Trending September 2023 # The Tao Of Surface: Inside Microsoft’S First Tablet # Suggested October 2023 # Top 14 Popular |

Trending September 2023 # The Tao Of Surface: Inside Microsoft’S First Tablet # Suggested October 2023 # Top 14 Popular

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The tablet segment is an increasingly crowded one, but according to Sinofsky Microsoft’s approach is considerably different from that of its key rivals. The big name in the room – and one liberally cited by both Sinofsky and Panay – is Apple’s iPad, and with its majority share of the tablet market it’s no surprise that Microsoft has been keeping an eye on the iOS pad. Still, Android hasn’t been slow to take on tablets, whether in the flavor Google would prefer or a modified version made to suit OEM ambitions.

The starting points are pretty clear, Sinofsky points out. “Google, starting from either search or from open-source, and building up from a phone. So, they built a great phone and they said “oh, we’ve got to do a tablet” and we’re all familiar with what it’s like to build the experience after you build the experience” the president says. “They went through the whole efforts to redraft the UI, to turn it into a tablet, when they had started really from a phone. And when you buy into a tablet, you buy into… it’s there for the search ecosystem, the Google software, and it’s all good but it’s their perspective”

Surface – Steven Sinofsky + Panos Panay

Amazon perhaps epitomizes the fragmentation story going on within Android today, heavily customizing the OS to tailor it to its own needs. “Amazon did this incredible job on bringing the Kindle Fire to market, and everybody understands what you get when you buy the Fire,” Sinofsky argues, “you buy the device, you buy into the Amazon ecosystem. They look at themselves as a retailer, they look at tablets as a way to buy stuff, whether it’s digital goods or physical goods, and so they want to have a complete experience.”

In contrast, Microsoft comes to tablets – not new, as versions of Windows have supported touchscreen hardware and digital pens since the days of Windows XP Tablet Edition – with a history in more ubiquitous PCs: desktops and notebooks. “And all of those are perfectly rational, good views of why to build hardware and what to do” Sinofsky concedes. “And we of course looked at this challenge, and said, well, we think of PCs as this generic kind of device that can work across a broad range of scenarios, that have a broad range of form-factors, that have extensible platform, that have peripherals and are part of ecosystems.”

Boiling that premise down to a portable device users would keep with them all day, every day, was what led to Surface. “We want to bring all of that goodness to a kind of device that you carry around with you all the time, that has all-day battery life, with its roots in this ecosystem, and its roots in the notion of productivity. And in many ways, that’s where we start with Surface” the Windows president explained. “It’s about really bringing that extra perspective to market – we started with thinking about all of the things that are in those elements, whether it’s things like a USB port, or the design of the case, or the aspect ratio. And all of these things become important decisions in how we build Surface.”

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