Windows 10 is off to the fastest start in history – seeing upgrades at almost three times the rate of Windows 7 in the same time period. With over 1.25 billion visits to the Windows Store, developers are seeing the benefits with developer revenue per download increasing four times since Windows 10 launched. Microsoft announced all-new universal apps for Windows 10 including Box, Facebook, Instagram, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Flipagram, Uber, NASCAR and others. These apps add to the existing Windows 10 experiences that will be available on the new Microsoft devices.
The biggest surprise of the event was the Surface Book, the first ever laptop from Microsoft which also converts into a tablet to keep up with Microsoft’s hybrid device strategy. Unlike the surface tablets, the Surface Book is a powerful, high-performance laptop with great craftsmanship and incredibly accurate and responsive pen and touch support. The convertible laptop combines the impressive power of 6th generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors with up to 12 hours of battery life. The 13.5-inch PixelSense display delivers a high contrast 267 ppi with improved latency and parallax. It features a trackpad made of glass, a backlit keyboard and a machines magnesium body.
At only 3.34 pounds, it’s easily one of the lightest laptops, clearly putting it in competition with the Apple’s flagship MacBook Air. Microsoft claims it to be twice as fast as Apple’s MacBook Pro. And the best part – the screen is detachable and can be used like a clipboard to sketch or take notes. An optional discrete GPU allows the device to harness the full power of hardware-accelerated graphics for an unmatched gaming experience, seamless video editing and fast rendering. Pricing for the Surface Book starts at a whopping $1,499 with a 128GB solid-state drive. The device will begin shipping on Oct. 26.
Surface Pro 4
The new Surface Pro tablet – a larger but lighter and thinner version of the Surface Pro 3 – is not only 30 percent more powerful than its predecessor but also quieter and is even more efficient with up to nine hours of battery life. It features a 12.3-inch PixelSense display with 267 pixels per inch and 6th generation Intel Core m, Core i5 and Core i7 processors. Backward compatible with Surface Pro 3, the new Surface Pro 4Type cover comes with an optional fingerprint reader, and a redesigned Surface Pen that packs 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity. And Cortana – Microsoft’s intelligent voice-assistant – is also integrated into the new pen. The device will retail for $899 and be available on Oct.26.
Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL
The company also revamped its commitment to smartphones with the introduction of new Lumia phones – Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. These are the first phones from Microsoft to run the Windows 10 mobile operating system. The Lumia 950 features a 5.2-inch WQHD OLED display with 564 pixels per inch, while the XL features a 5.7-inch WQHD OLED display with 518 pixels per inch. With the latest-generation PureView cameras with 20-megapixel sensors, triple LED natural flash and 4k video capture, both the devices enable faster focus and crisper images and videos even in challenging conditions. They come with 32GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot for expandable storage and a new USB Type-C connector.
Microsoft’s augmented reality project HoloLens picked up a decent traction at the stage during the event. HoloLens creates holograms that you can hold and that move as you move your hand, making them into basically wearable holograms. It’s designed to help Windows developers mix holograms into their world. It aims to create innovative experiences that are almost impossible on any other device – or any other platform.
Microsoft Band 2
Geared more towards the health-conscious consumers, the Microsoft Band 2 is the company’s latest fitness wearable, designed to be a “big part of your health story”, said Lindsey Matese, senior communications manager for Microsoft Band and Health. Users will be able to track exercise, calorie intake and sleep. Unlike its predecessor, it’s more sensitive to touch and features a thick gorilla glass. It’s able to sense changes in elevation, and has an improved set of health tracking tools. The Band also offers email, text and calendar alerts and works with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android. The Band 2 is priced at $249.99 and will ship on Oct.30.