After Google and Apple had their annual fall press conferences, all eyes were on the Richmond giant, Microsoft, to see what they would unveil for the upcoming holiday season and boy did they deliver! Coming off of strong numbers of their Windows 10 operating system launch, they announced each device with the utmost confidence.
The first device was the Surface Pro 4, no surprises there. The device features a 12.3 inch display using Gorilla Glass 4, PixelSense technology (a branding of its ink technology), fingerprint sensor, facial recognition, up to 1TB of storage and 16gb of RAM, an 8 megapixel camera, and 30% faster processor. The device starts at $900 USD and is available for pre-order now with a release date of October 26.
The second device unveiled was the all new, never before seen Surface Book. This gorgeous device will give Apple’s designers a run for their money. It is basically the Surface Pro on steroids; with a 13.5 inch display, Intel Core i7 CPU, PixelSense technology, an nVidia GeForce GPU, detachable keyboard featuring a Dynamic Fulcrum Hinge — all wrapped up in an industrial steel design. I was never a fan of the Surface Pro line of tablets, but with this upcoming tablet/laptop hybrid, I am definitely impressed. Pre-orders for the device are already sold out on Microsoft’s online store, but a few retailers are still taking orders. The device starts at $1,499 USD and will release on October 26.
In the phone department, Microsoft added the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL to its family of Nokia phones. The Lumia 950 features a six-core Snapdragon 808 CPU, 5.2 inch OLED display, USB Type-C charging port, Qi wireless charging technology, 3gb of RAM, and 32gb of storage. The Lumia 950XL is similar to the 950, but features an eight-core Snapdragon 810 processor. The Lumia 950 will cost $550 USD and the Lumia 950XL will cost $650 USD; both devices will be available in November.
Last but not least, we have the wearables category. With fitness bands being all the rage these days (FitBit, wooo!), Microsoft has introduced an updated version of their Microsoft Band. The new band has been re-designed with a wider and more curved OLED screen using Gorilla Glass 3. It also features Cortana integration (Microsoft’s version of Siri), eleven different sensors, and compatibility with iOS, Android, and Window devices. The band retails for $249 USD and will be available on October 30.
Microsoft also demoed more of their Hololens AR headset, using a program codenamed Project X Ray. The program turns every room of your house into a game level and features invading robot aliens (it looks a lot cooler than it sounds). It will be available to developers in 2016 for $3,000 USD and they are currently taking applications.
The entire conference can be viewed here:
All in all, it was a great showing for Microsoft and they proved that they can still put out new and engaging devices in the face of sluggish sales. There is a lot of stiff competition this upcoming holiday season and I wish them all the best. What do you think of Microsoft’s new devices? Will you be purchasing one? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!