Tag Archives: Surface

Golf pro breaks down barriers to becoming a golfer with Microsoft Technologies

When I was a kid, I developed a huge interest in golf. I was a good athlete who could play all traditional sports well but golf was different. I quickly developed a passion for the game and had a strong work ethic, but like many people, I found golf to be an elusive riddle. Despite non-stop practice, my progress was not as fast as I hoped it to be. I knew that if I wanted to get better, I needed detailed feedback on my game. After a few years of trying to play professionally, I discovered that I spent more time helping others to play better and that my skill was to teach people how to improve their golf game. I earned my PGA of America membership and began to focus on ways to teach more efficiently and with better feedback using technology. Eventually, I opened the Gregg Rogers’ Golf Performance Centers which focuses on the latest golf teaching technologies to give aspiring and advanced golfers more personalized and effective instruction to help them become better golfers.

As an early adopter of technology, I’ve long relied on tech to help me run and grow nearly every aspect of my business. Everyone from our golf instructors to club fitters use Windows 10 Pro powered devices and Office 365 to schedule lessons and develop custom orders, as well as analyze costs and revenue.

With Windows 10 and the Microsoft cloud, we can collaborate, stay in touch with our clients and secure our business information. I’m always looking for new ways to grow my business and know technology can not only help our students improve but also change the perception that golf is too difficult to learn.

As a golf instructor, I use advanced tracking technologies to analyze swings and movement which allows me to pinpoint exactly what needs to be focused on to improve performance. Technology simplifies the learning process and makes improving fun. One of the challenges is many of my students have trouble remembering the lesson when they get to the golf course and may become frustrated. And, tracking their progress is something that is also difficult without the supporting data. As a teacher, I know that feedback and practice is key to improving, and with the right data, video content and a supportive coach, we can make it easier for people to learn golf and have more fun. I turned to Microsoft and the app-development firm Taqtile, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to create a Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) training app and student portal that takes golf instruction to a level not used before.  We created “The Gregg Rogers Golf Performance” solution in less than four months.  The solution empowers our instructors to not only provide deeper analysis and more personalized recommendations, but also places the data at our students’ fingertips so they can improve and track their progress every time they practice — with or without their instructor.

To use the app, our students hit shots in our controlled, indoor, simulated golf environment at one of my performance centers. The app integrates with these high definition golf simulators that use Doppler radar, ultrasound and high-speed video to record data from the shot such as body mechanics, club-head speed and swing angle. In fact, we capture over 26 pieces of data from each swing. The simulators instantly calculate where the ball will go, analyze the swing, and capture the data and video images. Our instructor and the student then use Windows 10 powered devices including Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Book devices at the swing bay to provide immediate replay and feedback. Our students often pick up 10 to 15 yards of distance and significantly improve accuracy and consistency within just a few lessons. The impact of the Golf Performance app has been dramatic as our students can now see exactly what their instructor is trying to teach them anywhere they go or practice. This has not only eased potential frustration for golfers, but also improved comprehension, progress and fun!

What I’m really excited about is how our instructors can also annotate and add voiceover recommendations to the recording, and then upload it to our student portal hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Through the power of the Microsoft cloud, our students can access all the data and images anytime from any computer or mobile device – during a lesson, on the golf course, at home or even while traveling. Over time the app can provide comparative analyses to show where students are improving and where they need more work, so our instructor can create customized lessons. Overall, we’ve been able to eliminate trial and error and make a bigger impact on our students’ golf game, leading to greater enjoyment whether at the driving range or golf course. Because we are now able to track their improvement, our student retention and referrals have also increased by double digits as they frequently share their progress with friends.

At the Gregg Rogers Golf Performance Centers, an instructor uses “The Gregg Rogers Golf Performance” Windows 10 UWP training app on his Surface Pro device to record and provide immediate feedback on a student’s body mechanics, club-head speed and swing angle.

At the Gregg Rogers Golf Performance Centers, an instructor uses “The Gregg Rogers Golf Performance” Windows 10 UWP training app on his Surface Pro device to record and provide immediate feedback on a student’s body mechanics, club-head speed and swing angle.

Ultimately, we’re not a technology company. We’re a golf improvement facility and small business that happens to specialize in helping people achieve their desired potential and have fun. Microsoft provides the technology that we use to help our customers have more fun on the golf course – and take our business to the next level. If you want to check out more detailed information on how we’re not only using Microsoft technologies to help our students improve but also take our business to the next tee, please check out the case study here.

