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New Surface devices are ‘best of Microsoft coming together’, says Panos Panay

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Microsoft’s broadest Surface lineup was revealed earlier this month, with new devices including the Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X as well as new Surface Earbuds announced at a Microsoft Surface event in New York on October 2.

Speaking at an event at the Flagship Microsoft Store in London, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer, Panos Panay, said he was “pumped for the release of the new devices” and keen to see what they can help customers achieve.

The new family of devices reflects the company’s mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. Panay wants his team to “create products that fade into the background” so that people are free from any technical barriers, adding that hardware is a core component of the business and the combination of both hardware and software representing “the best of Microsoft coming together”.

This aim, according to Kait Schoeck, Senior Industrial Designer at Microsoft, brings together designers, engineers and more to act as one team, working together to create products that best suit the needs of customers.

Products announced this month see the Surface family broaden into new categories while adding new design features and colours. The Surface Laptop 3 will be available with a new Alcantara covering or aluminium design, with new colours featured in both materials.

Due to be available in platinum, black and sandstone, a favourite of Ralf Groene, CVP of Devices Design at Microsoft, the metal finish of the Surface Laptop 3 was designed following feedback and input from customers. When asked why new colours were added, and what the aim of design innovation was, Groene stated: “Why sandstone? Because it’s beautiful, we want people to walk around the corner and be taken by seeing the devices.”

Common to the design throughout the Surface range, Groene highlights that the focus of the team is to create products that can have a natural fit into customers’ busy and changing lifestyles, stating that “we’re living in a time where how we use technology is changing radically, computers are changing from a tool to a companion”. He continued that key to creating devices that enable this is ensuring flow is not interrupted between tasks and customers can remain connected wherever they are.

Talking about another new addition to the Surface family, due to be released in the UK early next year, Schoeck says the Surface Earbuds were inspired by the existing Surface Headphones, with an aim to create a product that enables customers to be connected without a screen. She went on to say that the product was designed to be “so comfortable that you don’t know they’re there” without compromising on user experience or sound quality.

After spending a day with UK customers, Panay revealed the excitement around the Surface Duo and Neo devices, due to arrive in 2020.

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2018