As an Apple user I tend to pay far more attention to Apple’s products than Microsoft’s. Truth be told, with the exception of the Xbox line, Microsoft just hasn’t had anything that really piques my interest… until now. Yesterday Microsoft unveiled a number of new products and, damn, were those announcements sweet.
The Surface Book is everything the iPad Pro should have been. It’s a full laptop that converts into a tablet. Unlike previous computers that did so, the Surface Book doesn’t have a stupid hinge design. In fact the hinge design is really neat. If you’ve used old Windows tablets you’ve experienced the terrible world of monitors that flip around and fold down over the keyboard. None of that bullshit is present with the Surface Book. Instead the monitor bends around the body of the laptop to lay behind it. The weakest point of tablet computers, the rotating hinge the monitor sat on, has been replaced by something that looks pretty robust.
More interesting to me though was the new line of phones. Specifically the Display Dock. Microsoft has delivered what Ubuntu has been promising with its phone line and has yet to deliver, the ability to plug the phone into a dock and have it work as a full computer. This is something I’ve wanted since smartphones became a thing and nobody has delivered it until now. The Display Dock is the big payoff for Microsoft’s unifying strategy with its operating system. If Windows only had the software I need I would actually consider a Windows-based phone now. One device to do it all, or at least do most of it all, really appeals to me.
Getting rid of the old guard was the right strategy for Microsoft. It seems the company is no longer willing to rest on its laurels while companies like Apple eat its lunch. Due to that the market again has another decent competitor.