You can also follow me at @greggrogersgolf or learn more at www.grgolfperformance.com.

Surface Hub announces customer subscription, deployment options and application innovation

Today, ISE 2017, the largest AV and integrated systems conference in the world, kicks off in Amsterdam. The Surface Hub team is pleased to share exciting news from our partners and customers on the eve of ISE.

In December, we shared details on the momentum and adoption Surface Hub is seeing in the workplace. By the end of 2016, nine months since our launch, we shipped Surface Hubs to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets. We’ve seen single orders as small as one unit and as large as 1,500 units. The demand for Surface Hub has been incredible, leading us to introduce new ways for our partners and customers and application developers to take advantage of everything that Surface Hub has to offer. From new service offerings, to new procurement methods and an ever-growing application ecosystem, here’s how Surface Hub is gearing up to have another incredible year in 2017:

Announcing New Subscription, Deployment Options

Following the success of Surface as a Service, we’re introducing a similar way to help customers procure Surface Hub. I’m happy to announce we will now offer Surface Hub via a subscription-based model, including initial investment and configuration costs. Recent research from IDC shows that businesses have a clear appetite for this type of subscription model. With 73 percent of respondents expecting to move to subscription-based IT procurement over the next three years.

Additionally, we’re happy to formally launch the Surface Hub Value Added Distributors Program for Opportunity Resellers (VAD-OR). The Surface Hub VAD-OR Program allows select Surface Hub distributors to deliver the same quality services to Opportunity Resellers without the typical requirements for building a long-term transactional business.

We are very pleased to see that our channel partners are innovating with us to bring these propositions to market. The first partner to offer Surface Hub as a Service and the VAD-OR programs to its customers in the U.K. and other markets soon is our great partner, Maverick.

This service is a real channel game changer for the collaboration market. Many companies offer various forms of leasing; our process will be far more sophisticated and accessible. We will be kicking off this service in partnership with Microsoft this year on a country by country basis to offer Surface Hub as a Service. This will enable resellers to access a subscription model then only have the Hub in place for as long as they need. The successful implementation of this type of program will create a far quicker sales cycle with more sophisticated solutions.

— Jon Sidwick, VP of Maverick Europe

ALSO, who was one of our first partners to offer Surface as a Service, will also be offering the Surface Hub VAD-OR program.

Microsoft Surface Hub is a perfect solution for ALSO’s strategy to foster its position as a value added solution provider. Partners are offered numerous complementary services from ALSO like logistics, trainings, installations, network integration or financial services to fulfill their customer needs. This solution presents the perfect opportunity for our resellers to win big projects without jeopardizing their liquidity and be a full solution provider for their customers.

— Philipp Grüter, European Partner Manager, ALSO

Surface Hub Try & Buy Program

In addition to Surface Hub as a Service and the VAD-OR programs, I am proud to also announce the Surface Hub Try & Buy Program. Beginning February 15th, resellers across the U.S., U.K., Europe and Asia will provide their customers with Hubs for 30 days before requiring a commitment to purchase a larger set of devices. We know once customers try Surface Hub they will love it.

We are excited to announce that the following partners have already confirmed their commitment to participate in the Try & Buy program:

Europe & Asia

U.K.

U.S. & Canada

Partners like AVI-SPL, a global supplier and certified partner for Surface Hub, make programs like these possible.

AVI-SPL views Microsoft as a critical component to the evolving advanced collaboration needs of the enterprise community and digital workplace and workforce of the future. Since AVI-SPL’s partnership with Microsoft began to accelerate with the introduction of Surface Hub technology design, install, and support services – our practice continues to rapidly evolve and grow as we provide clients with essential professional and advanced services around their Microsoft needs, including Office 365, Skype for Business, licensing, deployments, and migrations.

— Joe Laezza, Senior VP of Unified Communications and Collaboration, AVI-SPL

Expanding App Ecosystem

Surface Hub can run any Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app, and provides an unparalleled opportunity for large-screen pen and touch interactions that can transform business processes and foster new ways of collaboration across teams. Today, over 20 industry-leading application developers have designed specific experiences for Surface Hub. These apps include robust collaboration applications as well as industry-specific apps for healthcare, education, manufacturing, design and construction. One of those great app partners is Bullclip:

Our design and construction customers rely on being able to communicate and collaborate on complex drawings and documents, no matter where they are in the world. The Surface Hub unlocks incredible opportunities in this way. On-site Bullclip users can collaborate with-real time ink on drawings between the Hub and other devices, and the Hub’s high-fidelity and pressure sensitive screen makes the experience just like using pen and paper. The Surface Hub is a perfect companion to Bullclip and Drawboard. The days of printing A0 sheets are gone.

