, the Surface Book’s keyboard is core to the device.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, but can it toast while refrigerating?

“The 13.5-inch laptop starts at $1,499, compared with $899 for the new, 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4 tablet. The Pro 4’s keyboard cover costs an extra $130,” Jesdanun reports. “Apple Inc. is starting to go after those customers, too, with its upcoming iPad Pro, which starts at $799, plus $169 for a physical keyboard. Apple already has a MacBook Pro laptop line, starting at $1,299, for power users.”

“Just two years ago, Microsoft wrote down $900 million for losses related to its first-generation Surface RT tablet,” Jesdanun reports. “Microsoft also sought to use Tuesday’s event to revive its struggling phone business. Over the summer, the company wrote down $8.4 billion for the value of Nokia’s phone business, which it bought just a year earlier. It also announced 7,800 job cuts in the phone business. The new Lumia 950 and 950 XL are the first high-end Windows phones from Microsoft since February 2014, which was around the time Nadella became CEO and before Microsoft completed its purchase of Nokia… The new phones start at $549 and will be available in November.”

MacDailyNews Take: DOA.

“The new Microsoft Band fitness tracker, meanwhile, will now track elevation and work with the company’s Cortana virtual assistant,” Jesdanun reports. “It will be available for $249 starting Oct. 30.”

MacDailyNews Take: Stillborn.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: A cavalcade of crap for the clueless.

95 Comments

    1. Hate to say this but I just finished watching the latest Microsoft Keynote and I’m inspired. Much more than any Apple Keynote of recent. Their Lumia phones look pretty fantastic and Continuum… pretty kick ass. It makes a dual operating system like Apple’s OS X and iOS seem dated and obselete.

      Continuum is a technology that allows you to dock your Lumia Smartphone and use it like a computer with monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Windows 10 drives all of this. It scales amazingly for effectively any screen size and works and looks great on touch devices and point and click.

      This all won’t push me over the edge to Microsoft from Apple but what I see is pretty remarkable. Microsoft is definitely back and with a vengence. Their HoloLens is pretty incredible too and is shipping 2016 Q1.

      1. Oh please I remember how everyone was wowed by Kinect and its amazing interactive capabilities. Even now it isn’t a fraction of what Microsoft promised in all its vapourware build up promotions. HoloLens will inevitably go the same way even in Research Labs you can’t do what the promotional videos suggest as a given. What Microsoft do is advertise an ideal for technology and then launch the stone age beginnings of that vision with promises that your grandchildren will get to try something a bit more like it. Cant believe that people are still being fooled by all this.

        As for the marketing malarky of having Windows 10 on all devices in reality it limits what those devices can do or the speed they do it rather than enhance the capabilities in the overall balance. This is because it is the device and its physical capabilities or that of the input system it has that limits its capabilities not an inherently compromised unfocused operating system. That may be different in the future if technology advances far enough but for now and for some time ahead it has no inherent advantage over an OS varient designed specifically for the products functionality as long as that OS is inherently related where it counts to the others in the same stable. The wretched file system as we know it is certainly NOT the future.

        1. Remember how 1st gen iPhone was wowed even if it even did not allow to add apps, nor copy-paste. If you base your opinion in the past you should have concluded already in the 90’s that Apple is dead.

          What happened on the stage with Hololens was real. Yes, the FOV of the lens is smaller than the camera, but it truly is an autonomous device without any cords to anywhere and it is here today. Ask any person who has tried it. Dev kits will be available Q1 2016, that must be more than just a research lab fiction.

      2. I agree, dswe, I think Continuum is Continuity on steroids, and looks extremely appealing. I’m a loooong time Apple fan and user, but I have to say, their offerings – if perform to promise – are strong. I’ve used the Lumia 1020 and I actually love the phone OS; it’s just missing apps, which I know is everything and also why my primary phone is an iPhone. But if you close that gap, watch out Google.

    2. Forget the billion dollar write down. These products completely and totally upend the MS business model from the 90s.

      Think about it–if you are a PC OEM, you are now in direct competition with MS. And the products MS is selling are the most lucrative part of the PC space. Meanwhile, most PC OEMs are trying to scrap by with less than 5% margins.

      If these products sell well, MS will probably wipe out a few more OEMs–which form the backbone of MS’s support network and provide highly lucrative licensing fees.
      If they don’t sell well, MS will take another billion dollar write off.

      Ironically, most of the articles are focusing on how “scary” these products are for Apple and missing the possibility of a complete PC OEM apocalypse if these products are actually successful.

