Microsoft Unveils Surface Pro 4, Surface Book Two-in-One Laptop

Today's topics include the debut of new Microsoft devices, Apple buys AI startup Perceptio, AT&T brings Juniper aboard its SDN project, and Cisco reveals IoT packages aimed at specific industries.

Yesterday morning Microsoft hosted a media event in NYC to unveil a new Windows 10 hardware lineup, including a new high-end Surface tablet and the company's first laptop.

According to Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group Terry Myerson, in just three years, Surface has grown from a zero-dollar business for Microsoft to over three-and-a-half billion dollars a year.

To keep the momentum going, the company unveiled the thinner and lighter Surface Pro 4 with a slightly larger screen and a two-in-one laptop called the Surface Book.

Apple continues to be on an acquisition spree, this time buying Perceptio, an artificial intelligence startup that works on ideas that could be integrated into future iPhones.

According to an Oct. 5 story by Bloomberg, Perceptio's technology focuses on creating image classification systems for smartphones that aren't connected to large external databases. Essentially that means that the technology would potentially help users more easily organize and store photos on their iPhones, making them easier to find and use.

Juniper officials announced Oct. 5 that AT&T will use Juniper's Contrail software-defined networking (SDN) controller as part of the AT&T Integrated Cloud (AIC) environment.

According to Juniper, AT&T will use Contrail to help automate and virtualize the network, enabling it to scale as needed and to more quickly spin out new services to its customers.

Officials with the networking company said Juniper's open approach to Contrail will help AT&T more quickly include new capabilities into its network, reduce development time and cut costs.

The Internet of things was a focus of Cisco Systems' media event on Oct. 5, with new CEO Chuck Robbins calling it "bigger than the first wave of the Internet."

The giant networking vendor is planning to expand its presence in the IoT, which Cisco officials have said will grow rapidly to include more than 50 billion connected devices worldwide by 2020, and as many as 500 billion after that. Network IP traffic will triple over time.

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