— Nathan Field, Head of Marketing, Drawboard

Another amazing innovation designed specifically for Surface Hub is from Stormboard, who has just released a new 2-way collaborative whiteboard feature. Stormboard users could always collaborate in real-time, but the sketching component was limited to one user at one time. Today’s release lets unlimited users in unlimited locations on any device draw together to help turn their ideas into action.

The Microsoft Surface Hub is a fantastic device for boardroom collaboration. Our customers tell us their favorite way to use Stormboard is on the Surface Hub. The new multi-user white-boarding lets visual thinkers easily capture their ideas in a real-time shared space instantly in the same room or around the world.

— Reg Cheramy, CEO of Stormboard

We are committed to working with our customers to make sure as many customers as possible can utilize the best Surface Hub has to offer. By bringing options like the Surface Hub as a Service, Try & Buy and Opportunity Resellers Program to market, our customers now have multiple options to experience and implement the Surface Hub technology within their organization and bring them one step closer to achieving total Digital Transformation.

As you can see, we’re very excited about the momentum that new programs like these drive with Surface Hub. If you’re a partner or customer that is interested in finding out more about what Surface Hub has to offer, check out more information here.

Surface Multi-National Purchasing Program expands to Europe

Last July, as a part of the Surface Enterprise Initiative, we announced a new Surface Multi-National Purchasing Program with four resellers – CDW, Insight, SHI and Zones. Our goal was to provide enterprise customers a more streamlined path for getting Surface on company-wide standards lists and for cross-country adoption for line of business scenarios.

The growth of the program has been astounding. In just over six months, we’ve seen 10x growth in the number of units we’re shipping to customers via the program in the US. It’s also helped our partners better service their customers:

“Zones has been incredible to work with on getting us globally set up on the Microsoft Surface. The speed and efficiency in enabling us on our pricing globally has made it easy for us to standardize all of our new hires on the Surface Book and Pro 4. Zones makes it even better with being able to order it via their global portal so any of my employees can order the Surface no matter where they are in the world.”

— Steve Juanario, Palo Alto Networks

However, up until today we’ve primarily served US-headquartered companies. Today, I’m happy to announce the expansion of the program with three new partners in Europe: ATEA, Bechtle and Computacenter. This will enable us to provide the same streamlined path for companies throughout the region to procure Surface devices and accessories. In addition, we plan to roll this out in our Asia and Pacific region (APAC) very soon.

Customers with European-based headquarters can benefit from this program by contacting their Microsoft Account Executives.

Thanks,
Calin

Why PhD student Soon Flynn loves his Surface Pro 4

“My Surface is the only means I have to express myself outside of my head to the physical world – seriously; it makes such a big difference to my life and my studies.  As a person with Autism it’s an imperative tool to communicate with others.” – Soon Flynn, Ph.D. student studying Biology at Arizona State University.

Working in Kathleen Pigg’s Ph.D. Lab, Soon is blowing up a photo to examine the smaller details such as venation and margins on the acer samaras fossil then adding it to his PDF presentation for National Fossil Day in Republic Washington.  

Working in Kathleen Pigg’s Ph.D. Lab, Soon is blowing up a photo to examine the smaller details such as venation and margins on the acer samaras fossil then adding it to his PDF presentation for National Fossil Day in Republic Washington.

Soon got his Surface Pro 4 when he joined ASU as a doctoral student and he knew exactly why he wanted one.

“The size, portability and picture quality is perfect! Just the right amount of space to work on what I need with the portability of a tablet. I needed it to handle Adobe Photoshop on the side in addition to my assistive technology such as ZoomText and Jaws. I needed a computer that could handle computing and match my active lifestyle without weighing too much or decelerating me”.