      1. The OEMs themselves race to the bottom. The problem with Wintel ecosystem is that I can only think of Razer Blade and MS Surface that make high end PCs that look cool. Razer is for gamers and would not conflict with MS too much. As far as all the other OEMs are concerned they were NEVER in the high end PC market to begin with; thus, there is nothing for them to lose.

    3. The Surface brand was a $3.5Bn business last year.

      Don’t forget that Apple where once 90 days from bankruptcy only to be bailed out by Microsoft. Apple rose from those ashes, which is great for consumer choice but it is a lesson that you really ought not forget.

    4. Russ – The Surface RT write down was based on a device that was very limited in form and as such very limited in appeal. The main shortcomings were:
      * One viewing angle;
      * Non-desktop class OS;
      * Non-desktop/laptop class CPU;
      * No dedicated GPU;
      * A stylus that lacked an erase function; and
      * Limited memory expansion options.

      You might notice that the iPad Pro has those very same shortcoming… Just sayin!

      1. RT did not have a stylus. It was a 5-point multi-touch capacitive screen. And, had a microSDXC card reader.
        Agree with everything else.

        RT failed because MS over estimated the market demand and built too many. Add to that poor (or criminal) marketing and product management. MS could not have f’d it any worse.

        1. Cain – I stand corrected, you are right. I think I have mixed my RT and Pro specs.

          Still there are many similarities between the RT and the iPad Pro. I am struggling to see where the iPad Pro market is. It is up against the Surface Pro 4, with a stylus that has 1024 points of pressure, superior processing power an ram and runs full desktop software like the Adobe creative cloud.

          Lets face it, if you are buying it for creative/artistic purposes you will be living in the apps not so much on the OS; therefore, it is a moot point whether it is IOS or Win 10. The one thing we know now I that Win 10 supports the Adobe Creative suite to its full potential and IOS does not.

          Of course there will be those who just want a bigger IOS screen but I really think the iPad Pro will be DOA. The second generation will be better but Gen 1 seems to have all the flaws of the Windows Surface RT and may well suffer a similar fate.

        1. Nope. Actually you will find that between Apple and Microsoft they tend to get ideas of each other and very recently Apple and Microsoft have both shown that. Apple is just very good at marketing their products and the features as if they have never been done before! Wakey wakey Peterblood71!

          1. I would suggest you take another look at tech history and cut down on the fanboy delusion. Microsoft can’t innovate to save it’s life which is why they are in the earnings cellar and Apple is the Number One company in the world. And anyway there were also phones and music players before Apple did them right. The onus is on companies to get existing or innovative technologies right. No one members the slackers who might have been there first but couldn’t put that technology in a desirable package. So stop yer slumbering and get better informed Feather brain.

            1. Er ok, whatever Pete, you clearly are not aware of how deluded you are and actually you have shown just how blinded you really are to understanding things.

            2. Yeah I’ve only had the benefit of living the entire technology history and keeping close watch since the 60’s when you are barely out of diapers. Try and fool someone who doesn’t know anything because it ain’t working here featherhead.

            3. Hil-arious.

              Funny how you only pick the parts of history to fit your viewpoint. Not surprised, actually. You might want to lookup Xerox PARC.

              Mook.

            4. You mean the part where Steve Jobs sees Xerox Parcs in action, they aren’t doing anything with it, Jobs licenses it from Xerox, redesigns the mouse to be small and cheap to build and then totally revamps the user interface to a far superior one for the Mac?

              Yeah I’m not surprised you’re also a goofball with a decided inadequate tech education. Your doofus type are a dime a dozen.

  1. The new laptop looks great. I wonder why… could it be because they had Apple’s awesome design to copy? There’s just one big fat problem with these things. They’re running Windows. DOA as far as I’m concerned. K. Thanks. Bye.

          1. How is he lying?

            I have to use one of those craptacular Windows Phones for work. I hate it.

            You would have to pay me to use one for personal use. It really, really sucks.

    1. All I know is I have to use a Windows Phone at work.

      My hatred for it can not be fully described in the English language. It is an abomination.

      Why do they keep trying?

      1. Literally tested one in a shop the past weekend the slowness of the OS was a shock especially compared to the latest Apple phones, it seemed like a 3 year old phone by comparison. The problem perhaps with trying to jam in an OS that simply can’t do the basic job while having no use as a laptop OS in a phone. Perhaps these new ones will be better but I rather doubt it.

        1. maybe you tested it while it was turned off… there’s an On button on the phone idiot… i compared both and the ios cant hold a candle to the speed of any of the windows phone… so i dunno what you are on about… either your a tech idiot or just an apple fanboy…. either way you are an idiot

    2. Note, phones with 32 GB Memory…. AND Micro SD expanion.

      Apple is still making iPhone 6S Plus phones with 16GB Memory ($US749). The biggest they make is 128GB ($US949) or $US200 for the additional 116GB of storage. Either way the maximum storage is 128GB.

