Windows ecosystem continues to deliver differentiated devices and experiences

Nick ParkerIn a mobile-first, cloud-first world, it is the devices that enable all the experiences to come together for consumers, businesses, developers and IT. Soon there will be more than 3 billion people with Internet-connected devices powered by cloud-based apps and services. Working with our partners, we’ve helped enable an amazing breadth of devices running Windows, desktop and mobile apps and compelling services to make people more productive in everything they do. Devices range from the most personalized mobile phones, PCs and tablets to mission critical datacenters.

We continue to see technology innovation across the industry with the introduction of new devices and categories, including Internet of Things (IoT), PC on a stick, immersive technologies, and blended reality.  In addition, we are starting to see new brands coming to market especially from China where many of the world’s devices are manufactured.

In previous posts from Computex and IFA, I talked about both technology and business model innovation. I shared how the Windows ecosystem is expanding, with more partners that are helping us deliver a broad range of innovative Windows devices across form factors. With this innovation a transformation is taking place in terms of how people are interacting with their PCs and using technology in their daily lives. Microsoft works very closely with the hardware ecosystem to ensure Windows is optimized on the breadth of devices they bring to market around the world.

Right now we’re seeing remarkable transformation in many of the existing device categories, with new hardware designs and components that deliver new and exciting solutions for customers. This includes all-in-ones becoming portable, gaming rigs delivering righteous power, premium notebooks that are ultra-thin, light and mobile, and two-in-ones that enable fluid transformation from notebook to tablet.

Many of these devices are being displayed and announced as part of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Congratulations to our partners who have announced more than 60 new Windows devices this week!

Two-in-ones are a category in which hardware manufacturers continue to innovate, bringing to market a wide variety of thin and light devices with unique designs that offer powerful processors, a variety of screen sizes and resolution and a multitude of storage options. There are convertibles with innovative hinges that enable up to 360 degree screen rotation, and detachables that offer a perfectly balanced notebook, in addition to a compelling tablet in one device. These are incredibly versatile devices that take full advantage of Windows 8.1 and a multitude of cloud-based apps and services, so you can use them as a tablet when watching movies and playing games or creating a document using the keyboard. Some of the new two-in-ones that partners are showing this week including the Asus T300 Chi and Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 are powered by Intel’s newest Broadwell Core M processor, are incredibly thin and light and offer longer battery life than ever before. Customers love the versatility and rich experiences these devices offer, and this is a category where we expect to see continued design innovation and growth in the coming months.

When it comes to traditional notebooks, our partners offer sleek and powerful touch-enabled devices that are incredibly thin and light with long-lasting batteries so you can stay connected and be productive all day long. The innovation from silicon partners like Intel together with the miniaturization of high quality components, are enabling the latest in premium notebooks such as the Dell XPS 13 and Lenovo X1 Carbon that are designed to light up the best in Windows 8.1 allowing you to do even more with your PC.

For a bigger screen, incredible processing power and more flexibility than a traditional desktop with display, a Windows 8.1 portable all-in-one is a great option.  We’re seeing significant innovation and elegant devices in this space with large touch-enabled displays, powerful processors, high quality graphics and better sound than ever before. These unique PCs can be used as the productivity and entertainment hub at home, or be a stylish and powerful PC for an office. Some of the most elegant new all-in-ones, such as the Dell XPS 18 and the Asus PT2001 AIO, include a battery, are lightweight and portable, so you can easily take them from room to room, or use them on the go.  This portability enables new experiences such as a family using the device to play a multi-touch game together in the living room.

Some of the most premium and iconic Windows desktops and laptops are specifically designed for PC gamers who require high-end graphics hardware, high CPU performance, memory, power efficiency and enhanced audio. There are well-designed desktops such as the Dell Alienware Area-51 and MSI NightBlade D85 that run on the most powerful chips and are equipped with unrelenting tools for efficiency, power cooling and noise control, and a wide array of powerful gaming laptops with big razor-sharp touch-enabled displays, cutting-edge graphics, advanced cooling and other features that enhance game play no matter where you are.

Partners are also developing truly unique and immersive Windows device experiences such as the new HP Sprout all-in-one creation station packed with breakthrough technology that lets you instantly capture objects or images, seamlessly manipulate and bring your ideas to life. HP also announced new Pavilion Mini Desktop and Stream Mini Desktops that are the size of a cereal bowl and only 2 inches tall. The mini desktops have a very unique design that allows one device to be connect to two monitors at a time while minimizing clutter. The Cintiq Companion, a professional mobile workstation/tablet from Wacom, provides a high performance Windows 8 tablet, pressure-sensitive pen display, multi-touch control and an amazing inking experience for professional designers.

In addition to PCs and phones, there are thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as wearables, home automation, security and surveillance devices that are powered by Windows. There are many such devices being shown here at CES and these connected devices can help make our lives easier and more productive.  IoT devices represent an incredible area of opportunity for Microsoft, our partners and customers, and we expect to see many new devices in 2015.

Congratulations to all our partners who announced great new Windows devices at CES! You can learn more about these devices in a Feature Story on the Microsoft News Center.  The innovation doesn’t stop now though, we are working closely with our hardware partners to design and build devices across categories and price points that will take advantage of the new capabilities and experiences that Windows 10 will enable, including one Windows across screen sizes, universal apps and one store. I look forward to sharing the results of this work with you in the future.

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