A new series of Microsoft videos provides an inside peek at its rationale for the design and implementation of Surface Studio.
You can find the entire series on YouTube. Each video is pretty short, about 2 minutes each. But in addition to providing some insight into Surface Studio, they also provide a nice introduction to key members of the Surface team.
Here is a quick rundown of the key points.
It was made for creators. And you have to wonder if that didn’t impact the name of the Windows 10 Creators Update. “You pull the product towards you,” Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay [says](Microsoft corporate vice president Panos Panay). “There is nothing on the planet that matches that feeling.” Part of the excitement here is the 1:1 nature of the content users are creating on-screen to what the output will be down the road. And that it supports different color spaces for different types of creating.
“It just works” isn’t easy. “People love to say, ‘it just works’,” Mr. Panay says. “There is technology that has taken a very long time to evolve to where it just works.”
It’s about the screen, not the hinge. While the free-moving hinge behind Surface Studio is often touted as one of its key differentiators, Microsoft’s real goal was to make the screen seem like it was floating in front of the customer. “We wanted to build a machine that allows you to have this sheet of pixels,” Microsoft Devices general manager of design Ralf Groene says, “that you can take towards you. We didn’t imagine a hinge. We imagined the screen floating.”
Microsoft tested multiple designs before arriving at what’s available today. Microsoft distinguished scientist Stevie Bathiche described an early iMac-like design as “super clunky,” while Mr. Groene described a “horrible” Surface Book-like design where the screen would clunk into place.
The specs almost don’t matter. Panay says that customers get the performance and functionality that they expect, and that they shouldn’t need to worry about that. But Microsoft Surface general manager Pete Kyriacou goes even further, stating that customers ultimately “don’t even need to know” about the specs. “They’re just using it as it was intended to be used,” he says. “And all that power is being provided for them, without them having to think about it.”
There is nothing like it in the world. “Put your old monitor next to [Surface Studio], and you will immediately see the difference,” Bathice says. “No computer like that has ever existed in the world.” “It’s a thing of beauty,” Panay adds.
Surface Dial puts it over the top. The unique Surface Dial accessory “came about because of the pen,” Mr. Bathiche says. The first idea was a ruler with multiple buttons, but then Mr. Groene came up with the design for Surface Dial, a device so simple that everyone knows how to use it immediately. “It is contextual and dynamic,” he says. “That’s something that is better than the analog world. It’s something we’ve never really experienced before.”
I’m not normally into the Apple-style marketing video thing, but these are interesting. And I cannot wait to review Surface Studio. Yet, wait I shall. 🙂
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