Microsoft officially launched the Surface and Windows 8 in New York City today, priming the pump for general availability at midnight tonight. Panos Panay, the General Manager of the Surface team, joined Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky on stage to show off the beautiful device, which blurs the line between tablets and laptops. Put simply, “Surface is the ultimate expression of Windows.”
The two went into great detail regarding the design of the Surface, from the custom 10.6-inch 16:9 display to the Touch Cover, integrated kickstand, weight, microSDXC card slot, and camera design. Passion for the device excuded from Sinofsky and Panay, and it was easy to see just how excited they were to be showing the device off to the world. At one point, Sinofsky even gave his Surface a big hug.
The design of the Surface is one of its highlights, and Microsoft put the VaporMg casing’s durability to the test by using it as a skateboard, securely dangling the Surface by its magnetically-attached Touch Cover, and purposefully dropping the device on the ground. “How many people drop a machine on stage?” exclaimed Panay, “Have you ever seen that before?” In fact, there are 72 different orientations in which you can drop the Surface, and Microsoft is confident that it can perfectly survive each one.
The various ways in which you can use the Surface were on display, from media consumption like Xbox Music and Xbox Video to productivity with the included Office 2013 suite. And, after many of the demos, Panay actually walked into the audience and gave away the device he had just been using. “Here’s some headphones if you don’t want to listen to me,” he quipped at one point.
The Microsoft Surface launch event was, hands-down, one of the best presentations the Redmond devices and services company has ever put on. If you have any interest in a Windows tablet, check out the full video, which starts 03:33:02 in.