Microsoft’s Windows 10 And Surface October Event, As It Happened

Microsoft’s Windows 10 And Surface October Event, As It Happened

In the dark hours of this morning, Microsoft introduced the world to a brand new all-in-one PC called the Surface Studio. It looks incredible. Here’s how that happened.

In a few short hours, Microsoft’s Surface and Windows gurus will take to the stage in New York to introduce new gadgets and software to the world. What will we see? Who knows — but if you want to watch along with us, our live blog is right here.

Here’s How To Watch Tonight’s Microsoft Surface Event

8:00PM: Hullo, folks! Just getting this out of the way early so that you know exactly where to turn your bleary eyes at 1AM AEDT in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. We’ll be up and awake and getting ready to type quickly at around half past midnight, so check in back any time before then. If I’m not awake and posting by then, someone poke me on Twitter.

What do I think we’re going to see tonight? Well, I think we’re going to see an all-in-one Surface desktop PC, with a flexible form factor that’ll make it the closest thing the company will sell you to its massive Surface Hub touchscreen collaboration supercomputer.

It’s also time for new Surface Pro tablets and Surface Book 2-in-1s, to be honest. New processors from Intel, new battery improvements, new Wi-Fi chipsets and high-res displays… it’s around about time for a refresh. I don’t think we’ll see anything around Microsoft Band (may it rest in peace) or the much-rumoured Surface Phone. Surface Phone will be very, very important for Microsoft, but everything I’ve heard around the traps suggests it’s not quite ready for the mainstream yet.

I was talking about this with disgraced former Gizmodo editor Luke Hopewell the other day, actually. Apple has an ecosystem from top to bottom — iPhone, iPad, Mac, iCloud. Google is building one with Pixel, Android, Chrome and Drive, and it’s almost there. Microsoft has Windows, Surface, and Azure (slash OneDrive), but no proper mobile proposition. Yet. Give it time.

P.S — shout out to all my homies in the comments section that say we don’t give Microsoft enough love and that we’re all just massive Apple fanboys. Apple fanboy time is tomorrow, guys, at 4AM. See you then. Tonight is all about the big M. Anyway, I’m back at 12:30AM. Time to get four and a half hours of sleep. See you then!

12:35AM: Ugh, I’m awake. This is the worst. I spent five minutes blearily looking for comfy pants and couldn’t find them. We are pants-free, people. T-minus 25 minutes until the show kicks off.

The live stream is live right now, with some appropriately inspirational music that you can clap along to as you struggle to stay awake.

12:55AM: Microsoft corporate vice presidents Yusuf Mehdi and Panos Panay are both at the event. They’re both big names in Microsoft’s Devices division, which is responsible for devices like the existing Surface family. Five minutes to go!

12:56AM: This music, though. It’s killing me. I went from tired to inspired to alright-let’s-get-it-over-with in the last few minutes. Four minutes to go.

Isn’t it interesting that there hasn’t been an obvious, high-profile leak of anything from this event beforehand? I mean, we’ve heard rumours about the Surface PC and the occasional FTC filing, but that’s not really a leak. Microsoft must have its internal security game locked down tight.

1:00AM: And we’re off and away! It’s time. The live stream is live, and Microsoft’s guys are on the stage. We start with a video… Talking about Windows Narrator and how it helps Windows users and developers with low or no vision, wheelchair avatars in Xbox and accessibility functions throughout the entire Microsoft ecosystem.


1:05AM: Microsoft’s Terry Myerson is on stage. He’s the lead for the Windows and Devices teams within Microsoft. He’s talking how Windows users wear a couple of different hats — “you might be a gym rat and a gamer”. And we need technology that covers the different facets of our life — work and play.


We’re hearing a bit about Pearson Education, a US-based textbook publisher that is using Hololens for students.

“With Windows 10, we began laying the foundation with Windows Ink and the pen.”

“Today we are so humbled by the over 400 million people who are using Windows 10. That’s 600 people every minute, every hour, every day for the last year.”

“Today, I’m so excited to announce the next version of Windows 10 that will ship this coming Spring, for free, to every Windows 10 device.”

1:10AM: It’s called the Windows 10 Creator’s Update. Myerson is going to hit on three points to talk about the Creator’s Update: powering everyone to be a 3D creator, using mixed reality, is first up. We’re used to 2D emails and Web pages, but kids these days live in 3D worlds like Minecraft.