Soon is a very determined student with a bubbly personality and a positive outlook on life, something that is both surprising and inspiring when you get to know more about his background. Soon grew up near Boston, Massachusetts, and experienced a tough childhood through both his adoption from Korea and his time at school where he battled multiple illnesses and poverty. But Soon stayed true to his passion for biology – all stemming from his love for trees when he was a child, often wondering how they grew and what their history was (every tree has a story!). Having started as an undergrad at ASU for two years, Soon skipped his M.A. and went straight to a PhD program – looking at fossils of the Acer family (Maple trees) where there could be a new undescribed species.

Having started as an undergrad at ASU for two years, Soon skipped his M.A. and went straight to a PhD program – looking at fossils of the Acer family (Maple trees) where there could be a new undescribed species.

The power and touch capabilities of a Surface Pro 4 enables Soon to use programs like Abode Photoshop, LightRoom, Acrobat Pro and Microsoft Office to do his graduate studies – “lots of writing and looking at photos, using the pen to take notes on lecture slides, comparing small intricate details in fossils where a good screen size is imperative.” Photoshop is truly handy when altering specimen photos to make posters, fix photos for articles or to simply zoom in further to get more detail or mirror the image. “I could never get Photoshop to work well enough on my old computer,” he says.

Gossypium barbadense Pima cotton boll. Showing extensive damage done by the Pink boll worm Pectinophora gossypiella. Here I am cleaning up my photo, adjusting the light exposure and adding text with a measure bar.  This photo will be used by the USDA at an Entomology conference. 

Gossypium barbadense Pima cotton boll. Showing extensive damage done by the Pink boll worm Pectinophora gossypiella. Here I am cleaning up my photo, adjusting the light exposure and adding text with a measure bar.  This photo will be used by the USDA at an Entomology conference.

Outside of Soon’s everyday studies, he uses his Surface to do presentations and helps tutor middle school students in math and science. After he finishes his Ph.D. program, Soon plans to take a well-deserved break and hike the Appalachian Mountains trail with his twin brother for the second time.

Soon really appreciates how much his Surface Pro 4 has helped his studies. The power, versatility and portability of a Surface is something he struggled to find in an alternative laptop.

“Without the Surface Pro 4 my life is at a standstill.  It touches the very corner of what I do, how I’m immersed in my academic life and communicating with the world around me.”

Why gaming benchmarker Josh Heslop loves Surface

Why gaming benchmarker Josh Heslop loves Surface

When I first spoke to Josh Heslop, he painted a picture of the night of Surface Pro 4’s release: he was the first customer in line at the Microsoft Store at Baybrook Mall in Friendswood, TX, eager to get his hands on the new device and see what kind of gaming muscle lay underneath the magnesium case. And it didn’t take him long to find out – after collecting his Surface Pro 4 and swag bag, he headed home and posted his first Surface benchmarking video showing DOTA 2 running smoothly on the same day the device was released.

Since then, Josh has fallen in love with Surface and with the Surface gaming community. After uploading a few more benchmarking videos to his YouTube channel, Josh decided to take his involvement to the next level, becoming an active participant and moderator of the /r/SurfaceGaming subreddit. In the year since that first DOTA 2 video, Josh has posted over 100 additional gaming benchmarking videos on Surface to prove what the devices can do.

Because Josh works his day job as a police officer, he loves being able to treat gaming on his Surface as a fun de-stresser and a way to stay in touch with friends and family. Whether it’s kicking back with his pals in a game of Rocket League at a smooth 50 FPS, or pushing performance to the envelope to see what FPS and resolution he can get out of a AAA title like GTA V, Josh has found his i7 Surface Pro 4 to be a surprisingly capable gaming device across the board.

When we saw how excited he was to benchmark and share his Surface Pro 4 gaming experience with others, we partnered with Josh to have him help us evaluate the gaming performance of the new Surface Book with Performance Base. He’s already started putting the powerful 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M graphics processor through its paces, with 25 popular games benchmarked so far over on his YouTube channel – go check out Josh test graphically intense games like The Witcher 3 and Battlefield 1 right alongside popular competitive multiplayer titles like Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and World of Warcraft.

