Steven Sinofsky: Surface Launch

STEVEN SINOFSKY: (Applause, cheers.) Well, welcome everyone to Surface. And we’re here today to talk a little bit about Surface for Windows RT. We are, for those of you listening on the webcast, we’re in a much more intimate setting, and we’re going to be a little bit more casual about today as well.

We just shortly introduced the world to Windows 8, and so now we’d like to talk about imagining and re-imagining hardware for Windows RT.

We’re here in this room to discuss the process and the way and the reasons why we re-imagined hardware. And it’s been a memorable journey. You know, we decided to do Surface because it’s the ultimate expression of a Windows PC for us. It’s an extension of Windows. It’s a stage for Windows, yet it’s a beautiful stage. We love the look of it, the feel of it. You know, I just have to do this because I love this so much. Hang on. Can I do it again, do you mind?

It is a wonderful, wonderful experience. You know, and it’s great to see some of the first reviews. There’s so much passion, there’s so much energy about the potential for hardware.

You know, in software, we like to say you can do anything. All you’re limited by is your creativity and time. You know, hardware — it’s such an interesting journey. There are so many choices, so many options, so many ways to consider things. And it’s a different process. And everything Microsoft has to offer is coming together here, from Xbox to Office to Surface to Skype all in one place.

You know, the Surface team has been re-imagining hardware for Windows RT. And in a minute, we’d like you to get a chance to meet the leader of the Surface team, Panos Panay. You know, there’s so much passion that Panos and the team bring to Surface. Passion is just the word that for me fits. It fits the product, it fits the team, and it also fits our first commercial. We really wanted to show some of the emotions behind Surface, what it was that we wanted to convey.

So before Panos takes the stage, I’d like to introduce you to the feeling of Surface.

(Break for Surface video segment.)

PANOS PANAY: (Applause, cheers.) Super cool, I love that commercial. It’s something I adore. Watch it over and over again as many times as you can and just look at those girls and how intense they dance. It’s one of my favorite parts of that thing. It really brings out a great love for the device.

Now, we’re going to talk to you about a number of things today, and of course I’m representing the entire Surface team up here, and I want to walk you through the entire product. So if you bear with me, I’m going to take you through a bunch of stages. I’m going to do a few things I don’t normally do. The first one is I’m going to take off touch cover. I don’t do this very often, but I’m going to do it here because I do want to talk about the product as a tablet.

When Steven talks about it as an extension of Windows 8, well, we talk about it as a stage for Windows 8. These are words that we use and choose within our team to really write out the specs as they should be, to work with the software and hardware teams together to pull out everything that is Windows and bring it to the surface of Surface. Kind of irony.

Now, I’m going to give you a few steps that are pretty important to understand in the device. I’m going to start with the screen size because when you talk about the decisions made for this device, a lot of people ask, “Why did you pick 10.6 inches of screen?” Now, I’m going to walk you through it because it really does illustrate the details that are so important and part of Surface.

10.6 inches, that’s diagonal, from here to here. It’s a ClearType display. I’ll explain what ClearType is in just a few moments, and I’ll actually show you some demos running ClearType so you can really get a feel for it.

But I wanted to talk to you more about the details underneath. With 10.6 inches, a couple things are happening. One, it’s the perfect expression of Windows. It’s exactly what the software was intended to run on. You can see this when you go into multitasking. I’m going to show you that in just a minute as well. You can be browsing on one side, and on the other side you can be watching a movie; you can be doing mail and browsing.

And what you’ll see is within the screen and the way it renders, you get this perfect clarity and beauty because of the ClearType display, but more importantly because of the screen size. Now, that 10.6 inches is unique because it’s not one of the standard sizes that you get off any manufacturing line. It’s not one of these things that if you just call up and make a phone call, next thing you know they send you a few panels and they happen to be 10.6 inches.

This panel was designed from the ground up in Redmond. There’s a team there working very hard. We’ve got a great display team. And they designed it from the ground up. With that, and with the VaporMg investment that Microsoft made to encase this product, and hopefully you’ve seen some reviews, that watch-quality finish and how beautiful it is to hold. It’s a great thing.

