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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Engadget: Microsoft Surface: inside the three-year secret project to build the first great Windows tablet

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Engadget
Engadget
Microsoft Surface: inside the three-year secret project to build the first great Windows tablet
Oct 16th 2012, 15:00

Microsoft Surface inside the threeyear secret project to build the first great Windows tablet

The scene: two dozen journalists file into a small auditorium on Microsoft's Redmond campus. Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows division, and Panos Panay, general manager of Surface, make their way on stage, each with a tablet in hand. In every audience seat, an elementary-school-style desk with a wrapped parcel placed on top. Inside: a Wonka bar, along with a golden ticket. It's the day before Surface for Windows RT goes up for pre-order, and in addition to sharing some key pricing and availability details, the company is about to give these lucky reporters a tour of the proverbial chocolate factory, the halls where Surface was conceived and tested.

It's an apt analogy, when you think about it: the company's testing chambers and design studios are generally forbidden to people without corporate badges. Even then, relatively few Microsoft employees were aware of the Surface before it was announced to the public. On this day, we're told we'll be turned into giant blueberries -- or, at least, escorted from the premises -- if we wander off or take photographs around the building. There won't be any first-hand recordings today, and no fresh hands-on material. There are more than 200 custom-made parts inside the Surface, say Microsoft reps, and nothing is there by accident. We're here to learn more about the specs, as always, but also to get some insight into how Surface came to be: what compromises were made, and what design ideas were abandoned along the way. If gadget porn is what you're after, you can revisit our first look from June. But if things like display technology and hinge design float your boat (and why wouldn't they?) you'll want to meet us after the break for a more detailed explanation of what Microsoft was trying to achieve.

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Microsoft Surface: inside the three-year secret project to build the first great Windows tablet originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Oct 2012 11:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Written by Hasloo Network staff.