It’s great to be back in Taipei for Microsoft’s 12th year of participating in Computex, the second largest technology exhibition in the world. More than 130,000 attendees are expected, along with thousands of industry analysts and technology journalists from various countries. And most importantly, many of our hardware manufacturing partners are participating with us at Computex, many of them from Taiwan and also some global and some newer partners who are building phones and tablets from Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai.
Our expanding ecosystem of partners is helping us deliver a broad range of Windows devices with new designs across more price points and in new markets. These devices span from the most personalized mobile phones to the most mission critical of Internet scale datacenters, and we continue to invest and drive growth with our partners through innovation in our business model and software and services platforms.
We were honored to once again host a keynote at Computex, where we talked about our view of computing in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, how we’re delivering on our vision today with rapid delivery of enhancements in Windows, new licensing and programs for an expanded set of partners, and how we see computing evolving into the future to become more human-centric. We showcased nearly 40 new Windows and Windows Phone devices from our partners around the world. We shared momentum on Microsoft services and apps, including an announcement that Kabam, a leader in free-to-play games, will deliver its lineup of hit games to Windows tablets and phones over the next year and their future games will be available on Windows in the same timeframe as other platforms. You can find more detail about our keynote in the press release.
On stage, we had a wall of new devices to unveil with our partners. We started with traditional PCs, where we continue to invest with our partners and see incredible innovation. For example, all-in-one PCs are becoming thinner, lighter and more portable. We showed the ASUS All-in-One PT2001, which provides five hours of battery life and a handle to easily move the 7-pound device from room to room, and at a very affordable $699. We showed several new laptops across a range of prices including the Acer Aspire V11, which provides style at a very affordable price; the HP Pavilion 10 Touchsmart, which features the AMD A4 Processor and is Miracast compatible for just $299; the Dell Latitude 13 Education Series, which is optimized for the classroom; and a few premium laptops, including the Acer Aspire S7, which is coming soon with Intel’s newest Core chipset, Broadwell.
Another category of Broadwell devices that we’ve been collaborating on closely with Intel and our hardware partners is 2-in-1s – the fastest, lightest and sleekest PC designs coming to market. Two-in-ones are a great option for customers that want a tablet, but can’t give up their laptop; it’s a no-compromise solution with the best of both. We showed the Acer Switch 10, launched recently with its unique SnapHinge, which enables easy transition into four different modes; the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series announced last week with a unique hinge that rotates 360 degrees; unveiled the ASUS Transformer Book T300 Chi, which is a 12.5” evolution of the successful T100 detachable. We also unveiled with HP their new Pro x2 612, which is packed with business-ready capabilities, including security, a Wacom stylus and dual batteries in the tablet and the power keyboard.
We had a broad range of tablets on stage, with different screen sizes, prices, capabilities and manufacturers. Starting with larger tablets at 10”, we showed several Windows Embedded-based tablets that extend the Windows platform and enable innovation optimized for vertical industries. These include the Arbor Gladius G1052 for retail, which is rugged and includes a barcode and dual battery pack; the IEI IceRock 3, which is high performance, with support for barcode and smartcard reader and includes GPS; and the Winmate M101B, which is both water and dust proof and includes a battery that is hot-swappable.
Our global partners continue to drive innovation with 10” Windows tablets, optimizing for business customers. Just to name a few of the newest, Lenovo brings their trusted ThinkPad brand and reliability to the ThinkPad 10” and, last week, Toshiba launched the new Encore 10” (and 8”) tablet, which beautifully balances business performance and value.
Moving to smaller tablets, we showed for the first time Toshiba new 7” tablet being co-developed by Microsoft and Toshiba and in close collaboration with Intel, Goodix and AMI. It will be available in the coming months at a value-driven price point that is very competitive with any other 7” class device. We showed the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1, which is both rugged and optimized for business in a small size. We unveiled the KUPA V8 Tablet that provides great accessories, supports a pen input and optional 3G/4G, TPM and Miracast; and the Advantech MIT-M101, a ruggedized tablet. These Windows tablets offer Office and other Microsoft services that provide the best possible experience for customers, for both work and play.
We also showcased new tablets from our partners in the China Technology Ecosystem that primarily ship devices locally. These are low-cost consumer tablets that take advantage of the $0 Windows that Microsoft announced last month at our BUILD developer conference. We started by showing several tablets from Luckystar, and then showcased the Emdoor EM 8280, Haier W81, South Digital W110A and the VIDO W11C just launched last week in Beijing. This is an area in which we expect to see tremendous growth, and it’s great to see Windows devices coming to market with the full Windows experience at such low prices.
Finally, we unveiled for the first time new Windows Phone 8.1 devices from several partners across different markets and price points. Devices I showed for the first time include Prestigio’s Multiphone 8500 DUO device, coming to market in Europe from next month onwards; a sneak peek of two BLU devices coming to the U.S. and LATAM soon, and a device from InFocus, which is the first of a family of affordable LTE phones in varying sizes. We also showed the Yezz Billy 4.7 (named after Bill Gates), coming this month to the U.S. on Amazon, plus Europe and Latin America. Many of the top ODMs including BYD, Compal, Pegatron, Quanta and Wistron had prototype phones showcased on stage that they are working to bring to market with partners. This new breadth of Windows Phone 8.1 devices is a result of the announcement we made in February at Mobile World Congress in cooperation with Qualcomm Technologies Inc., which enables device manufacturers to quickly and efficiently broaden their portfolio with Windows Phones and now with $0 Windows.
Congratulations to all of our hardware partners that announced new Windows devices at Computex this week! We look forward to bringing them to market together and continuing to develop and support the broad Windows ecosystem to deliver amazing experiences for customers.
Click here to learn more about Microsoft and our partners here at Computex 2014.