Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft Surface Studio review: a beautiful invader of Apple’s base:

It’s an engineering marvel of a monitor, but I really wish Microsoft sold it separately. I want to dock my Surface Book to it, or transform any laptop into a full Surface Studio. If I’m investing in a desktop PC at this kind of price then I also really want to be able to upgrade it and use it for gaming and more powerful work. I can’t do either of those things with the Surface Studio. If this was a monitor with a powerful GPU in it designed to complement Microsoft’s existing Surface devices and “upgrade” them, I’d probably be throwing my wallet at my screen right now. It’s hard to do so knowing that I’m not getting the latest and greatest specs for that $2,999, and that’s before you even consider the top model I’ve been testing is $4,199.

I’m both amused and happy about Microsoft’s newfound — and seemingly geniune — love for integrating software and hardware themselves. Up until they introduced Surface tablets in 2012, ‘controlling the whole widget’ was something only Apple did.

So what’s Microsoft’s endgame here? They’re going to market with a very niche product that uses last year’s hardware. Are they going to move back down the market with what they learned and develop more affordable desktops that can complete with iMacs?

I almost get the sense that they don’t care if it sells. The goal was to create a beautiful and very functional desktop computer. Even if the Surface Studio ends up being a dud, I still think what Microsoft did is impressive.


Materials, Product

Microsoft Surface Studio

On October 26th, Microsoft unveiled their new all-in-one, touchscreen Surface Studio.

From everything I’ve seen and read about it, it looks like an amazing integration of hardware and software. This integration used to be the sole domain of Apple, but now Microsoft and Google are coming to realize the practical and financial benefits of controlling the whole widget.

First thought: will this machine make me move to Windows? No.

Second thought: will this machine make other people move to Windows? I’m not sure.

It’s in Microsoft’s DNA to be a day late and dollar short on everything they’ve done, at least for the last decade. Windows Phone was late, their Surface tablets were late, and now an iMac competitor. I’m feeling a little déjà vu with the Surface Studio.

Microsoft is like the kid in college who needs until the summer to finish their thesis paper. Sure they might turn a great paper, but everyone else has moved on.

In case you forgot, the original Microsoft Surface was a big-ass, $10,000 table. In 2007, when the original iPhone launched and the race kicked into high gear for dominance in mobile computing, Microsoft decided to go big and impractical. Now let me be clear: the Surface Studio is way more practical than its great grandpappy was, but there still is a wiff of impracticality in it.

Microsoft is going after the high-end, creative segment of the desktop market with the Surface Studio, a segment dominated by Apple. They’re barely making a dent in the mass market with their phones, tablets, and laptops. So now they think they can eat Apple’s lunch and steal away desktop users? It’s possible, but I’m not convinced.

On the other hand, there’s been considerable backlash over the new MacBooks Apple announced, but we’re only a week out. Let’s see where we are this spring. We’ll be seeing new Mac desktops by then too.