We’re getting a video on the beauty and potential of 3D. I know this song! Isn’t it from Sunshine? Microsoft’s Megan Saunders, from ‘Experiences’, is on stage talking about “a new era of computing” that is for everyone, coming with the Creator’s Update.

1:15AM: Another video on the potential of 3D. It seems like Microsoft is pushing heavily into touch control and smart apps that can mix real-world photos and three-dimensional objects. The kids think 3D is “dynamic”, “mind-blowing”, “intuitive” and “revolutionary”.


Saunders: “We need to make 3D creation as simple as taking a photo or video on your phone.” Now, a very cool demo, using HP’s Elite X3 Windows phone, to capture a 3D representation of a sandcastle.


1:20AM: “Paint is a very special product in the Windows family.” Whoops from the crowd. It sounds like Microsoft is giving Paint a massive makeover in the Creator’s Update with a new product, called Paint 3D.


With the Creator’s Update, Microsoft will let users export their creations from Minecraft and 3D print them from a new Remix website.

This is one hell of a live demo of the Paint 3D app. It looks great! I couldn’t do something like this with millions of people watching me. I can’t even draw anything legible in Paint at the best of times. That 3D image just got shared to Microsoft’s community, and it’s directly viewable from Facebook.


Now we’re getting a demo of 3D objects being integrated into Powerpoint presentations, including animations. It sounds a bit lame and simple, sure, but seeing it in action is a hell of a lot more impressive and interesting than old-school Powerpoint slides.


1:30AM: And now, it’s time for Hololens! First up is how it’s going to change the game for Microsoft’s Edge browser.

Hololens in Edge will be able to see how objects — like stools from interior design store Houzz, for example, will actually look in the real world.

Hololens is being used in Windows itself to show different apps — Movies and TV, Edge, and other apps, and 3D objects themselves, into a virtual world.


There’s an app called HoloTour for the Hololens that makes it possible to visit Rome and Macchu Pichu in virtual or mixed reality, although you’ll obviously need a Hololens to enjoy it…

Here’s how 3D will work throughout the Windows 10 Creator’s Update:

Creator’s Update accessories, starting at $US299, will be available from Microsoft’s partners like Dell and HP. New VR headsets with “six degrees of freedom” sensors will ship from those guys, coming in with targets directly on the Rift and the Vive.

1:40AM: Microsoft’s Terry Myerson is back and we’re talking gaming. eSports is a thing, people have watched 50 billion Minecraft videos, and Windows 10 PCs are the place to watch and play and enjoy games apparently. It’s “your platform for gaming glory”, and we’re getting a run-through from Xbox’s Jen McCoy.

Can I just say, the amount of women from Microsoft up on stage here is great. It’s so nice to hear a diversity of voices talking about tech and gaming.


A service called Beam for streaming video is being integrated directly into the Windows 10 Creator’s Update and coming soon to Xbox One as well. Tap Windows-G for the Game bar and click a button to start broadcasting, and you’re away.

1:45AM: We’re getting a run-down on new gaming features built directly into Windows 10 Creator’s Update, including a tourney mode in the Xbox app that’ll let you throw the gauntlet down to your friends, with cross-platform play between Xbox and PC.


1:50AM: Xbox One S — which gets its own Creator’s Update, natch — is getting a bunch of high-res audio goodies like Dolby Atmos support.

This bit from Myerson is exactly what Microsoft is trying to do — make Windows 10 about people, its users, and not about apps and discrete social networks and so on. Now Microsoft’s Allison O’Mahony is on stage to talk about building community and putting people at the centre of Windows.


Sharing to your contacts looks like it’s getting a significant update in Windows 10 Creator’s Update — want to share a Powerpoint presentation with a friend? Literally pick up the document and drag it onto their avatar in the taskbar, et voila.

Mail and Skype are coming together, SMS relay from Android and Windows phones, to bring your notifications to one place in the Windows 10 desktop — and other apps like Skype for Business will be coming soon.

This is kind of ambitious, we think, but hey — maybe it’s what your Windows desktop will look like in mixed reality one day. Microsoft wants to have the same effect that the Gutenberg printing press had — whoa, guys. That’s a big call.

2:00AM: Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re on to devices! Microsoft’s Panos Panay is on stage to talk new categories of devices — something Microsoft has a pretty good track record of with Surface, Xbox and Hololens.


Great point that Panos just made — in the video that just ran, you see Microsoft’s design team for Surface, building new Surface on Surface.