Why gaming benchmarker Josh Heslop loves Surface

I caught up with Josh about a few of his favorite gamer-friendly features and tips from both of his Surface devices:

  1. Surfaces are LIGHT! When I’m gaming on the go, it’s easy to pick up a Surface and bring it along with me. Whether I’m fitting in a game on my lunch break or my wife and kids have taken over my desktop gaming PC at home and I want to play from the bedroom, I love being able to whip out my Surface and pick up right where I left off. Having a USB port for a mouse or Xbox One controller can really come in handy on both the Surface Pro 4 and Book.
  2. Surface has options and customization to fit whatever type of gamer you might be. When I bought my Surface Pro 4, I wanted a super mobile device to run a few popular titles but was okay making some compromises on settings and resolution. If you want to play more games including some AAAs or want a full laptop to sit down with, Surface Book with Performance Base might be a better fit.
  3. There are always ways to make your own gaming experience better. The Surface Book with Performance Base has a super high 3000 x 2000 native resolution, which looks amazing but can affect performance for graphically intense games. I use a custom resolution of ~1500 x 1000 in many titles so both the picture and play experience are great, and have optimized my power settings to help get that extra ounce of performance out of the dGPU. Check out my YouTube video for a few tips on optimizing your Surface device for gaming.

Thanks again to Josh for his dedication to building out these resources for the Surface gaming community. And this is just the tip of the iceberg – with amazing built-in features like the Game Bar, gaming on Windows 10 is a natural and seamless experience. Check out a few cool tips on how to easily use the Game Bar to record and share your gameplay, or head over to Surface.com if you want to learn more about Surface and what our devices can do!

Silicon Valley startup innovates using Surface Book

“He walks off the plane from Tokyo at 3 a.m. and joins my call with Toronto at 5 a.m.,” remarked David Sidhu, VP of customer success at Litmus Automation. David was describing the incredible work ethic of Co-founder and CEO Vatsal Shah, the man behind the rapid growth and development for his Silicon Valley startup, launched in 2014. In three short years, Vatsal has built an incredible team of software engineers, from “a few guys in a room” to a bustling HQ in San Jose and satellite offices in Tokyo and Toronto.

Litmus Automation is leading the revolution for “connected things,” IOT for some of the largest manufacturing companies in the world. Renault, Nissan, Texas Instruments and Dell are just a few to leverage products Loop and Loop Edge, a secure cloud based on premise middleware platform to deliver rapid solutions for connected car and manufacturing scenarios. Companies who need to drive insights from IOT but don’t want to build an infrastructure from scratch are turning to Litmus Automation.

Silicon Valley startup innovates using Surface Book

Vatsal cleared his calendar for a day to spend some time with me discussing the decision to launch Litmus Automation. I wanted to understand the methods, tools, team development and deployment of technologies like Surface that helped to grow Loop and Loop Edge, two “internet of things” software products that offer connectivity, management and application integration for thousands of disparate parts at industrial manufacturing behemoths like Nissan, Renault and Intel.

Silicon Valley startup innovates using Surface Book

As we explored the ethos that supports their innovation and product development, Vatsal shared his enthusiasm to truly surprise and delight his customers, delivering the highest level of satisfaction by consistently creating the best quality products. “Better tools deliver better products, and Surface is the perfect combination of Hardware and Software,” said Vatsal. “My first computer was a Windows computer and my the last computer we purchased was a Surface Book.” He described the need for a versatile device that empowered his workflow from long haul flights to sending sketched diagrams and updates while discussing new connectivity and implementation while on-site with new clients. Surface provides the combination of touch and incredible ink quality with an extended battery life, and the ability to use as a powerful tablet without sacrificing access to powerful applications. His executive and development team alike frequently run simultaneous programs such as sketch, Skype for Business, OneNote and Power BI while reviewing code in Visual Studio Code with Docker, and Xamarin which compiles for both Android and iOS.

Silicon Valley startup innovates using Surface Book

With Surface Book, Vatsal uses the pen every day to sketch ideas in OneNote and Sketch, replacing analog whiteboards and saving thousands on printing costs. This has allowed him to get thoughts and diagrams out rapidly and more securely store and share at any hour of the day.

Silicon Valley startup innovates using Surface Book

At the end of our day together, we joked that while Vatsal didn’t achieve his one-time goal of employing 27 people by the age of 27, he’s well on his way to employing over 100 by the age of 30. I’ve no doubt he’ll achieve that and much more.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – for Surface!

Our team gets so excited about meeting new Surface users and hearing their feedback, and we get to meet a lot more this holiday season! From Surface Pro, to Surface Book, to Surface Studio, to Surface Hub, we’re having our best holiday ever.