      The Lumia 950XL ($US649) has 32GB of storage AND takes a 200GB MicroSD Card for $US200, or around half the price per GB. This is a total of 232GB, which is almost double the size of the highest capacity iPhone.The other benefit it you can buy multiple cards and swap them as require. This is especially useful if you travel with a large movie collection.

      Obviously if Apple implemented expandable storage it would be a fantastic idea and Tim Cook would have claimed to have ‘reinvented personal mobile storage’ while Johnny Ives would have proclaimed it to be the thinnest and lightest MicroSD card ever imagined (which would be a proprietary product not compatible with any other brand).

      And you still can’t see the irony can you? Maybe the wool has been pulled over your eyes or maybe it has just gown that way. You iSheeple sure are funny people.

  2. Meanwhile, inside the Microsoft Executive Boardroom, “Let’s see…MacBooks sell very well and threaten our business, so we’ll introduce the Surface Book!” Can nobody but Apple be original these days? What’s next from Microsoft, Windows Pay?

    1. Let’s not forget that under Cook, Apple hasn’t pioneered any new market. The Google hardware makers, Microsoft, and a few startups have actually been the originators of new form factors and new services from wireless payments, music streaming, to remote data storage, to pen-enabled touchscreen devices and large phones. You can dislike all Apple competitors if you must, but you can’t say that Apple is first to the game on anything in the last 5 years. Arguably Cook would be completely resting on Jobs’ laurels if there was no competition. In my opinion, it’s better that MS be the second-place company than Alphabet.

        1. Compare the 2015 Apple TV to the Roku 4. Now tell me exactly what makes Apple the best.

          Under Jobs, Apple was indeed the best value and usually the best performance too. Under Cook, quality has been slipping. Too much fashion, not enough substance.

  3. First impression of the Surface Book:
    Interesting. About time Microsoft took this step into far superior design. I’ll never get the concept of touch screen laptops (Gorilla Arm!). But for swapping between a tablet and a laptop looks reasonable.

    Now, will I watch the Microsoft presentation. Not this time. I can’t conjure up any enthusiasm.

    1. How long do you think that hinge will lose putting it in a backpack with other books etc. That thing is going to get crushed as there is no stability on the sides just a big open gap.

      CrushGate™

            1. Bottom line for the media is it’s not as much fun or web bait grabbing “gating” anyone other than Apple. People love to see the mighty “fall” even when imaginary. Also haven’t we moved from the “gate” appendix anyway to “Ghazi?”

            2. That was funny.

              But here’s why your perceived inequity of Apple’s treatment doesn’t hold. When you charge top tier pricing, and you set yourself as that standard, and you have legions of fans who defend your virtue. you really have to live up to it. Yes, it’s a higher standard, as it should be.

    2. ” I’ll never get the concept of touch screen laptops (Gorilla Arm!)”
      Until Apple does it and then the Apple fanboy universe will declare it has never been done and Apple will have been the first to innovate it! This won’t be the first time and it won’t be the last for sure.

      1. lol – how much MS pay you?

        The only reason Apple would decide to do a touch screen is if they can do it correctly.

        It isn’t that Apple users will claim that it has never been done before – but they will correctly proclaim that it has finally been implemented correctly.

        MS will never be able to say that. And I’m forced to use one of their crappy phones everyday – the English language does not contain the vocabulary to properly describe how horrendous it is.

  4. You know? While I don’t think I’d buy a Microsoft tablet or laptop (perfectly happy with my MBP, and it’s Unix), someting I would love is an Apple tablet with the openness of a MBP. I wouldn’t even mind Mac OS X in a tablet factor.

    Yes, I know the iPad is a consumer device, not a Pro/Developer one (it’s getting there with iPad Pro though)

    But, as a developer, I would the power of Mac OS X, plus my software library, and able to install whatever I want, but in the iPad form factor: light, thin, super portable and with the same, great battery life.

    The MacBook Air is nice and thin, but it can’t be used as a tablet. And laptops are too big for planes.

    I think the Microsoft tablet is going for that market. Would it have something inside other than Windows, I would be interested, even as a secondary tablet (I love my iPad).

    Developers are also a market. Let’s remember computers exist to be programmed, hehehe!!!

    1. “Yes, I know the iPad is a consumer device, not a Pro/Developer one (it’s getting there with iPad Pro though)”

      Wait, so make the screen bigger, add a keyboard, and throw in a stylus and all of a sudden its “getting there”? Right. You guys drink up that kool aid so easily!

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