Beneath A Surface – The Inside Story of How Microsoft Built the Billion-Dollar Brand

Posted on September 25, 2018 by Brad Sams in Brad with 60 Comments

I am writing a book, my first book actually, and it’s covering a topic that helped launch my writing career many years ago. Microsoft’s Surface hardware is a classic story of a product that faced significant challenges in its early life and grew up to become a bright spot in the PC industry.

In May, I started working on this book and have interviewed around two-dozen people that consist of current and former Microsoft employees to learn about the challenges of building the billion-dollar brand. From a $900 million write-down to $4.6 billion in revenue last fiscal year, the story of Surface is ready to be told.

The title of the book is Beneath A Surface and you can pre-order it here on Thurrott, or Amazon, or sign-up to be notified when it will be available on LeanPub. There will be a print edition, only available to pre-order today on Thurrott, or a version can be purchased on Amazon once the book is complete (Bezos does not currently let you pre-order physical copies of the book) and of course a digital version as well.

My goal is to have the book completed by Thanksgiving (late November) and it is currently 103 pages of pure text without any images or fancy tricks to make the content appear longer than it actually is. I believe the book will be 120-130 pages when completed, it may be longer, but that’s the rough target at this time.

As with all projects, the timeline could be delayed but in this case, the reason for a delay would be so that I can add more content. I’m confident in the material I have curated and sourced so far, but I suspect that this announcement may churn up a few more stories as well. Further, Microsoft has a hardware event next week that will bring the book full-circle.

For fans of Microsoft, Surface, or those simply curious about how brands are built, you will likely enjoy this book. This has been the largest project I have ever personally undertaken when it comes to writing and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

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