You put those two things together and then, within it, the components have to fit perfectly. Doesn’t really work that way. You have to design this product from the inside out. We spread the battery perfectly evenly. Of course custom batteries. Every component in the product, which we’ve mentioned before, over 200 custom components built into this product are all part of Surface just to bring it to life, to make it fit perfectly.

Here’s the real question: Why? Why spend all that energy, all that time, and all that money to build this thing? Why would you do it that way? Here’s why: It has to feel great. That’s it. Has to feel great when you hold it. Has to feel great when you’re holding a tablet. Has to feel light, has to feel right. That’s how we write our specs. We say it that way, and the team builds it that way.

So when you’re holding it, when you are holding this, you have the moment of inertia, which essentially is the weight that’s transferring right here to your wrist is very minimal. As a matter of fact, you can compare it to other tablets out there. Hold this just the way it was meant to be held, and it will feel lighter than the 1.5 pounds that you’re actually holding.

Now, as I’m holding the tablet, I’m going to show you a few things. And since I’m talking about the screen, let’s talk about the aspect ratio. This is a 16×9 aspect ratio, that’s important for a couple of reasons, and I’ll share that with you. I’ve opened the kickstand, you have may noticed. Behind the kickstand, if you want to just take a closer look, and I’ll show you, this is a micro SD card. We didn’t talk about this much before, but I do want to show it to you because it’s a really important feature to me. I use it all the time, and here’s why.

I travel to China quite a bit. On this 64-gigabyte micro SD card, I can store over 40 of my HD movies. On my device, I have another 64 gigabytes. I have 128 gigabytes that I’m holding just right here. I can store, of course, photos or pictures or songs. What you choose, whatever is great for you, that storage is super fast, pretty seamless, you’ll love this.

Now, for me it’s important, here’s why. When I’m traveling to China, that 10-hour-and-42-minute flight, I can watch five full HD movies right off of this card. That’s important. It’s important because my library is important to me, and that’s what keeps me sane as I’m traveling all the way to China to make sure that our products are coming off the line great.

Now, that’s for me. Now, here’s the great thing. That really is, again, the extension of Windows. The goal of Surface, one of the key goals, was to give you all-day battery life. To be able to give this to you in a way where you can use it the way I use it when I’m traveling to China, and not worry about running out of battery ever.

As a matter of fact, when I got off the plane in China, I would land, I’d walk over, sit on my seat. And as I’m sitting on the seat, there’s a plug, I plug in Surface. This is another decision for the product that I want to share with you. I want to share it with you because the team spent a lot of time deciding, hey, should we have a slow-charging USB? How fast should it charge? What does it feel like when it charges? What gives me the confidence that when I’m using it, I can still be charging at the same time? How do I know that’s going to happen?

We left no stone unturned on this. Now, we call it a power supply that charges this thing that has a unique power magnetic dock, but what you do here in charging is you can play, work, recharge in that one last layover, within two hours, I was almost at 100 percent charge, and that was almost at an empty battery, which is just amazing for a product like this when you’re using it.

Now, I see a few of you looking at me. I want you to play with the device. I’m going to hand this to you. When I hand it to you, just have a moment. Jonathon, good to meet you, I’m Panos.

PARTICIPANT: Nice to meet you.

PANOS PANAY: All right, enjoy that. (Applause.)

All right, so maybe the first thought is you don’t want your movies on — maybe you don’t all watch your movies off SD cards, which is cool, because there’s this whole thing called Netflix, and there’s this other thing called Hulu, and there’s a bunch of different reasons to watch movies in different ways and stuff that you’re totally used to that you already do, and I do as well when I’m at home.

Now, a couple of cool things. The Wi-Fi in this, it’s a 2 x 2 MIMO antennae. Have you heard of those? Those are exactly designed for Surface. And when I say every component fits in perfectly into this device, it really was designed that way to light this thing up.

A great story, I’m going to tell you a great story about wireless really quick, so bear with me.

Up on the hotel roof that I’m staying at in New York — this just happened. You go up on that hotel roof and sit down. I don’t even know the name of my hotel, so I won’t give a plug. But as I’m sitting up there, I’m sitting by the pool. And I’m about to get on my wireless network. And a gentleman comes over who’s working around the pool and says, “Sir, you’re not going to be able to actually get connection up here, I want you to move to this other spot.”