Panay is super hyped about how Surface has succeeded and broken down walls, especially since Pro 3. I’ve met Panos in person and that enthusiasm is infectious, I can tell you.

Surface Book has the highest user satisfaction of any Windows 10 device, apparently. I love mine! I love the battery life more than anything else, and the keyboard is so real and tactile and useful.

2:10AM: Microsoft has been gettin’ some feedback from gamers on the Surface Book, apparently. They want more frames. I want more frames. Let’s get more frames, guys. Panos?

“We took the Core i7, and then we gave it more.” There’s a new Surface Book i7 with 30 per cent more battery life, and twice the graphics performance of the last Surface Book. 1.9 teraflops of graphics oomph and three times the performance of MacBook Pro.


16 hours of battery life. 16. “Surface Book is pound for pound the most performant laptop on the market.”

Coming out in November, “this is for the people really pushing performance” — and it’ll probably have the price tag to match, sure. But that doesn’t stop me wanting one right now.

2:15AM: “You guys wanna hear about a new product?” PREACH TO ME, PANOS.

“We totally believe that Surface changes the way you produce. It just changes how you operate.”

Welcome to the Surface Studio. A Core i7-powered 28-inch Surface all-in-one PC with Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M graphics, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, a 2TB hybrid drive, and wow.

Holy shit, this is a sexy all-in-one PC.

I want you SO BAD.

It’s a 4500x3000pixel screen, 12.5mm thin, with the thinnest ever LCD ever created. Microsoft genuinely does some amazing things with displays on Surface — Pro 4 is amazing, the Book is even better — and I’m confident the Studio will be the best yet by a long way.

“There is no monitor on the planet like this one.”

Microsoft’s scaling means that as a professional, you can see exactly what you’re getting — an 8×11″ sheet of paper, US standard, is inch-for-inch accurate in Word and shows you what the print itself will look like.

With a 270-Watt power supply integrated for all that oomph, the Surface Studio also has support for Xbox controllers built in — and only one single cable coming out the back.

There’s a linear mic array built into the top of the screen, of course, for you to talk to Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant. A HD camera on the Surface Studio, too, allows for high-def auto-exposure videoconferencing and Windows Hello facial recognition sign-in.

“OK, we’ve done this before.” We’re getting an idea of why Studio exists. It exists to make it easier to create.

2:40AM: Oh, that hinge.. That hinge.

That hinge.

Panay: “It’s a new way to create, a new way to produce. It’s meant to turn your desk into a studio.” The hinge moves from a normal desktop monitor position to a sleek, low, drawing or drafting position for use with a pen.

If you missed this video, watch it again. Watch it now.

2:45AM: There’s a new accessory called the Surface Dial, a touch-sensitive dial, that adds another layer of context on top of the keyboard and mouse and Surface Pen.

Ben from Madefire Studios is on stage talking about Motion Books — the company’s website is down right now, probably overwhelmed by the traffic! Ben is a graphic artist and he’s showing us his workflow on the Studio. I’m always so jealous of anyone with any kind of artistic talent.


As well as the Madefire app, there’s a quick demo of something called Mental Canvas. It’s another app for creators, creators in the professional sense of the world.

The Surface Studio is available for pre-order today for $US2999. We’ll get you Aussie pricing as soon as we can.

3:00AM: Microsoft’s very own Satya Nadella is up on stage, talking about everything that Microsoft and the Windows and Surface teams do so well.

“I believe that the next 10 years will be defined by technology that empowers profound creation.”

“We are the company that stands for the builders, the makers, the creators — that’s who we are.”

“Every choice we make is about finding that balance between consumption and creative expression.”

“I am inspired by what I see in the Minecraft generation, who view themselves not as players of a game but as creators of new worlds.”

“With Surface, we’re creating a new category that transforms your desk into a studio.”

“What you also saw today was the birth of a new medium — a future where we can move from two-dimensional constructs to 3D. From 3D to holograms. From holograms to mixed reality.”

“I want to go back to where we started this morning. Ultimately, technology is just a tool in the hands of humanity. A tool that helps amplify our creativity. It is up to the creators to seize the moment and bring technology to life.”

3:05AM: And, that’s it, guys! Whoa. What have we seen today? New, huge updates to Windows coming with the Creators Update. A new more powerful Surface Book. And the incredible Surface Studio and its Surface Dial accessory. Colour me impressed.

Thanks for watching and reading along with me! Now go to bed. I’m going to be up for a little bit just lusting over that Surface Studio…