October 11, 2015
At a New York press event Tuesday, Microsoft held its first major press event since the launch of Windows 10 in July and focused on its lineup of devices running its latest operating system.
Speaking of Windows 10, 110 million users have upgraded to the new operating system, which is three times the userbase that Windows 7 had at this time in its lifespan. New Windows 10 apps are being developed for Box, Facebook, Instagram, Candy Crush Soda, Flipagram, Uber, among others.
“With Windows 10 and these new Microsoft devices, you are at the center of magical new experiences,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said. “We’re moving people from needing to choosing to loving Windows, and these devices promise to fuel even more enthusiasm and opportunity for the entire Windows ecosystem.”
Windows 10 will make its way to the Xbox One gaming console next month along with backward compatibility to let gamers play Xbox 360 games on the current-gen console or on their Windows 10 PC.
The console is also being offered in a series of bundles, whether it’s based on Halo 5: Guardians, Fallout 4, the Elite Bundle, or the 1TB Holiday Bundle.
HoloLens is probably the coolest project currently being worked on at Microsoft. The “fully untethered holographic computer” is now being offered through applications for the Microsoft HoloLens Development Edition that begins shipping in Q1 2016 for $3,000.
The company’s fitness wearable Microsoft Band got refreshed with a curved 320×128 AMOLED display, and Cortana for responding to texts or setting reminders.
Alongside a continuous optical heart rate monitor and onboard GPS, the smart band also tracks calorie burn, “deep exercise,” sleep quality, elevation gain with a built-in barometer, and floors climbed while still maintaining two days of battery life. All of this data is sent to the Microsoft Health app for Windows, iOS, Android, and the Web, where users can also set wellness goals and receive insights into their health.
Guided Workouts allow you to reach your fitness goals and custom tracking for activities like running, biking, or golfing.
Notifications will also pop in from your smartphone via Bluetooth, allowing you to check email, calendar alerts, calls/text messages, and social updates.
Starting at $249, Microsoft Band 2 can be preordered now before shipping on October 30th. Here’s the full spec sheet:
- Full charge in less than 90 minutes
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- Haptic vibration motor
- Supported devices: Windows Phone 8.1/Windows 10, iPhone 5 or later with iOS 8.1.2 or later, Android 4.4 or later with Bluetooth
Coming into this event, we pretty much knew two things were going to happen: We were going to see new Lumia flagships and the Surface Pro 4 (more on that in a moment). With Continuum support using the Microsoft Display Dock, the phones can be connected to an external monitor and/or a keyboard/mouse to effectively become a fully-fledged Windows 10 desktop, using apps like Microsoft Office, and still being able to make phone calls. Your device will also simultaneously be charged.
The phones also feature 20-megapixel PureView sensors, triple LED natural flash and 4K video capture. Rich Capture automatically chooses the best camera mode based on the situation you’re shooting.
The 950 XL features a 3340mAh battery with USB-C charging that Microsoft claims to give 50% battery life in half an hour.
Here are the full spec sheets:
|Lumia 950||Lumia 950 XL|
The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL will be made available next month on AT&T for $549/$649 unlocked in black and white.
Surface Pro 4
The long-running Surface line expanded to include several new devices, starting with the Surface Pro 4. The tablet features a 12.3-inch 3:2 (267ppi, 1300:1 contrast ratio) PixelSense 10-point touchscreen display that features five million pixels with 6th Generation Intel Core m, Core i5, or Core i7 processor based on your configuration in a 8.4mm thin body.
Starting at $899, Surface Pro 4 is “30 percent more powerful” than its predecessor while running cooler, quieter, and with nine hours of battery life.
Running Windows 10 Pro, Surface Pro 4 lets you run apps and desktop programs like Microsoft Office side-by-side, and use Windows Hello to keep your files secure.
The Surface Pro 4 comes with a new Type Cover that features a redesigned mechanical keyboard with better key spacing for faster typing, and a fingerprint reader for added security. The Surface Pen was also redesigned to provide 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity for writing, drawing, or marking up on documents.
Here’s the full spec sheet:
- Dimensions: 11.50 x 7.93 x 0.33 in, 1.69/1.73 lbs.
- Graphics: Intel HD graphics 515/520/540
- Memory: 4/8/16 GB RAM, 128/256/512GB/1TB SSD storage
- Cameras: Windows Hello face-authentication, 5MP/1080p HD video front, 8MP/1080p HD rear
- Ports: USB 3.0, MiniDisplay Port, microSD card, Stereo headphone/microphone, Type cover, Surface Connect (power/docking)
The Surface Pro 4 is available in the following configurations:
- $899: 128GB Intel Core M3 with 4GB of RAM
- $999: 128GB Intel Core i5 with 4GB of RAM
- $1,299: 256GB Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM
- $1,599: 256GB Intel Core i7 with 8GB of RAM
- $1,799: 256GB Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM
- $2,199: 512GB Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM
Now, it’s time for the big daddy of them all: the Microsoft Surface Book. The company’s first laptop combined 6th Generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors with up to 12 hours of battery life.
The 13.5-inch 3000×2000 (3:2) optically bonded PixelSense Display features a resolution of 267ppi and a 1700:1 contrast ratio with improved latency and parallax, making it “natural and fluid” to write on. That screen also detaches, allowing it to be used as a clipboard for sketching, taking notes, or using the Surface Book as a big tablet.
An optional separate GPU allows Surface Book to use hardware-accelerated graphics to improve performance for tasks like video editing, rendering, or gaming.
Here’s the spec sheet:
- Dimensions: 9.14 x 12.3 x 0.51-0.90 inches (Tablet: 8.67 x 12.3 x 0.3 inches), 3.34lbs/3.48lbs non GPU/GPU (Tablet: 1.6 lbs)
- Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520, optional NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor with dedicated 1GB GDDR5 high-speed memory
- Memory: 8GB/16GB of RAM
- Security: fingerprint sensor
- Cameras: Windows Hello camera, 8MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD camera, 5MP front-facing 1080p HD camera
- Audio: Dual microphones, front- and rear-facing; Front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby audio
- Ports: Two full-size USB 3.0 ports, Full-size SD card reader, Surface Connect (power, docking), Stereo headphone/microphone jack, Mini DisplayPort
Lastly, here’s the pricing breakdown:
- $1,499: 128GB Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM
- $1,699: 256GB Intel Core i5 with 8GB of RAM
- $1,899: 256GB Intel Core i7 with 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GPU
- $2,699: 512GB Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GPU