Microsoft Discusses What Guided Surface Pro 3's Development
The tablet's unconventional size and screen dimensions maximize productivity, according to a new Reddit AMA featuring the Surface team.On May 20, Panos Panay, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Surface division, introduced the Surface Pro 3, a bigger version of the company's x86-based computing slate that runs the full, non-RT version of Windows 8.1. A week later, Panay and his team returned to delve deeper into the factors that guided the tablet's development. In a May 27 Reddit AMA (or ask me anything) session, replying under the SurfaceTeam handle, Panay and his colleagues—pictured here in a tweet during the AMA—revealed some of the factors that the company wrestled with as they decided to release another version of the Surface Pro. The company surprised industry watchers last week when, instead of debuting the highly anticipated Surface Mini, it took the wraps off the 12-inch Surface Pro 3. Microsoft's answer to hot-selling tablets like the iPad Mini and Kindle Fire didn't materialize during the "small gathering" in New York, as the company described the event in its invitation to the press. Why was the ARM-based Surface Mini a no-show? Microsoft responded diplomatically: "Windows on ARM continues to be an important part of the Windows strategy. The Surface 2 (which runs Windows RT) is a great choice for both play and getting work done. Windows on ARM got even better with recent additions, including third-party MDM [mobile device management], workplace join and Outlook, which is preinstalled along with the other Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), with the Windows RT 8.1 update."
On the topic of the Surface Pro 3's unconventional touch-screen, which sports a 3:2 aspect ratio (versus 16:9 or 4:3), Steven Bathiche, director of research in Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group, said that it represents "a perfect balance between productivity and entertainment."