Which is interesting, I said, “Don’t worry about it, just give me the password and I’ll connect.” Sure enough, I turned on Surface, check this out, from a gentleman who was trying to tell me that I’m not going to be able to make a connection to any network, I had five wireless networks pop up on this with four full bars on the network that he thought I was going to be able to get on. That’s kind of an illustration, almost a great illustration, just happened to me last night exactly on this device, which is really cool.

Wi-Fi performance was critical because if you are going to be streaming these videos, and for me I like to use Xbox Video. So I’m going to open that. And you may have heard this earlier. If you are going to stream these videos, you want to be connected at all times.

I’m going to stream the movie here for you guys. This is The Avengers. You’ll take a look; now, you can’t hear it, of course, because I’ve got the volume turned down. But I do want to talk about the ClearType display as I’m doing this since I have it open. A couple of things to notice, a couple of things to notice. One is the contrast. The contrast. I’m going to tell you where that comes from. What does contrast mean? The black is blacker, and the white is whiter. The colors are more vibrant.

Because of the contrast, we’re able to create with the ClearType technology, you’ll read some of the reviews, and you’ll see that. Take a look at some of the reviews out there, and they’ll give you more details, so I won’t spend a lot of time on it here.

The other thing you may have noticed is the lack of reflectivity on this. Now, as I’m holding it, it looks probably like a clear picture. And what we’ve done is we’ve optically bonded this screen, and I’m going to talk about that in just a few minutes. But along with the optical bonding, what we tried to accomplish was we wanted to strengthen the device, but more importantly reduce reflectivity for you.

Now, check out what I’m just doing. What you’re going to see behind me is all I did, and you may have heard Steve talk about this earlier, you also heard Julie mention it, check it out. I just transferred the movie from my device to you through my Xbox using SmartGlass with one touch of the button to give you the content that you love right here. Check it out. (Applause, cheers.) (Movie plays.)

All right, that’s pretty cool. Now what was happening is I handed out the Surface just so you can play with it. I’d better stop handing these out because I’m going to run out in a minute.

What was happening right there was the content was coming rich as Xbox was pushing to the Surface a ton of content about the actors and a ton of content about the movie itself that you were watching. This is a real-life experience that’s happening that Xbox and Surface bring together. We talk about extending Windows, but really we’re extending all of Microsoft, and you’re going to start to see it. You’re going to see it more and more, especially as we go through this.

Now, I’m going to do just another quick demo for you because you might ask, well, why don’t you put music on your SD? Now here’s the reason, it’s pretty simple. I’m going to open a song for you, and I’m going to show you a little bit of the same — you heard Julie mention earlier that Xbox Music is coming, and it comes when you buy your Surface. You get Xbox Music with it. Xbox Music, this is unlimited streaming of music for you. You can skip as many songs as you want, pick any songs, make your playlist. Just all you have to do is purchase Surface, and you get Xbox Music with it. It’s just a very cool scenario. What do you think? Here, I’ll listen to the music, I’ve got it playing. But I’m going to show you one more thing here. Just take it to the exact same place. So Xbox, Surface, coming together, pretty cool, right?

Now, check this out. I’m just going to play it right here. And the same idea, as I decide to play it to the screen behind me, this is if I’m at home. Now, I don’t have a 200-inch screen at home, but you kind of get the point that what I’m able to do here is play it straight to my Xbox, and then it comes right to you. So you have real content coming to you. Give me a minute, I just pushed the button so you can see it.

Now, as it hits the screen behind me, think of this scenario at home. You have a surround sound, you have a stereo system, now your Xbox just became the ultimate music controller just for you, check it out. (Applause.) (Music plays.)

All right, cool. OK, so I’ve gone through a couple of tablet scenarios, and I’m trying to make a point, just a quick one. The point is Surface is an amazing tablet. All the trade-offs we made, we made them to make a great tablet. We made a great tablet purposefully. We made it so you can be able to do all the things that I’m showing you here.

This is now a gaming scenario that I want to show you, but it’s not to show you the game. Now, this is Hydro Thunder. The minute you buy your Surface, you can go and download this, of course. It’s in the Windows Store. It’s there for you to go ahead and purchase. However, look at the graphics on this, which are so cool. When Windows talks about re-imagining the experience from the chip set to the experience, this is it, just simple.

