Microsoft’s Top Secret Media Conference – Live!

By: Drew Bowling - June 18, 2012

Update: And wouldn’t you know it, Microsoft quietly launched the official Surface website while we were all paying attention to this event.

Update: And that’s a wrap!

Update: BTW, Baller is the one on stage now.

Update: Win8 makes Surface a PC. Surface is a tablet. Surface is something new.

Update: Release should dovetail with Win8. So yeah, probably this fall (?).

Update: Surface for WinPRO in 64GB and 128GB; will be released 3 mos after the Surface WinRT model.

Update: Surface for WinRT in 32GB and 64GB models. Prices similar to other tablets based on ARM.

Update: Onto availability, pricing.

Update: Do not taunt Touch Cover.

Update: Touch Cover detects ever gram of force applied by your fingers, hands.

Update: As thin as Touch Cover is, it has seven layers. Crazy.

Update: Touch Cover’s accelerometer detects when it’s folded up, turns off automatically.

Update: Built-in accelerometer in touch cover.

Update: We wanted it to feel like a book.

Update: Okay, gonna say it – those colors make this device an eye-catcher.

Update: Surface will detect when the Touch Cover is attached.

Update: Seamless design. Smooth criminal, even.

Update: .7mm thick.

Update: That kickstand is about as thin as a credit card.

Update: (God is in the details, y’know?)

Update: 200 custom-made parts make up the device.

Update: Emphasis on how difficult the kickstand was while maintaining the streamlined look. Didn’t want it looking janky, in other words.

Update: Whatevz, I still am excited about the versatility of the tablet. It’s the simple things that delight me. What can I say?

Update: “Important to have the hardware fade in the background for this product.”

Update: Despite those cool specs, still focused on Windows 8.

Update: Video being shown on the design process, lots of prototyping.

Update: Those slick keyboard covers come in assorted colors, too.

Update: Panos Panay is up now.

Update: Personal note: that’s thing looks rad.

Update: Plus a touchpad.

Update: Okay, demoing Surface Type Cover. Switches with 1.5mm travel.

Update: USB 3.0 capability.

Update: The tablet is smart enough to recognize that the screen shouldn’t move as he’s writing with the stylus, though. NEAT.

Update: Stylus has a magnetic connector for charging.

Update: Could that stylus be to the tablet what the mouse is to the PC?

Update: Stylus stablizer at 600dpi

Update: Digital ink support.

Update: Neat ventilation design. The entire surface has a thin groove, “perimeter venting.”

Update: 3rd gen Ivy Bridge i5.

Update: Talking about how human eye won’t be able to distinguish between pixels on the screen. Sounds familiar…

Update: Full HD.

Update: Two different models announced. One with Windows 8 Pro, one with Windows RT.

Update:Demoing photo-capture while sitting on the stand.

Update: BTW, that cover is 3mm thick.

Update: Rear and front facing cameras.

Update: Holy smokes, Batman: That magnetic cover doubles as a keyboard!

Update: Since it’s got a built-in stand, got me wondering if there will be a keyboard coming out shortly to go with this.

Update: Tab has a magnetic cover that snaps on.

Update: Neet – it even has a little kickstand built into the back.

Update: 2×2 mimo antennas.

Update: Optimized for Windows 8 (no surprise).

Update: Access to lotsa Windows apps.

Update: It’s comes with access to Xbox.

Update: USB 2.0 port on board, full magnesium case, weighs 576 grams.

Update: 9.3 mm thin!

Update: Ballmer just gave the stage to Steven Sinofsky to explain more.

Update: Tablet speculators earned their cheese today: “It’s ‘the new Microsoft Surface.”

Update: There’s your confirmation: “Surface.”

Update: We wanted to give Windows 8 its own hardware companion

Update: In what sounds like a rebuke of Time Cook at the New iPad’s launch with his post-PC world comment, Ballmer says Microsoft will deliver more PCs in 2013 than ever before.

Update: Cites Xbox as Microsoft’s most successful hardware.

Update: Ballmer: Hardware and software work best when considered together. (That would explain that new Windows 8 Metro interface).

Update: Rolling a video that highlights the evolution of Microsoft hardware, includes computer mouse, keyboards, Xbox, Kinect, etc.

Update: Talks about how Microsoft first gained ground with hardware, not software – hint, hint.

Update: “We want to add another piece to that Windows story.” Okay, so maybe not a break-up story.

Update: Windows 8 was designed for the “computers we know,” citing today’s preference for portability.

Update: CEO Ballmer talking about the advances of computing, calls Windows the “heart and soul” of Microsoft. It sounds like he’s about to break up with somebody.

Update: Steve Ballmer just took the stage.

Update: It appears that everybody has different times on their cards, suggesting this might be more of a hands-on conference than your regular cargo cult-theme that happens at these types of events. Maybe this will be more like Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery.’

Image courtesy of engadget

Update: In the auditorium, some house techno is playing for the audience’s entertainment. There are some screens with things that appear to be tablet-shaped.

Update: Microsoft people are explaining the delay as something that will be explained soon. Ominous, no?

Update: For anybody with lingering questions about the timing of this event, do you think Microsoft just didn’t manage to get the loose ends in order to present this maybe-Xbox product at E3?

Update: While we wait, I might as well disconfirm at least one rumor: reports of Rip Torn attending this afternoon’s event appear to be false.

Update: Everybody’s mumbling, perhaps rightfully so, about the delay with entering the venue. Seems to be some kind of loose agreement that this event was very last-minute for Microsoft.

Update: So far, the only rumor that appears to be confirmed is that everybody has to wait a little longer.

Four days was all it took for Microsoft to build up the hype for this afternoon’s grand media gala. What followed was a weekend saturated rumors ranging from a Windows 8 tablet to a purchase of a social networking site (because we need another one of those like we need a whole in the head) to an Xbox-integrated tablet to some kind of video-friendly e-reader. At any rate, many in the industry have estimated this event as Microsoft’s attempt to play a heavy domino in on the table of the tech world.

We’re at the precipice of finding out what Microsoft’s set to deliver and if today’s leaked ‘Xbox Surface’ documents – a tag-teaming Xbox device that includes both a 7-inch tablet and some kind of “stationary computing device” – pan out, this could be a fun event (even though some tech journalists out there are already pooh-poohing the event as underwhelming before it’s even begun – seriously, go change your diapers, you bugbears).

This page will be updated continuously throughout the presentation, so be sure to refresh your browser regularly to see the updates; all of the newest updates will appear at the top of the page.

Oh, and one quick note: I have received an unconfirmed rumor from a reliable source that today’s announcement will somehow involve the Wonder Twins.

Anyways, without further ado, it looks like it’s about time to shove off.

About the Author

Drew BowlingDrew Bowling is a staff writer for WebProNews. He never met an all-you-can-eat buffet he didn't like. Twitter: @bentfortherent Google: +Drew Bowling

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