The Dark, Deep Secrets of the Development of the 2019 Surface Devices Revealed:

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by sonichedgehog360, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 AKA Hifihedgehog Senior Member

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    I thought you guys might enjoy reading these posts from Reddit user and Microsoft employee u/CokeRobot, who opened up and recounted the unfiltered, untold story of the development of the 2019 Surface devices:
    Source:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/dluatt/i_took_apart_my_surface_laptop_3/f4ujt9n/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/dluatt/i_took_apart_my_surface_laptop_3/f4w3f6k/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/dluatt/i_took_apart_my_surface_laptop_3/f4vzilm/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/Surface/comments/dluatt/i_took_apart_my_surface_laptop_3/f4waw4c/
     
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  2. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 AKA Hifihedgehog Senior Member

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    @dstrauss: Thought you might hearing this one. At least, we can take solace in knowing there is at least one Microsoft employee out there who has some common sense and is fiercely advocating for the features we all want.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
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  3. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Very interesting read. It pretty much confirms every suspicion I’ve had about the Pro 7’s lack of an updated look. And it further cements my Hope for a June 2020 debut of a Pro 8.
     
  4. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Cool thread, @sonichedgehog360! :thumbsup:

    This little bit intrigued me especially:

    "a lot of internal pressure from myself and many others across various teams within Microsoft went into getting the Surface team to build up repairable designs...trust me when I say engineers at Microsoft are so out of touch when it comes to things like this as they put up a LOT of resistance against this"

    I've often wondered where most of the 'head-scratcher' decisions on products come from over the tears; I always assumed it was from the business-side, analytics, etc. But it's interesting that for the Surface line, it actually came from the engineers.

    I would have loved to sit in on those debates.

    @desertlap can you corroborate any of these reports about a conflict (and perhaps renaissance?) in design philosophy at MS?
     
  5. cbutters

    cbutters Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Great thread! I really miss how much fluff is in tech marketing these days vs. engineers actually talking about the iterative design process, which I for one find extremely interesting. If anyone else knows where to find more information like this; please post!
     
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  6. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    "In the Pro 5 and 6, there's an empty space on the top left corner that could have been utilized for potentially a low powered descrete GPU, an additional fan for i7 processors, or the required bits for Thunderbolt capabilities."

    Aggghh. I wonder if MS attempted to add a discrete GPU? (Battery life might have been a concern).
     
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  7. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I just came across this today. I will say that it tonally matches what we've been hearing for awhile.

    Additionally I've heard the teams behind the Pro X and Neo were somewhat of a renegade group within the Surface team. I heard one of them even joke that they thought about taking over a building in Redmond and putting a pirate flag on it ala Steve Jobs and the Mac team.

    I will say, now, that we have heard from multiple MS teams that the pro x and Neo represent the future of Surface design and a couple of even reffered to the pro as "legacy".

    I take that with a grain of salt though because it matches what I talked about before with MS being at best inconsistent in their messaging. or really more schizophrenic.

    PS: I wouldn't read too much in to the empty space talk in the pro 7. It was there in the 6 and 5 as well to a greater or lesser degree. It's more likely there to aid airflow.

    PPS: It did give me a chuckle generally considering the epic battle in our company that occurred in 2017 with placement of the power button on a couple of our devices. They took on a crusade like flavor before it was settled by our CEO
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2019
  8. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    One additional thought regarding the talk about repairability and eco friendliness. I'm not arguing consumer benefit or lack thereof. But there are some good arguments in favor of sealed devices in terms of total environmental impact from the start of manufacturing through use and eventual end of life.

    It's an argument that both Apple and Samsung have been making for awhile now. Even to the point where Apple is prepared for mandated return of a device to them when it's useful life is over. They have expected someplace like California or Sweden to enact that type of legislation at any time.
     
  9. daddyfish

    daddyfish Pen Pal - Newbie

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    , what would the arguments be though?
    Do you mean a trade-in where the company completely recycles the product but it is unrepaireable by consumers? (is that even feasable with everything glued?)
     
  10. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    It's a complex discussion that I'm not the expert on but it encompasses everything involved from choice of materials through assembly, service and ultimately recycling and disposal.

    But to give one specific example, one of the factors behind sealing lithium ion batteries in a device has to do with humans behavior eg. people tend to just throw a battery in the trash where as with a whole device they don't .

    Again this is not the only reason, and not even the primary one; making devices smaller and thinner is. but it is a factor.

    Even glue as much as it's reviled by people like iFixit or us has one environmental benefit in that those used in modern devices degrade in an environmentally friendly way compared to say a plastic fastener which will be around for 600 years...
     
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