This game itself was designed for the chip set it’s running on. It’s optimized to be performance gaming. It’s great graphics because you have the ClearType display. And it just starts to bring to life what you can do with it when you’re just holding it in your hand with all that little bit of weight that you’re holding that I told you about earlier.

Now, there’s something special about this. Now, I’m going to tell you a little bit about ClearType. We talked about how we optically bonded it. And we also now should talk a little bit about VaporMg. I’m going to tell you about those two things because they come together in an interesting way to make this a really robust device.

We want to make sure that when you buy Surface, you understand how premium it is. We’re so excited that we’ve been able to put all these components together to fit seamlessly together and every detail in the design is meant to be there for a reason.

For the screen itself, I told you earlier it was optically bonded. Think of it this way: It’s fused together with the cover glass and the top screen. It’s the thinnest cover glass on any tablet that’s being shipped today. And on top if it, it’s Gorilla Glass 2.0. So you know it’s pretty sturdy, and I’m going to prove that for you in just a minute.

But with the VaporMg and the case behind it, this VaporMg we invested in China factories, we built out an entire process as Microsoft to make sure we’re able to mold the largest pieces of magnesium right out of the factory and make sure we’re giving you this watch-quality finish on every single device you purchase. Bring those two things together, and you want something that when you’re paying for it, it really is strong.

I’m going to drop this. So I’ll take my time, just slow down — I don’t know who’s got — you guys started to freak out on me. I swear, it’s not going to break, it’ll be fine. I’m going to drop it just to show you some of its robustness because I think it’s a great thing to just show off both the display and VaporMg coming together and every component designed perfectly within this device to make sure it’s not busting. (Drops Surface.)

I can drop it again if you want. Check this out, it’s still working. There’s not even a debate that it wouldn’t. How many people drop a machine on stage? Have you ever seen that before? (Applause.) Yeah. I want you to know that everybody told me not to do that, but I’ve got to tell you, it’s not going to break. You can drop it in 72 different orientations. If you can find that many orientations, good luck. You can actually drop it 72 different ways, and we do, and we drop them. We drop them until we know how perfect they are so when you have them, you take them home, you can have every bit of confidence that Surface is going to kick ass for you, OK? Check this out, this is Surface.

Now, one more thing I want to show you. This is just a funny story that’s pretty cool. You’ll see the picture behind me in just a minute. That’s actually Steven Sinofsky. Has anybody seen this picture? That’s Steven, I love this picture. Yeah. (Applause.) Yeah.

So I’m going to show you something. Steven is actually standing on a skateboard. I know you’re all looking at his helmet right now because it’s really big. (Laughter.) But stop looking at his helmet and look at his feet for just a minute. He’s actually standing on a Surface, a Surface skateboard. We’re not selling Surface as a skateboard, and Surgeon General’s warning, like, do not stand on one of these things, you’ll break your neck, you have to wear a really big helmet like that one if you’re going to ride it.

But it turns out, down in the model shop we were so excited about how much we had built out on this product that the guys had put together literally this skateboard.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: Wait, wait, that’s my skateboard.

PANOS PANAY: Oh, ladies and gentlemen, Steven Sinofsky. (Applause.)

STEVEN SINOFSKY: So these will be at the store tonight — no, they won’t be at the store tonight. We don’t want to use our Surfaces, but actually it’s just so incredibly cool. And I do love skateboarding. I wanted to make one point, though, because I got so much mail on this, it was a little weird, a little weird.

There was nothing else added to this. These are just the trucks on the bottom and there was no stabilizer bar, nothing added. We literally just bought a skateboard, put them on —

PANOS PANAY: Are you really holding a skateboard on stage?

STEVEN SINOFSKY: I am. But I think we’ll just kind of call it a day. I was going to go try — you know, I got those pictures earlier from practice. Maybe we’ll share those later. But otherwise, we’ll just go out to the half pipe later.

PANOS PANAY: You guys take some more pictures; we’ll send them out later today.