Surface family of devices including Surface Studio, Surface Book and Surface Pro 4

In October, the unveiling of Surface Studio and Surface Dial captured people’s imagination with a completely new way to create at your desk. The announcement of Surface Book with Performance Base took the laptop with industry-leading customer satisfaction and made it even better by adding twice the graphics power and 30% more battery.

Surface Dial shown on screen of Surface Studio

November was our best month ever for consumer Surface sales. The Best Buy-exclusive Surface bundle sold out on the first day. The momentum was seen worldwide. In the UK, we had the best single week for Surface ever and in Germany the Surface Pen became the best seller in PC Accessories on Amazon.com for over 12 hours.

Surface Studio is shipping and people love it.

The excitement for Surface Studio is clear – evidenced by the 10+ million people that have viewed our launch video and the hundreds of thousands who watched the excitement of a fun unboxing of a Surface Studio. But what makes me excited is seeing how people are using, and loving their Surface Studios. Digital artists, to architects, to executives are using this beautiful PC to get things done and be their most creative.

More people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before. Our trade-in program for MacBooks was our best ever, and the combination of excitement for the innovation of Surface coupled with the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro – especially among professionals – is leading more and more people to make the switch to Surface, like this. It seems like a new review recommending Surface over MacBook comes out daily. This makes our team so proud, because it means we’re doing good work.

Surface Book with Performance Base is now available in Australia and New Zealand.

More markets for Surface Book with Performance Base: Coming off strong momentum in the US and Canada, Surface Book with Performance Base is now available in Australia and New Zealand, and we’re excited to announce we will make it available in more markets. Starting early next quarter, Surface Book with Performance Base will go on sale in Austria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland and the UK.

Surface Hub is also gaining momentum as it continues to change how organizations collaborate and create. To add to our already-stellar momentum, we’re excited to share more details about the ways Surface Hub is helping teams in the workplace be more productive. Check it out:

By the end of 2016, nine months since our launch, we will have shipped Surface Hubs to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets.

The demand we are seeing with Surface Hub far exceeds our expectations, even though we knew it was a game-changing product. By the end of 2016, nine months since our launch, we will have shipped Surface Hubs to over 2,000 customers in 24 markets. The average deal size we see in the pipeline is approximately 50 units, but we’ve seen orders as large as 1,500 units to a large car manufacturer. This makes our team so, so proud.*

We’ve ramped up Surface Hub production and it’s available for customers worldwide. Resellers worldwide have units. To help meet the demand for Surface Hub, and to provide a great experience for customers, we’re adding more value-added partners who will resell Surface and provide 5-star service to our customers.

We’re introducing a Surface Hub Try-and-Buy Program.

We’re introducing a Surface Hub Try-and-Buy Program: We will enable a select set of our resellers to provide customers Hubs for 30 days before the committing to purchasing a large set of devices. This will launch in US and European Surface Hub markets this winter, and in Asia pacific at a later date. We have the data to show that this is a winner program, because people and businesses that use Surface Hub are amazed by it – and really want their business to use Surface Hub.

Microsoft Surface Hub

We’ve added new Surface Hub features and programs. In a February 2016 study, Forrester estimated that the ROI of integrating a Surface Hub into an organization was 138%. They measured meeting time saved per meeting to be 15 – 23 minutes and sales as a result of the Surface Hub were up 20% with a payback period is nine months. We believe our momentum in just nine months proves the study correct, and we’ve added some features that our customers have asked for most upgrade executive offices and conferences rooms around the world – with the power of a software-driven product:

  • Inking support across Word, Excel and PowerPoint. People are loving using Pen on Surface Hub, now we let them do it in the most used Office apps!
  • Support for simultaneous Pen and Touch. People, especially people that have used Surfaces, expect these things to work together. They do now!
  • Save & recall Whiteboards directly through OneDrive. If we do important work together, let’s make sure we can save it and share it!
  • Support for 3rd-party peripherals like BiAmp TesireForte CI, Jabra 810, Logitech Group, Logitech PTZ Pro and Polycom CX5100. We have amazing cameras and audio equipment people want to use in their conference rooms and exec offices. We now have more they can use!
  • Preloading PowerBI, OneDrive, and Photos apps. Every Surface Hub user should be able to analyze data better, get to their files, and go through the teams’ images.

