I decided to watch the Microsoft Surface Event this time around. Microsoft seem to keep these things a reasonable pace unlike Apple. Much of what was announced was trailed in the media so it wasn’t too surprising.
Then there was the Surface Phone. A lot of chatter over the last couple of years. Will they or won’t they? A lot a caveats about products that Microsoft “work on” but never get released. This time it was an announcement of something for 2020. To be fair 2020 is not that far away.
My thoughts were that this is the “new Microsoft”. They are “partnering with Google”. No longer competing but being a partner. Android is the mobile platform. The new Windowsphone has a Google OS.
The presenter was Panos Panny. I am aware a lot of people think Panos is a great performer but I always enjoyed the over the top presentations by Steve Ballmer. Panos always seems dry and his enthusiasm is about “the product”. It makes sure you know these “products” are not for personal enjoyment but a task driven, productivity driven work tool. The line is not blurred between work and home. Microsoft has work covered with these well designed “products”. Other companies provide the fun and devices you really want to use for the rest of the time. There are two separate worlds and Microsoft inhabits one of them.
The Surface Phone, for that is what it will be called, is a work device. The camera isn’t a feature. The examples are your work email, using excel, word and powerpoint on the go. You can make calls. Panos reluctantly mentioned it was also a phone. However, the moment of joy was when he said that the future product would be a “Surface”.
When Panos said that it took me back to his awkward presentation of the Lumia 950. It was the product he didn’t want to be associated with. It wasn’t a Surface.
A tale of two presentations. At least Panos isn’t embarrassed any more by having a Microsoft branded phone in his pocket.