The Surface Prototype That Started it All

Posted on December 31, 2018 by Brad Sams in Hardware with 16 Comments

In 2018, Microsoft released the new Surface Go, Headphones, and updated several of their products. While it wasn’t a perfect year for the brand, it was far more positive than negative.

Even though one analyst thought Microsoft would exit the hardware business in 2019, that’s simply not the case. The company has a number of announcements lined up for 2019 and the brand is stronger than ever.

On Instagram earlier today, Panos Panay shared an image of one of the first prototypes of the Surface Pro. The device isn’t really a device at all, but pieces of plastic and cardboard taped together.

Panay writes:

This is the first Surface model the team envisioned seven years ago. We had plastic, cardboard, duct tape, and a vision for something great. We didn’t know exactly where this vision would take us, but we believed.

We often forget that the release of the first generation Pro was a disaster for Microsoft but because of the resilience of the Surface team to overcome internal and external conflict, this helped them build the hero of the PC industry. If you are interested in the backstory of how the company built the billion-dollar brand, I wrote a book detailing the history.

As we march towards and into 2019, look for Surface to explore adding more peripherals to the lineup and of course, updating their current products as well. While the past may have been uncertain at times, with the hardware nearly being re-branded twice, the future is looking bright as the company has finally found the right formula for hardware and software.

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