As you can see, we’re so proud of the momentum and progress we are making with our Surface line-up. We’re learning a ton from Surface and Surface Hub customers and have an amazing team of hardware and software engineers dedicated to continually improving our products. You should expect the best and we expect to give you the best, today and tomorrow. We will continue to create new experiences for you that will change the way you create, collaborate and have an impact on your world in 2017, and beyond. Thanks for making it a great holiday season!

 Brian

*12/12/16: This blog post was updated to clarify Surface Hub demand data. 

Surface Pro 4 is landscape designer Brian Shernce’s perfect companion

For more than half of his waking hours, landscape designer Brian Shernce is on the road or at a construction site.  He recently started using a Surface Pro 4 so that he could handle the full gamut of his office work even while on the go.

“Whereas before if I needed to do any real computing work, I’d wait to get back to my desk – which often caused the work to snowball – now I can work from anywhere.”  The “now” is after purchasing a Surface Pro 4.

Surface Pro 4 is landscape designer Brian Shernce’s perfect companion

Brian got his Surface after determining that his iPad Pro simply couldn’t provide the depth and breadth of functionality he needed.  An “Apple guy” with a small collection of Macs and iPads, Brian was hopeful he could find a way to use an iPad Pro for his work. He needed a device that could handle some “heavy lifting” tasks like landscape design plans that require a lot of computing power, and he found the iPad was not well suited for that intensity. Even after doing online research, tutorials and a one-on-one training in the hopes that he could run his business on an iPad Pro, the end result was a trip to Microsoft Store to buy a Surface.

Surface Pro 4 is landscape designer Brian Shernce’s perfect companion

He notes with surprise that the switch from the Apple to the Microsoft ecosystem was painless, despite his longstanding history with iOS. Since much of his work is in the cloud, he was simply able to unbox the Surface, sync his Surface Pen, get online and start manipulating the same files he used to grapple with on his iPad Pro.  He has now purchased two Surface Pro 4s, providing one to his production manager so they can quickly markup documents like AutoCAD PDFs and project estimates with the Surface Pen, work on budgets together in Excel and even run renders to design exquisite outdoor spaces for their clients.  All of these are possible wherever work takes him thanks to Surface Pro 4’s impressive power and small size.

“I’m amazed at its functionality, and I’m using it more and more because it’s replacing both my previous tablet and my MacBook,” Brian says of his Pro 4.

The real sell for him came when he took the device to the office for the first time.  “I was trying to land a very large job and, after meeting with the landscape architect, he emailed an AutoCAD plan for my team to review.  He wanted our proposal for the job and was looking for input on a lot of items – and of course it was time sensitive.  Normally we would have printed the large plan, had our production manager mark it up on paper, and then photograph or scan it back into a computer to begin the line-item budgeting. Instead, we used the Surface for the whole process; from the Drawboard markup to budgeting for the estimate. We turned the plan around really quickly and got the job!”

Surface Pro 4 is landscape designer Brian Shernce’s perfect companion

Brian chose his Pro 4 specifically because of its portability. He likes that he’s able to use the device as a tablet for annotations – or for non-work things like reading the news and catching up on sports – but then also attach the keyboard for more serious tasks.

“I really do love this device,” he tells me, the smile in his voice. “I’m using it like crazy.”

The next generation of makers: UW Formula Motorsports Team

In celebration of Computer Science week, we wanted to highlight a group of student engineers using Surface and their engineering chops to build a Formula 1 style race car. Check out the video below to hear about the challenges they face and the competitive advantage Surface Book and Surface Pen bring to the team.

Make sure to check out more amazing things being done on Surface over at Created on Surface and please give us a shout on Twitter via @Surface with your #CreatedOnSurface activities!

Made with Unity, Coded on Surface – The Story of Contingent 99

Over the next few months, we will feature game creators who are making games using the Unity game development platform. We’ve partnered with the Made with Unity program to showcase some of the amazing, talented game developers out there and how they use Surface to make their games come to life.

At Surface, we believe that people’s ideas are their most valuable asset. We strive to make products that break new ground and let people work in ways not previously possible. Whether it’s Surface Studio, Surface Book or Surface Pro 4, we feel that Surface brings a unique value proposition to game creators by combining the amazing performance of a full PC with the versatility of professional digital inking into a single, meticulously crafted device. For Bundy and Dahoon, who need to code and design artwork while moving from home to their co-located office space to events, the uncompromising mobility of the Surface Pro 4 was what made it their device of choice to make Wizard of Legend come to life. This is the story of Contingent99.