All right, so we talked about Surface as a tablet quite a bit. We talked about it as a tablet quite a bit. Now, I want to talk to you about some of the principles outside of just extending this as a stage for Windows. Something that was really important for us. When we say extend the stage for Windows, it’s that we’re making Windows great, software coming to the top. Yeah, the tablet comes out, but there’s so much more.

Within the Surface team, we talk about seamless transition. This is really important, when you purchase Surface, sure, you get a great tablet. You can watch, you can consume, you can see, you can even play. But then it starts to transform itself, but it really can’t be a clunky transformation.

If you’re going to buy this device, it has to be a seamless transformation. How many of you have read about the kickstand? Have you heard about the kickstand? It’s right underneath the device. I’m going to share with you a little bit more about it.

Now, underneath this kickstand there are three custom hinges. Each one of those hinges is precisely put in this device for a reason. They’re both a balance of making the perfect sound come off the device and the perfect feel. OK, I use “perfect” a lot, I’ve been judged for that many times.

Let me qualify that for you: “Perfect” is by the way we write our specs. We as a Surface team continue to strive to build this product as close as we can to exactly what we meant to do. And the way we talk about our specs is really simple. This spec has to feel like a high-end car door when you open it and when you close it. So you want to do it over and over again. Simple, right? Simple.

But if you’re designing a product for people, that’s how you do it. You design it in the way you want them to feel it. You don’t design it in a way that you think it sounds cool or that you have enough metrics in place to measure it, but that it feels right. The visceral response you get when you use the kickstand, critical. But like everything else, why have a kickstand? Let’s talk about that. Why? We haven’t done this before.

I’m going to put this down and show you, here’s why. You have a kickstand so you can put it down, that seems almost obvious. But just in case you didn’t know. Now, I’m going to launch an app here. This is a camera app, which you see. But what I’m showing you now is you can see how the camera squares right to me. There’s a reason for this. Because of the 22-degree angle that we’re able to manage through the device and know exactly how you’re setting it down, we’re able to measure where we want the camera in space to your face. So when you’re sitting down and you’re having the Skype call that you can see here that I would be having, it’s really square and perfect.

Now, let me change angles for you. If I switch the camera, take a look at this. I can see all of you. I’m just going to move it here so you can see it. You see this angle of the camera? Probably kludge up on the screen, let me just take a look, not too bad. Notice this. Hey, what’s up? That’s cool.

All right, wave your hands for me. I’ll record you. Can you guys wave your hands, those of you who don’t have cameras? Yeah, cool.

So I’m recording you right now. I didn’t do anything. I just touched my screen, and it’s recording, pretty cool. What it’s done, the decision we made on this — like everything is decision. We’ve taken a wide-angle lens to the back, but the other thing we’ve done is we’ve created the show-me scenario. Note, I am pointing right at you. If you looked right at my device, you would think I’d be pointing straight down at the desk, but as I come up, you see that I’ve moved the camera up just like this where I’m able to capture the entire room just by setting my device down. So now I’m on a call, show me what you’re looking at, how easy is that? You just flip the screen, and that’s what you get.

Now, I’m going to tell you one more story that’s important, and I’ll slow down because this is the most important story for me. I’m a dad. I’m a dad. Some of you might be dads too; I’m a dad. I’m not going to say I’m a good dad or a bad dad, but I am a dad for sure. I’m also apparently a two-by-four, according to my boss, but I’m also a dad. OK?

Now, I have four kids. And it turns out whenever there’s a photo of my kids, I’m not in it. That’s generally what happens. Does anybody have this feeling in this room? You look at the photos of your vacation, and it’s someone else’s vacation that you remember. I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.

So, for me, same thing. But we really wanted to give Surface something else. This is simple. It’s, again, back to that same principle. Check this out: My daughter just turned 10 a couple of days ago. We were back in Seattle, and we had a birthday party. Look at the memories I get to create. And instead of being behind the memory, I get to be part of the memory.

I’m just going to play this for you so you guys can have a view. So check it out, this is recorded on this Surface device. Look at the clarity of that. On this Surface device at my house. Now, note, I’m probably going to come into the screen any minute. Now I’m in the screen. The purpose of this video was to show you what? I kicked out the kickstand, I set it down, I hit record, and I was part of the memory. Now, that seems so simple, but to me, so important. And hopefully to you too. Now capture your memories with Surface, just set it down and push a button. It’s a really cool experience, I hope you like that. (Applause, cheers.) That’s cool, I think that’s cool.

