Earlier this month, Microsoft Corp. launched its new Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, globally, as well as expanding the availability of its Surface Studio. The rollout comes as the company seeks to meet a growing demand by consumers who want devices that support the convergence of their personal and work lives.
Moreover, the global launch serves as a salvo to Apple Inc. and its loyal followers.
For example, while Microsoft had students in mind with the Surface Laptop, the device is being positioned as a versatile tool for any application. For creative industries such as graphic design, media and the fashion industry, this latest version of the Surface Pro is positioned as a go-to device that helps foster the “creative process.” The marketing support for the Surface Pro includes case studies of art directors, illustrators, vloggers and entrepreneurs — creative types that have traditionally been Apple’s turf.
Microsoft also keyed into another consumer and user trend that is ubiquitous in the market today, especially with Millennials: personalization. The Surface Laptop is available in platinum, burgundy, cobalt blue and Graphite Gold. For the Surface Pro “signature covers” are available in platinum, burgundy and cobalt blue and feature Alcantara fabric that is treated with a high-performance polyurethane coating designed to resist stains. And the new Surface Pen is also available in a variety of colors.
Microsoft also teamed with Finnish textile and clothing design firm Marimekko to offer a skin for the Surface. Under the hood, the Surface Pro, Laptop and new pen feature robust upgrades.
Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft Devices, said in the launch statement that the new generation of Surface Pro has a “refined exterior” that may “look familiar, [but] this is a new generation of Surface Pro, offering up to 13.5 hours of battery life so you can work and create all day on the go — and [with] over 2.5 times more power than Surface Pro 3.
“It runs Windows 10 Pro and Office, and it can handle the powerful desktop apps you crave, without compromising the thin and light form that has defined Surface Pro since we launched the first device five years ago. We’ve also made incredible progress with the Surface Pen,” Panay said.
The pen’s upgrade includes improved sensitivity and a tilt feature for shading as well as a “rubber” eraser. Ryan Gavin, general manager for Microsoft Devices, told WWD the “new Surface Pen for the new Surface Pro is an invaluable tool for people at work. I personally use it daily to annotate documents including in Word, OneNote and even Excel.”
Gavin said the functionality and design of the Surface Pro makes it an essential tool for business. “It also is great for people who work in design programs to create and edit designs directly, even sign and send contracts instantly,” Gavin noted. “I also love the new deeper angle that can be achieved on the new Surface Pro. When I put the device into ‘Studio’ mode, it’s a great way for me to take notes and completely engage with those I’m meeting with.”
For the robust demands of publishing, marketing and media, the Surface Pro can serve a fleet device for companies. “Surface customers choose us because they want to have the perfect balance of premium design, performance, superior inking and touch, all day battery, in a thin and light form factor,” Gavin said. “The new Surface Pro delivers across the board.”
“It is a great device for people on the go, who want the freedom to work and create how they want, where they want,” Gavin explained. “We are already seeing strong demand signals across industries. With the new Surface Pen available now and an option for LTE coming later this year, people can get the most mobile, versatile laptop we’ve ever built.”
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