This week’s Surface News Roundup is chock full of goodies. Unlike some weeks, this past week has seen a lot of action on the Surface news front; so, I have a record 8 stories for your perusal!
Here’s the quick rundown:
- Surface Pro 5 stylus to come with color scanner?
- Surface Hub delays and a press conference appearance
- Surface Book lands in Europe
- Microsoft selling more Surfaces than can be made
- New Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to offer less latency
- Modular Surface desktops?
- Surface Watch concept
- DoD says Win 10 and Surface are a GO
OK, let’s get started…[divider]
Surface News Roundup: Surface Pro 5 stylus to come with color scanner?
Microsoft just got a patent that implies that the Surface Pro 5 and/or Surface Book 2 may include a color-sensing stylus.
According to the patent, which was originally filed in 2014 and issued this past week, Microsoft has developed a stylus with an internal sensor array capable of accurately detecting colors. With this stylus, you could touch a real-world object and register its color for use in digital illustrations, photos, etc.
As you might imagine, this would be a godsend for digital designers.
Related: Neowin [divider]
Surface News Roundup: Surface Hub delays and a press conference appearance
It appears that Microsoft is, once again, delaying the Surface Hub release date. This came to light when Surface lead Ryan Asdourian told CRN that the delay is again due to the manufacturing problems.
Here’s what Asdourian had to say on the matter…
“I think with any product, one of the things that’s super important to us is quality,” he said. “We are making sure a product like this releases with the highest level of quality when it ends up in customers’ hands.”
“We are still on track to ship the first Surface Hub devices to customers early this year,” it said. “We are excited about the impact this new category of device will have on transforming how people collaborate at work.”
The exact availability date was not mentioned but another Microsoft representative said that it’s on track for release in the first half of this year.
Apparently though, there are some pre-release models floating around because a Surface Hub is seen in use during Ferrari’s 2016 Formula 1 press conference. I wonder what Ferrari had to do to snag it for the press conference?
Surface News Roundup: Surface Book lands in Europe
If you’re in Europe and you’ve been waiting for the Surface Book to be available for purchase, your wait is over.
As of this week, the Surface Book is now available for purchase (not just pre-order) in the UK and Europe online and at participating retailers. If you’re interested, you can order one from the online retailers listed below:
- Microsoft Austria
- Microsoft France
- Microsoft Germany
- Microsoft Switzerland
Surface News Roundup: Microsoft selling more Surfaces than can be made
Well, this is awkward…
Despite some Surface Pro 4’s and Surface Books than they can make.
Ryan Asdourian, Windows and Surface Business Group lead at Microsoft, told ChannelWeb the following:
“While we are not happy that we can[‘t] meet all demand today, we are really excited about the customer interest and demand that this demonstrates. On the Surface Pro 4s, I think one of the things this shows is the customer excitement in the fact we are having trouble producing them fast enough to meet customer demand,”
In addition, according to a Microsoft spokesperson who spoke to Surface Book as well.
She apparently told them that while most 1TB pre-order units have been shipped at this point, there is no more in stock available. This seems to be due to higher-than-anticipated demand. She also added that Microsoft is working to respond to the high demand for the 1TB Surface Books as quickly as possible.
So, if you’re thinking about getting a Surface and you get the chance, you might not want to hesitate too much.
Surface News Roundup: New Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to offer less latency
Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that they will be releasing a new version of their popular Wireless Display Adapter.
Available on the Microsoft online store and Best Buy website for pre-order, the new adapter is priced at $49.95 USD and, according to Microsoft, will offer better streaming performance with less latency.
So, if you don’t have a Miracast-enabled TV but would like to stream your Surface to a big screen, this might be the accessory you’ve been looking for.
Related: TechReport [divider]
Surface News Roundup: Modular Surface desktops?
Microsoft seems to be planning another shake up of the PC market with a new patent for a “modular computing device” which would allow components to be easily swap-able (much like Google’s Aria project).
This technology (if successful) would allow non-technical customers to put together PC components as they want. This would, also, allow for easy “pluck and chuck” replacement/upgrades of individual components as opposed to buying entire new computers when upgrades are needed (*cough* Apple *cough*) or hiring expensive professional help to replace video cards, RAM modules, and hard drives.
One of the patent’s authors, Tim Escolin, is a senior designer for the Surface team which leads to speculation that this new technology may be branded under the Surface line of products.
In any case, pretty cool stuff. I wonder how many video cards I could stack together?
Surface News Roundup: Surface Watch concept
Microsoft doesn’t seem to have any plans for a Surface Watch but, that didn’t stop Irish designer Sean McConnel from putting together a concept design Surface Watch running Windows 10.
IMHO, the tiled interface shown above would be a great interface for such a small screen.
Check out all of his design illustrations here: Yanko Design
Surface News Roundup: DoD says Windows 10 and Surface are a GO
According to an analysis of the Federal tablet market by Govini, the iPad is quickly losing market share to the Surface.
As evidence, the report points out that in FY12, Apple owned 100% of the federal tablet market but has shrunk to just 61 percent share as of FY15.
In addition to the report from Govini, Microsoft announced that the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book have passed the DoD’s Multifunction Mobile Devices (MMD) certification process. This means that they will be available through the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Unified Capabilities Approved Products List (UC-APL) and will be available for purchase by the military and other national security agencies.
Finally, as more evidence of the DoD’s confidence in Microsoft, they also announced plans to move 4 million defense system computers to Windows 10 in an effort to increase systems security.
I told you it was a good news week for the Surface. Check back here next week for another Surface News Roundup for your information and enjoyment.
Tim Rolston is a professional geek with over 23 years of experience working in Information Technology and dealing with everything from large-scale storage to remote systems management and automation for organizations such as Texas Instruments, Mobil Oil, and the University of Michigan (where he was an Academic IT Director).
He co-founded JTRTech along with Joanna to realize his long-time dream of working for himself.