You look like you really want a Surface.

PARTICIPANT: I would like one.

PANOS PANAY: You know what? What do you think? Do you love it? Hold that, that’s a Surface. (Laughter.) Yeah, welcome to Surface.


PANOS PANAY: Yeah, you know what? You can keep that.

PARTICIPANT: Thank you very much.

PANOS PANAY: Yeah, you’re welcome, enjoy it. (Applause, cheers.)

OK, now we’re going to get to kind of the brass tacks, the thing I’m most passionate about, so bear with me, and we’ll get through this one last thing.

Let’s talk about Touch Cover. This is a white Touch Cover. Hopefully you all have seen Touch Cover before or you’ve heard of it. You certainly saw the commercial where we were showing you how Touch Cover interacts. When I talk about seamless transitions that the Surface team focused on so people who buy it can use it, this is where it really comes to life.

Of course Surface is an amazing tablet. You can watch videos on your ClearType display, you can listen to music, stream it live from Xbox. You can play games right out of the Windows Store. But what else you can do is get stuff done. So important. When we talk about extending, when we talked about extending Windows, when we talked about it, we also talked about extending Office, and we’re going to talk about it in just a minute. Really important aspect.

First, let’s talk about this. We’ll talk about Touch Cover. Touch Cover itself was designed at three millimeters thick. This was really important for this principle: We knew everyone needed a cover for their device. They needed an awesome cover. We didn’t want to ship a clunky cover. Cover is pretty important. You put it in your bag; you want your cover to stay on.

The other thing we wanted to do, just like the kickstand, was to give anyone who used it a great visceral feeling. So when we designed the connection to this, we designed it for sound. We designed it for confidence. We built a flux fountain of magnets — and I say flux fountain because I’m the first person to say it on stage today; Steven usually does, but I beat him to it, OK?

The flux fountain of magnets in here, which essentially is a couple of clamping magnets and one alignment magnet on each side of the device where you’re able to pull these things together, but then guess what? I can stop, and boom (click) click. It just clicks in. That confidence you get, you can never miss. I don’t really have to look, it’ll just click in every time. And it will give you that confidence that once you put it in, you can go get anything done. And guess what, you can. Check out how sturdy it is when I just hold it like this right form the bottom. (Applause.)

Yeah! That was important. I talk about in the past how we built this and we designed it and we wrote a spec, and here’s the spec: It’s got to be super thin because people need to use it as a cover; it’s got to feel like a book because we want it to be organic. It’s like something you’ve always touched, something you’ve always held.

If you’re a student, you put it in your hands, under your fingers, it feels like the spine of a book. When you open it, it feels like you’ve opened a book. And when you open a book you can read, and when you’re on Surface you’re just connected, and it’s just a great story and feels great. And, of course, it will never come apart. It won’t. And when you want it to come apart, the spec is written simple: Hey, if a 5-year old can pull it apart, it’s a great story.

Now, how do you do that and still balance the strength of what I’m showing you on Touch Cover itself, which is just an amazing story. This is Touch Cover, welcome to Touch Cover. I’m going to show you what it’s used for right now. (Applause.)

Now, before you turn on, I’m going to say one more thing. Now, when we started this demo, we talked about a few things. We said, look, we’re going to show everybody Surface, and we’re going to say, you buy Surface because not only is it a great tablet, but it does everything you want your laptop to do. In other words, you get stuff done, the stuff you want to get done, and still have the fun you want to have. We believe that. We know that.

Here’s how I know. Check this out. In the back of the room, go ahead and look back. Don, are you back there? He’s standing up. See Don waving? Don actually right now is using Excel as a call sheet for this audience right now. We’re running this entire show off of Don’s call sheet running Excel on Surface. Check it out, he’s using Surface.

In the back, this entire projection and all the lighting is controlled by one device right now, all of it. It’s running PowerPoint right here on this screen, and it’s doing wireless signals to dim the lights. I asked for the control so I can show that off, but they said no way, they’re not giving up their devices. But this is an important thing to understand. We’re running Excel and PowerPoint right now.

