2:09PM: Panoy is leaving the stage to leave Sinofsky alone with Surface, which he hugs closely. “The idea of is it a tablet is a laptop? .. It sounds like an 18 year old arguing over, is it ska or reggae?” Sinofsky says. He is showing off quotes from reviews, including Wired’s.
2:07PM: Panay introduced Annie Wang, a former Harvard graduate who is writing a blog post for Her Campus on her Surface right now in Word. Now Sinofsky pops in and asks Annie to load photos to the Surface using the USB port connected to a camera. “That is really tapping into the power of the USB port,” Sinofsky says.
2:05PM: “I never want to take Touch Cover off,” Panay says. When you close Touch Cover, the device closes. Panay says that his kids fold the Touch Cover back and open the kickstand and just watch videos on their lap. “When you want seamless transitions, they just happen, just like that,” Panay says.
2:04PM: Once you get typing with Touch Cover, you will get it, Panay says. He says that he types about 64 words per minute. With the snap view mode, Panos is typing while he’s recording the audience. “If I’m a student in a lecture, I can capture my moment as my professor is speaking while I take notes,” Panay says. That’s a great example for why somebody would want this type of functionality.
2:01PM: “You buy Surface because not only is it a great tablet, but it does everything your laptop can do,” Panay says. Panay calls out a man in the back named Don, who is using Excel on Surface as the call sheet for the event going on right now. “This is an important thing to understand. We are running Excel and Powerpoint right now. When you purchase Surface you get Office with it.” Panay is showing off the OneNote application. He says that Microsoft knew that they had to turn the old mouse and keyboard into a sleek Touch Cover — the two do the same thing.
1:58PM: “Let’s talk about Touch Cover,” Panay says. “When I talk about seamless transition… this is where it comes to life.” With the Surface you can get stuff done. Again, Touch Cover is 3mm thick. It also just clicks in, thanks to the connection magnets. Panay is holding the device by the cover and it does not fall off.
1:56PM: “I’m a dad,” Panay says. “I have four kids and it turns out whenever there’s a photo of my kids I’m not in it… We really wanted to give Surface something else. My daughter just turned 10 a couple of days ago. Look at the memories I get to create.” Panay is playing a video of his daughter’s birthday. He put the kickstand down and was able to walk into the screen instead of holding a camera the whole time. Another Surface out to somebody in the crowd and he says, “You can keep it.”
1:55PM: With the kickstand out, the camera is angled “perfect” for video calls. The back angle on the camera is also at a specific angle made to capture people well even though the back of the device is facing down.
1:53PM: Now Panay says that Surface is also about seamless transformation. Panay is talking about the kickstand. “We as a Surface team ascribe to build Surface exactly how we planned,” he says. This is the same kickstand that Gadget Lab’s Mat Honan broke, with a lot of effort, while he reviewed Surface.
1:53PM: Sinofsky says that they literally just added skateboard wheels on the Surface and nothing else.
1:51PM: Panay is showing at Sinofsky riding the Surface skateboard. Panay is holding the rigged tablet. Sinofsky joins Panay on the stage, “It’s my skateboard!”
1:51PM: The Surface still works after being dropped. People clap. (I’m sitting next to a very loud clapper.) “We drop them so you can have every bit of confidence that Surface is going to kick ass for you,” Panay says.
1:49PM: Now to the gaming scenario. Panay says that graphics in games is great. It looks pretty good from three rows back. “There’s something special about this,” Panay says. “We’re so excited that we’ve been able to put all of these components together.” VaporMag and optically bonded screen combined make for a very sturdy device.
Ach, Panay is going to drop the device.
1:47PM: Surface comes with all of the Xbox music, and he just shared the Xbox Music song to the loudspeakers. Another Surface to the crowd. “The point is Surface is an amazing tablet,” Panay says.
1:45PM: Panay is showing off The Avengers on Netflix. He points out the contrast and the lack of reflectivity on the screen. Microsoft has optically bonded the screen. And now he’s just transferred The Avengers onto the big screen using Smart Glass. People clapping. Panay just handed out another Surface to somebody in the crowd. Pretty sure Microsoft got the message of letting people actually touch and play with Surface. Good thing too, since the device is launching tomorrow.
1:43PM: “The WiFi antennas are exactly designed for Surface,” Panay says. “Up on the hotel roof that I’m staying at in New York, as I’m sitting up there by the pool, I’m about to get on my wireless network and the gentleman who is sitting near me says I won’t be able to get connection. I got the password and from Surface, I had five wireless networks pop up with four full bars on the network he said I wasn’t going to be able to get on.”
1:42PM: Battery life is another talking point. Panay says that Surface guarantees all day battery life. “This is a decision with the product I want to share with you,” he says. “We left no stone unturned on this. It has a unique power magnetic dock. You can play, work, recharge.” Panos just handed a Surface off to somebody in the crowd to let them play with it. Hand one to me, please!
1:41PM: Now to the kickstand. Behind the kickstand is a microSD card slot. Panay says that he uses this feature a lot, because he travels a lot, he can store what he needs in a small little card. “For me it’s important, when I’m traveling to China, that 10+ hour flight, I can watch HD movies on that flight,” Panay says.
1:40PM: “When you are holding this, the moment of inertia is very minimal,” Panay says. “Hold this the way it’s supposed to be held and it will feel lighter than the 1.5 pounds you are actually holding.”
1:38PM: “We work with the software and hardware teams together and bring it to the surface with Surface,” Panay says. First, the 10.6 inch screen. The screen size is unique because it’s not a standard size you get in a manufacturing line. This panel was designed from the ground up from Redmond. With that, and the VaporMag casing, you put those two things together the components have to fit perfectly. You have to design the product from inside out — every component in the product (200 custom made products) has come together perfectly in Surface, he says.
1:37PM: Panos Panay takes the stage. “I love that commercial, it’s something I adore, and looking at those girls and how intense they dance is one of my favorite parts,” Panay says. Panay is going to walk us through the entire product.
1:36PM: Sinofsky wants to introduce us to the feeling of Surface. And now the Surface dancing ad is playing.
1:35PM: Surface is an extension of Windows 8, Sinofsky says. He is clicking the Touch Cover into the tablet, for that epic click. “There are so many options and everything that Microsoft has to over comes together here, all in one place,” he says. “There’s so much passion…”
1:33PM: Ah the super loud, magnesium-focused Surface ad is on and shaking up the room. And Steven Sinofsky is on stage holding a Surface RT in his hands. “We just introduced the world to Windows 8 and now we’d like to talk about imagining and reimagining hardware for Windows RT,” Sinofsky says.
1:25PM: We’re sitting in front of the Surface stage (a different one than used for Windows 8) and pop music is filling the room. Let’s get pumped for Surface!
NEW YORK — Microsoft isn’t done celebrating yet. An hour after its Windows 8 keynote, Microsoft is set to show off its Surface RT tablet at 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET before it officially launches at midnight on Friday.
Hopefully, Microsoft will announce news not only about Surface RT, but also its higher-end counterpart, Surface Pro, which is set to launch three months after Surface RT. We still don’t know specific pricing or model details about Surface Pro, and it would be great to get more hardware details as well. The show starts at 10:30AM PT / 1:30 PM ET, but we’ll kick things off with updates shortly beforehand. Stay tuned!