Microsoft's Next Quest: Breaking The Digital Wall

In light of the recently announced Surface Pro 3, we got a glimpse of the direction that Microsoft is heading in. During their presentation they talked about the thinness, lightness, and how much they value the mediation between tablets and computers. However I found something else completely interesting.........

The Attack on Paper

With subtle things like the clicking of the pen opening the note taking app, multiple reports of the friction of the pen on screen feeling like a pen writing on physical paper, Microsoft designing the Surface Pro 3 pen for greater accuracy, and the new 3x2 ratio. Its clear that Microsoft not only is tackling the best mediation between a laptop and a tablet, but they're also finding the best mediation between digital and analog conceptions of office work. And in recent leaks of Microsoft's new Office, which is rumored to release later this year, they seem to be taking this very seriously. Here's the new pen and touch optimized version of office, codenamed Office Gemini.



Think about this, an entire paper or article, can be written digitally with word, using a pen. Also making editing feedback much easier for editors and professors. Bringing everything back into a full circle. Taking the best of paper, adding to it the robust functions of Word. But it doesn't end there, they might also be looking to allow this pen functionality to not only work with their core apps, but in other areas of their OS as well. Here's a recently produced video by Microsoft research on "Ink". It's pretty lengthy.

http://microsoft-news.com/microsoft-courier-ui-vision-may-soon-become-real-by-this-new-cross-group-inking-team-from-windows-office-and-windows/

And here are a few slides from that presentation.


From this we know that Microsoft is putting a lot into breaking the digital wall due to their significant use of pen from both a hardware and software standpoint. I also think that this explains the reasoning behind not announcing the Surface 3. I believe that they're bringing this pen functionality to the Surface 3 & Surface mini (which is rumored to still be a thing), and hope to début it with Office Gemini for extra punch. Regardless, I look forward to the new office Gemini rumored to release later this year. There's exciting times ahead for Microsoft.