Let me make the uber point. When you purchase Surface, of course you get Office with it; you get Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. I’m showing you Excel. I’m running PowerPoint. Let me show you some OneNote stuff. Come over here with me, and we’ll just bring up this camera. Check this out. I’m going to bring a couple of things together for you, and I’m going to do two things at the same time just so you all can see it.

Check this out. I’m opening OneNote, and in OneNote I’m going to type. Now, a lot of people have asked, well, do you use Touch Cover, what happens? Look, when we designed Touch Cover, we knew we had to take this  you see these, this is your traditional wired mouse and keyboard, we had to create this. They look very different. But, guess what, they work the same.

Careful, I don’t want to hit you. There you go.

Three millimeters thin, has a track pad, has a pressure-sensing keyboard. The reason you need a pressure-sensing keyboard and not some capacitive thing is so I can set all my hands down just for you, put my hands down, and here I am no keys striking because I’m choosing not to type yet. Why is this important? It’s important because if you need to find your home position, and it will take you four or five days to get really comfortable  there’s a slight curve  but once you get comfortable with Touch Cover, you will be typing. Now, I type about 64 words per minute. It’s really kind of nerve-wracking to type and talk at the same time. But now you can see me typing pretty quick.

Now, that’s pretty good, right? I’m here typing and talking to you, and you can see I use Touch Cover every day. I can’t really see anyone using Touch Cover without Surface. There’s a bunch of reasons for that, and I’m going to show you in just a second one more time, but take a look, my hands are down and typing. But I’m going to show you what I meant to say just a couple of minutes ago, and I’m going to show you now. So, when I say, OK, do these two things at once, check this out. Now, this is really just pointing at me, but I’m going to take that same camera and point it at you. And you see on the left I’ve opened the camera app. I’m going to do nothing more than touch the screen so it’s recording.

Now, check this out. Yes, wave your hands, cool. Wave your hands so you know it’s recording. That would be really helpful for me to just show this to you. Now, I can type, of course, while I’m recording. What is this, why does it matter? Because I’ve angled the product exactly at 22 degrees, so you guys have Surface, so we are using Surface this way, and the camera is angled up, I can capture the entire room.

If I’m a student in a lecture, I can capture my moments as my professor is speaking and I’m taking my notes. Right now, I’m recording and taking notes at the same time. If I’m in a meeting, which I do often, I open Surface, and I just record across the table, and I can see what I’ve recorded. And I can go back to my notes, and I learn so much more.

Now, check this out, I’m pausing the video. Now, this is Windows coming to life through Surface, exactly what we talked about, we really wanted to bring Windows and make Surface a stage for it. Check it out, this is multitasking on Windows real-time. If I just open up the camera, that’s you, and I’m just going to go back to where I was, and I’m going to play this video. Now, you’ll know it’s real because you guys were all waving your hands. You’re not waving them now. Look, it’s not like a trick. Now, I’m recording, and everybody is waving. I can watch my video, but look how easy this is. I’m just going to touch OneNote, which is over here still as I’m multitasking. Boom, check it out, I’m still watching my video, and my notes are back, and I can read them and learn at the same time. Pretty cool, right? (Applause.)

Now, the thing with Touch Cover, which I want to explain, I said I never want to take Touch Cover off, and I really don’t. And here’s the reason. Touch Cover is smart enough that when I fold it back, it just turns off. This product was designed so when you do fold it back, it feels great in your hand. This is a mode that was so important. But then my kids, when they’re watching a movie and Touch Cover is on my kids and they’re holding it, but they want to set it down and the kickstand now can’t come out, what do you do? Do you pull the keyboard forward and go to produce something? Well, it doesn’t even have to be that complicated. Check it out, I’ll set it here for you and just show you; this is what my kids do at home; they just kick out the kickstand, and they put it right there on Touch Cover, and they just sit and watch and play and do all the things they’d want to do comfortably.

As a matter of fact, when I’m cooking on my countertop, and just a hobby where we sit there and cook, I open my cookbook up right out of the Windows Store, and I start using that just setting it down and doing recipes, which is just pretty cool. Then when you want those seamless transitions they just happen just like that. (Applause.)

