Microsoft unveiled several new products this morning at its Windows 10 devices event. Here are some of the highlights. Firstly, it was kind of cool to see virtual reality meld with its HoloLens product to create a mixed reality gaming experience named Project Xray. I only say kind of cool because I am not really a gamer, unless you count the many hours playing Miss Pac-Man as a teen. But I digress. The gamers are always the early adopters. Once the developers get a hold of things, there will be so many more applications for the consumer and business user going forward. In fact, after the demo, Microsoft announced that HoloLens will reach developers in 2016 for $3,000.
Other eye-catching items that were launched include the first ever Surface laptop called Surface Book. The Verge says, “The device features a new keyboard that actually looks lappable, with a flat, stable base. The device includes a new Microsoft-designed "dynamic hinge" to connect the keyboard to the screen.” Prices start at $1,499 and go up to over $2,600 so they are not for the frugal-minded set.
More eagerly-awaited gadgets included the new Lumia phones. As a device junkie myself, I say “yay.” They sure look nice but are there any true differentiators here? Let’s see. Overall, they are really not too flashy and have all of the key features a flagship and low-end device would have. The one item that sets them apart is called Continuum which allows a user to move from device to larger device via the Display Dock. Venture Beat says, “In short, if you connect an external display, mouse, and keyboard to your phone, you can use it like a basic PC.” This will be very appealing to business travelers or those who want to downsize (i.e, predominantly carry one device). As far as other unique features, there is also something called Liquid Cooling. I think, in general, devices have this but MSFT named it. Sadly, we saw nothing groundbreaking from a green perspective like solar battery charging but maybe next time.
On to more fun stuff. Microsoft touted its new Microsoft Band 2 (priced at $249) fitness wearable. Some impressive videos were shown during the conference and a testimonial by a Band employee who’s very dedicated to the product. So much so she’s training for an ultra-marathon. How would she do it without her fitness wearable? Xbox also received some press today as more games are being launched and the company is providing some interoperability between xbox one and xbox 360.
Here are some other factoid-y type stuff that came out of today as well:
- 110M devices are running Windows 10
- The new Surface Pen stylus can detect 1,024 levels of pressure
- The Lumia 550 phone has an affordable $139 price tag
- There was also the Lumia 950 and 950XL launched with pricier tags
- The Surface Pro 4 is very pretty and quite similar to the new Surface Book. Prices start at $899
- Facebook and MSFT get closer: Mark and company are building all new apps (including on Messenger, Instagram) for Windows
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