Made with Unity, Coded on Surface – The Story of Contingent 99

Galileo: Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourselves and how you know each other?

Bundy: Hi, I’m Bundy Kim and I’m a programmer and the artist for Contingent99.

Dahoon: Hi, I’m Dahoon Lee and I’m a programmer at Contingent99.

Bundy: Contingent99 is made up of the two of us, Bundy and Dahoon. We’re two high school friends that have probably played an irresponsible amount of games together over the years. We both have engineering backgrounds and hold degrees in Computer Science, and though we’ve done a lot of coding related work in the past, this is our first journey into game development. As it’s just the two of us on the team, we both wear a ton of different hats, filling in wherever necessary. But on a day to day basis, Bundy usually draws the artwork while Dahoon designs the game concepts. Once we discuss the design and come to an agreement, we both work to implement it into the game.

Galileo: How was Contigent99 formed?

Bundy: Dahoon was finishing up his Computer Science degree and Bundy had just quit his job at a local internet startup. The timing just happened to match up where we were looking for something new to pursue. Both of us dreamed of creating a game when we were younger and we figured if we don’t do it now, it might never happen when we’re older.

Made with Unity, Coded on Surface – The Story of Contingent 99

Galileo: How did the idea for Wizard of Legend come about?

Bundy: Although we had made the decision to get into game development, we weren’t sure where to start. After some discussion, we decided to try working in Unity and spent a couple of months prototyping game ideas and concepts in order to get a feel for what we’d like to make. At the beginning of each week, we met up to choose a theme or genre that we were interested in exploring. We then individually worked on a very rough prototype of a game that revolved around the central theme and reviewed the games at the end of the week. A few prototypes and many Unity tutorials later, we landed on an action adventure game that evolved over time into Wizard of Legend.

Galileo: What’s your work setup like?

Bundy: As we’re just a small two-person indie team, we don’t require much other than a couple of desks and a quiet place to work. As such, we’re currently working out of a co-working space in Los Angeles. We mainly work off a Surface Pro 4 or a laptop connected to a second monitor. Also, as Wizard of Legend is best played with a gamepad, we play test the game with both Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers. On a day to day basis, we use Unity, Photoshop, and our text editors of choice. We occasionally use Fraps and Premiere for capturing or editing footage of the game.

Made with Unity, Coded on Surface – The Story of Contingent 99

Galileo: So why did you, Bundy, choose a Surface Pro 4 as your main device?

Bundy: My old laptop was having some difficulty running Unity and I was in the market for a new lightweight portable device. I remembered the multiple write-ups that Gabe from Penny Arcade posted of the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface Book praising the devices. As I’d been drawing all of the artwork for Wizard of Legend, it seemed like the Surface would be perfect both for creating artwork as well as for coding. It was also clear from his follow up posts that the team at Microsoft was very dedicated to supporting the Surface line and they took a lot of his feedback to heart, implemented multiple improvements and fixes over time. They even invited him over to the Microsoft offices to discuss ways to improve the experience.

As a result, I ended up picking up the Surface Pro 4 and working with the device has been a great experience. Getting our game up and running in Unity and working in Photoshop went smoothly. The stylus is great for getting artwork done in Photoshop, even if we’re doing pixel art. The device is also portable enough so that I don’t mind carrying it to the office every day.

Galileo: And why did you choose Unity?

Bundy: We looked at a variety of game engines and Unity seemed to offer the best 2D support while maintaining very good cross platform compatibility. After using the Unity engine during our prototyping period, we didn’t see any reason to switch over to another engine as it had all the features we were looking for. We started development of Wizard of Legend on Unity 4.x and since then with the release of Unity 5, we’ve seen a lot of improvements and are excited about the new features they plan to release in the future.

Galileo: How and why did you get involved in the Made with Unity program?

Bundy: Being game developers who use Unity every day, we saw the opportunity to be part of the Made with Unity program on their social media channels and jumped on the chance. We rarely get a chance to show off our game to the public and get live feedback, so we felt it would be really good experience.

I want to thank Bundy and Dahoon for taking the time to share with us their story. Make sure to check out their game Wizard of Legend and wish them success on their venture. If you happen to be creating a game on your Surface, give us a shout on Twitter via @Surface. Lastly, check out the Made with Unity program and all the awesome games being shown off over there.