STEVEN SINOFSKY: That was cool, thank you. I like whistling.

OK. I’m going to introduce you to somebody. We’re pretty lucky today. We have Annie Wang with us. Annie Wang is a recent Harvard student.

Is that right?


STEVEN SINOFSKY: Do you want to just introduce yourself?

ANNIE WANG: Sure. So I’m the cofounder of, which is the No. 1 online community for college women.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: Cool, and what are you doing here today, can you just tell us?

ANNIE WANG: Yes, so I’m actually writing a blog post for our campus using Word, the post is on how Surface is going to be a great device for college students.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: I love that. How long have you had your Surface? I’m just curious.

ANNIE WANG: For about four days.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: Four days; so, Annie, you’ve had the Surface for four days; how do you like it?

ANNIE WANG: I love it.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: Awesome, I love it, too. Come with me, I want to show you something.

You guys, Annie, please. (Cheers, applause.)

So, if you don’t mind, if you set it down here, which would be super cool, and we’ll just take a look at what Annie is working on. Annie, do you want to show us?

ANNIE WANG: Yes, so I’m writing this blog post in Word for our campus.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: Do you know why I love that, because now we’ve done PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Word right here on the stage during this Surface presentation. But I was taking some pictures before, so I have an idea. Why don’t you take these pictures and post them on the blog, maybe I’ll tweet a few of them, too. So, why don’t you show us? 

ANNIE WANG: That would be good.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: So, what she’s doing is plugging in a digital camera through USB, and the pictures are just going to load, using the built-in photos app. And they’re just right there. And that’s just the power of the USB port, which I just love the USB port. I love it. I charge my phone by it. Here’s a thing I did with the USB port. I was in the airport in China, somehow yesterday or something, and I wanted to print out my boarding pass, and the hotel room had a printer in it. I’d never seen a printer before.

You know, like there’s this stack of driver CDs next to it and all this other stuff, and I said I’ll just pop in my USB cable, and there I was just printing my boarding pass, because like I said earlier, 100 percent of the top-selling printers all work with USB. Over 420 million existing devices will just plug right into Surface. So, that is really tapping into the power of the USB port and the power of the overall Windows ecosystem.

PANOS PANAY: I love that, and I also think it talks very well to the fact that we made some clear decisions on this product to bring it to life, to bring Windows to life, and USB is one of those core principles, Steven.


PANOS PANAY: That’s awesome.

Thanks, Annie.

STEVEN SINOFSKY: Thanks a lot. So, we’re here now, right?


STEVEN SINOFSKY: So, there you have it, pretty darned cool. So, thanks so much, like what an awesome introduction.

PANOS PANAY: Thank you.

Thank you, everybody. (Cheers, applause.)

This is such  it’s such a wonderful time to represent the team here today. The thing that I’m most intrigued by is just what everybody wants to call it. Like, we think you should just call it Surface, but the idea of is it a tablet, is it a laptop, what column does it go in, what do we do? It sounds like an 18-year-old arguing over is it ska, reggae, or punk, or whatever. So, for me Surface, it’s not just a tablet, but it’s actually the best tablet that I’ve ever used. It’s also not just a laptop, but it’s the best laptop I’ve ever used, as well.

So, you can see some of these comments from reviewers who have really experienced it, and there’s so much passion. It’s a hardware success. It’s one of the best I’ve seen on the tablets and the screen. It has the potential to change how we use our devices.

These comments are just amazing. “It has ports and jacks that other device owners can only dream about.” “And even the USB port, it’s such a magical moment when you plug things in.” One person called it “historic,” “unique,” like it is such a big moment for all the folks on the team, and all the folks that have worked so hard to bring it to market. So, tonight Surface will be available. It’s starting at $499 for the 32-gig version. And we think that that’s a pretty darned good price, because it’s twice the amount of storage as a competing tablet for the same price.

It’s available in eight markets, but you can also head over to Times Square and buy one tonight, and we’re very excited about that, starting at about 10 p.m. Tomorrow, there are over 60 Microsoft stores in North America where you can experience Surface firsthand, or you can go into and buy one. We’re very, very excited to share this moment with you today. It’s the re-imagining of hardware and software together. Thank you very much, everybody. (Cheers, applause.)


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