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Microsoft Surface chief: ‘Multiple aspect ratios and sizes’ are in the works

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Panos Panay was actually on the ground once I walked into Microsoft’s Seattle retailer final night time.

The vp accountable for the firm’s Surface tablets was on his again, with a crowd of individuals round him, simulating a reclined place with a Surface 2 on his chest to make a degree about the improved angles of the system’s new dual-position kickstand.

These are the lengths to which Panay and his Microsoft staff are going in an try to win individuals over to their tablets. For greater than an hour final night time, Panay and Home windows {hardware} scientist Stevie Bathiche held courtroom at the Microsoft Retailer in Seattle’s College Village, providing a preview of the Surface 2 and Surface Professional 2 that had been unveiled by the company last week.

The discuss targeted totally on the previously announced details of the tablets, however towards the finish Panay was requested if Microsoft is planning a smaller Surface pill. Microsoft has been extensively reported to be engaged on a “Surface Mini” however the firm hasn’t acknowledged the plans publicly. Panay paused earlier than answering to contemplate his phrases rigorously.

“We have now loads of nice issues that we are eager about and engaged on, and there are a number of aspect ratios and sizes and superior issues to come back from Surface,” he mentioned. “That’s the greatest reply I’ve for you.”

Aside from a smaller measurement, totally different aspect ratios would deal with one in every of the greatest challenges of the current Surface gadgets — the panorama orientation that makes the tablets unwieldy to make use of in portrait mode. Microsoft is enhancing the {hardware} with the Surface 2 and Surface Professional 2, however that horizontal orientation stays the solely selection for now.

Additionally final night time, Panay reiterated that Microsoft shall be popping out with an LTE-enabled model of the Surface 2 early subsequent 12 months, one thing he first mentioned in a Reddit Q&A last week. Panay mentioned he expects the gadgets to be accessible initially on AT&T in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe. Nonetheless, he was clear that there received’t be a model of the Surface Professional 2 with LTE.

Panay targeted most of his remarks final night time on the improved efficiency, apps, options and equipment of the Surface 2, the successor to the Surface RT, which has struggled to compete with Apple’s iPad. Gross sales of the Surface RT fell wanting expectations, forcing the firm to take a $900 million cost towards its earnings.

Microsoft is betting on the revamped Surface 2 to enhance its possibilities in a extremely aggressive market, the place it additionally faces competitors from Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX, Google’s Nexus gadgets, the Samsung Galaxy Tabs and different Android-based tablets. Panay informed the crowd that the second-generation of Microsoft’s ARM-based Surface system represents a big enchancment over the first.

“I exploit the Surface 2 each day. It’s lightning quick, and it comes with Workplace,” he mentioned. “Finally you’ve got a product right here that offers you the full promise of being the best factor you should buy.”

Panay additionally talked about the enhancements in the Intel-based Surface Professional 2, saying that the 75 % enhance in battery life interprets into seven to 10 hours of whole utilization, relying on the way it’s getting used. The present Surface Professional averages round 4 hours.

The group final night time included a number of current Surface homeowners. One in all them informed Panay, “I’ve a Surface Professional and I like it, and I really feel prefer it’s the neatest thing ever. I really feel like the basic populace of America doesn’t agree. How are you making an attempt to repair that?”

“Nicely, I’m right here,” Panay mentioned, speaking about his love for the staff and the Surface merchandise. “I’m a agency believer that if you happen to make nice merchandise, and you like these merchandise, and you imagine in what you’re making, individuals will study to like them, as properly.”

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