How Microsoft's Latest Announcements Underscore Its Bold Ambitions

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-10-07
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - How Microsoft's Latest Announcements Underscore Its Bold Ambitions
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    How Microsoft's Latest Announcements Underscore Its Bold Ambitions

    Microsoft's press event exceeded the expectations of many industry observers. Here's why the tech giant remains a formidable contender worth watching.
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    2 - Microsoft Kicks Off the Show With Some Impressive Data
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    Microsoft Kicks Off the Show With Some Impressive Data

    Microsoft didn't waste time discussing how successful it has been. In fact, the company was quick to point out that Windows 10 is now running on more than 110 million devices worldwide and 1 billion questions have been tossed to Cortana. Better yet for the company, Microsoft's Windows app store has tallied 1.25 billion downloads, and the new Edge browser has already loaded 650 billion Web pages.
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    3 - The Enterprise Is Embracing Windows 10
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    The Enterprise Is Embracing Windows 10

    Part of Microsoft's presentation focused on the enterprise, so it's perhaps no surprise that the company shared some key details about its corporate adoption. For one, 8 million corporate PCs are currently running Windows 10, and the company expects that number to grow considerably in the coming weeks. Microsoft executives made clear that the enterprise is happy with Windows 10 and will only continue to adopt it as time goes on.
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    4 - The Surface Pro 4 Makes a Showing
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    The Surface Pro 4 Makes a Showing

    No surprise here, but Microsoft officially unveiled the Surface Pro 4 at its press event on Oct. 6. The device comes with a 12.3-inch screen and runs on Intel's Core Me3, i5 and i7 processors. The full version of Office is available to users and it, of course, runs on Windows 10. Microsoft was also quick to note that the device comes with nine hours of battery life for corporate users who need an all-day charge.
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    5 - Let's Take a Look at the Lumia 950
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    Let's Take a Look at the Lumia 950

    The Microsoft Lumia 950 is a solid device that Microsoft says offers "high-end features" and a "premium design." The device comes with Windows 10 and offers a 5.2-inch screen. Internally, Microsoft opted for the 1.8GHz hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor and a 20MP camera to keep it toward the top of the pack from that perspective. The Lumia 950 seems like a solid option.
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    6 - Here's the Lumia 950 XL
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    Here's the Lumia 950 XL

    Microsoft also unveiled the Lumia 950 XL, a device that comes with some higher-end features than the Lumia 950. The Lumia 950 XL has a 5.7-inch screen, and like its smaller cousin, a 20MP camera. Like the Lumia 950, the 950 XL has 32GB of on-board storage but is expandable up to 200GB, thanks to a microSD card slot. The Lumia 950 XL also has a slightly higher-end processor, boasting a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810. Look for the Lumia 950 XL to compete with other top-of-the-line smartphones.
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    7 - The Surface Book 2-in-1 Hybrid
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    The Surface Book 2-in-1 Hybrid

    Microsoft's biggest surprise at the press event was the announcement of the new Surface Book, a laptop hybrid that allows users to plug the screen directly into the keyboard. The device works fine as a laptop, but the 13.5-inch screen also detaches to become a tablet. The device includes support for the Surface Pen for stylus-based writing and runs on Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. It even comes with an optional discrete graphics chip.
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    8 - Microsoft Puts Some Pressure on Apple Pencil
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    Microsoft Puts Some Pressure on Apple Pencil

    Microsoft showcased a new Surface Pen that can identify more than 1,000 levels of pressure, adding a new dimension to writing on tablets. In addition, the new Surface Pen comes with a year's charge and feels more like writing on paper than on a tablet screen. One other key feature: an eraser, which Microsoft pointed out, the Apple Pencil lacks.
 

Not to be outdone by Apple or Google, Microsoft on Oct. 6 held a special press event that exceeded the expectations of many industry observers. Initially, many believed that the company would announce just a few smartphones and an updated tablet, but few thought there would be surprises. Microsoft, however, had another plan. Although the company did unveil the new smartphones and the Surface Pro 4, it also showed off its first-ever notebook, the Surface Book. What's more, Microsoft executives touted the success of Windows 10 to date and its welcome reception in the enterprise. In addition, the company announced a hefty price tag on its HoloLens holographic wearable and showcased some improvements to the Xbox One (see this related slide show). The Microsoft event, in other words, did not disappoint. In the coming weeks and months, consumers and enterprise customers might just discover that Microsoft is worth keeping an eye on as it looks to compete with Apple and Google. Read on to learn more about Microsoft's big press event.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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