Surface General Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by Steve S, Jul 10, 2012.

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  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    UPDATED: 30Jul12


    The Surface website is here:

    Surface by Microsoft

    Hands-on with Microsoft Surface for Windows RT, Touch Cover and Type Cover (update: video!) -- Engadget

    Microsoft Surface Tablet: Initial Impressions | PCWorld

    Microsoft Surface tablets: the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro models -- Engadget

    There also appears to be a Surface blog site, although it is clear that this is not a Microsoft sponsored site:

    Microsoft Surface Tablet

    (Credit to member alekcacko)


    It has been reported that the Surface demo used the Perceptive Pixel pen and touch digitizer. The pen is battery powered and can be recharged between uses:

    Microsoft to acquire Perceptive Pixel, pair up with 82-inch touchscreen manufacturer -- Engadget

    Welcome | Perceptive Pixel

    In addition to the Touch Cover and the Type Cover, Microsoft has just introduced a stand-alone BlueTooth keyboard with a cover that doubles as a tablet stand:

    Microsoft intros Wedge Mobile Keyboard, whose case doubles as a stand -- Engadget
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
  3. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I was just wondering if you had any source for them being involved with anything having to do with the Surface. While it's definitely possible that it's the case, the only thing I've heard about Perceptive Pixel is that they made the 82 inch touchscreen display that Ballmer demoed.

    The pen on the Perceptive Pixel site also looks nothing like what was used with the Surface demo.

    It's entirely possible you're right, I'm just looking for more details, basically. :D
     
  4. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...I was just wondering if you had any source for them being involved with anything having to do with the Surface...>>

    ...The evidence so far is circumstantial but 1) Microsoft has announced their intention to buy PP, and... 2) If you read about the PP digitizer technology on the PP website, you find many of the same claims that were made during the Microsoft introduction (e.g., digitizer bonded to the screen for low parallax, pen detected within 1/2" of the surface, etc....). In addition, the Surface pen is docked on the magnetic power interface and the PP pen is shown to be battery powered. It could just be coincidence, but...

    Having said all that however, it remains to be seen if the production Surface will use all of the same technology that was used for the introduction Surface units. Time will tell on that score. My feeling is that Microsoft is taking a big risk in trying to integrate so many new technologies together in a product that they say will be offered for sale in approximately six months... they say...

    UPDATE: <<...The pen on the Perceptive Pixel site also looks nothing like what was used with the Surface demo...>>

    ...Just a thought: In order to dock with the Microsoft power interface, as shown in the introduction, the pen body would need to to have a compatible interface; if Microsoft had to modify the pen body for that, might they not have taken the opportunity to completely redesign the pen body for best look and compatibility with their Surface design? I would...
     
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  5. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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    The development of that tablet might have started 2 years ago. In which case, they have had some time to test the different components. Surely that isn't much, but we can hope it's been enough. Ballmer certainly knows how much is in store here and he wouldn't want to screw things up by releasing something half-baked. If he did, that would cause a long-lasting damage to Microsoft's reputation. He has no room to wiggle anymore.



    There's more circumstantial evidence that they will use PP's digitizer. During the Surface presentation, they had enough time to talk about the digitizer's manufacturer, yet they didn't. They spent lots of time talking about clicking sounds, design, materials, etc. However, they neglected to say who built the device's digitizer. We know the biggest name in this field is Wacom and we also know that is generally considered a high mark to have a tablet with "Wacom inside". In fact, that tends to be a reason for bragging. But they didn't. It could be that:

    a) they went with a new technology.
    b) they picked N-trig, but withheld the info for "shame".
    c) they weren't sure whether they would go with Wacom, N-trig or a competitor.


    The problem is, a mere 3 months away from release, they cannot be unsure about which digitizer technology they will ultimately employ, as time to build and test has come and gone, so option (c) above is unfeasible. That leaves option (a) and (b). I personally find unlikely that N-trig could be behind that digitizer, so I discard such possibility. That finally leaves option (a): new tech! Assuming that's correct, the question then becomes: will that new technology be:

    a) Microsoft-bred?
    b) from a new supplier?


    We recently heard about Microsoft filing a patent for a touch digitizer, that means they could have filed other related patents before. However, just as they built the Kinect using technology they obtained from a company they eventually acquired, they could have easily developed the Surface prototype using PP's technology ahead of its acquisition.


    Of course, it's all conjecture at this point.... :cool:
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  6. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Definitely possible, we'll hopefully find out soon enough. Unless this new technology is really THAT much better, I'd prefer Wacom, but we'll see.

    With regards to this though:

    Windows 8 RTM and the Surface RT are supposedly 3 months from release according to Microsoft's plans, but they did mention that the Surface Pro will come 3 months after the release of Windows 8, meaning it's probably about 6 months out.
     
  7. e-schreiber

    e-schreiber ƒ(x) / fashion Senior Member

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    Exactly. When compared to other Tablet PCs, the Surface has a singular design. And to make it integrate seamlessly with its accessories, Microsoft was probably forced to design the Stylus with its own set of singularities, which likely resulted in an odd-looking Pen. By the way, I think they should have fit a silo somewhere in the slate's design....Even if that meant making it thicker. Well, we still don't know if the Stylus and keyboard will be sold separately.... I think they will.

    Maybe it isn't better, just cheaper to produce. Regarding the 3 months.... True, but I was speaking from the perspective of the digitizer. If it's part of the Surface RT as well, then they have less than 3 months to address all the questions regarding its design and bugs.
     
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  8. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...My feeling is that Microsoft is taking a big risk in trying to integrate so many new technologies together in a product that they say will be offered for sale in approximately six months...>>
    <<...The development of that tablet might have started 2 years ago. In which case, they have had some time to test the different components...>>

    e: An excellent point, and I hope you're right. But I'm talking about mass production. Custom building one or two of these for a flashy introduction is one thing, but churning out five million of these (seriously, five million...?!?? Really...?!??) is quite another. To draw on a very relevant example look at Samsung, an experienced manufacturer with access to... presumably... top-flight fabrication facilities and staff. They built a few hundred Series 7 Slates for Microsoft's BUILD event, and apparently all was good, but as soon as volume sales started... Well, we all know what happened, and there are still questions about screens lifting in the lower left corner even today.

    Obviously, I hope that Microsoft can really pull this off, but I remain to be convinced. And I won't be surprised if Surface Pro slips well into 2013...
     
  9. negative1

    negative1 Retro Surface fan

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    is having a silo for the pen, really going to make
    it thicker?

    every tablet i have that has a pen and silo
    isn't impacted....

    although my relatively thin NEC versa litepad, has a mini-stylus,
    and a larger one that does not fit into the silo..

    later
    -1
     
  10. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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