Microsoft's keynotes and the Surface Pro 3

The presentation is over, all has been said and shown… so now what?

I have to admit that after the end of the press conference I went to see all new entries on WP Central, The Verge, etc. As always, reading the comments of teenagers (and not only) who swiftly decide if the future of Microsoft is doomed or not is a mix of laugh and sadness.

At some point I wanted to add a few comments myself or reply to some but then decided it may be worth it to write a more extended entry that (I hope) some might find useful or at least agree with it.

Way before the device was… the keynote. Now, when one mentions keynotes he cannot help but mention Apple. I have to admit I am not a fan of Apple but I watch all their keynotes, and even though they are not as good as when Steve Jobs was on stage they are still the measuring ruler when it comes to good keynotes.

I give a big thumbs up to Microsoft for spending almost an hour (not counting Satya's intro) to a single product! This is how Apple did it and I believe it is the best way, still, to do it. I would have liked a bit of more specs during the show but I guess the Microsoft store will do just fine.

Panos is, by far, one of the best speakers (sorry Terry and Joe) I have heard from Microsoft. One of the issues I find in most of Microsoft's (and Nokia's) keynotes I've seen is that everyone talks too fast. I loved the Lumia 920 intro video but then all spoke so fast that they were missing words, having to repeat words, etc. Same as the Office for iPad presentation, same as the Windows Phone 8.1 developer keynote.

I really think Microsoft should invest more on prepping the people that speak during keynotes to have good pronunciation and a moderate pace, spend time on the details and not rush everything as it kills the show.

This time Microsoft nailed it with Satya and Panos both being very calm and confident when speaking/presenting.

One of the areas were improvement might be possible is the demo section. I know Microsoft is all about productivity but isn't Windows 8's slogan "Work hard, play hard!"? I was hoping for a game demo that would show how good this machine is for gaming and productivity.

And now to the device at hand… the Surface Pro 3!

I really felt like returning my 3 month old ThinkPad Yoga after watching the keynote. To be fair I will state the individual reasons for this:

  1. Screen resolution - 1920x1080 VS 2160x1440
  2. Weight - 1.5 kg VS
  3. Storage - 500 GB HDD VS 256 GB SSD
  4. Battery -
  5. Price - 1,500 USD (1,800 USD in Bulgaria) VS 1,430 USD (adding 130 USD for the type cover)

I liked the Surface Pro 3 and would gladly receive it or give it as a present to anyone wanting to replace their current machine.

What market section does the Surface Pro 3 target? Here is where most of the comments turn to insults towards this and that company and his or her ignorance. I believe this is so because many people believe that this device is meant to make you return your MacBook Pro 13 Retina… I do not think this is the case.

Panos was very clear in comparing the Surface to both the MacBook Pro (I guess) and the iPad. The main idea (and the one I had before getting the ThinkPad Yoga) is that when the time comes to replace one's current machine they will go to the store and buy 2 devices - a mid-range laptop and a mid-range tablet (not all are millionaires and the abundance of cheap tablets and laptops being sold proves that). This step would require one to sacrifice both the laptop and the tablet to be able to have both devices. And yes, the Surface Pro 3 is more expensive than the iPad and on par with the MacBook, but you would be buying only 1 device instead of 2 so in the end you would be spending less money.

I saw some comments that Intel's integrated video is mediocre… well, I can play Diablo 3 on full HD res without a problem on the Core i5 CPU with HD 4400 graphics. I agree IRIS would be better but to call it mediocre is just talking BS.

I believe that the Surface Pro 3 sets yet another goal for Microsoft's OEMs and will ring some bells at Apple if proper marketing is used and many devices are sold. I remember one of the issues with the previous generation was the lack of available units… this is also a priority to work on… get a million devices in storage and deploy worldwide in a single day as Apple do! It pains me to say it but in Bulgaria (and I believe most of Eastern Europe) we still don't have even the 1st Surface nor Surface Pro devices.

Anyway, good luck to Microsoft and I wish them lots of sales!!!

Looking forward to any comments anyone might have!

Cheers,

Mitko