110 million devices are running Windows 10, just eight weeks after its initial introduction. Our last official update from Microsoft – 75 million installs -- came nearly one month into its release and recent third-party reports showed Windows 10 tracking at 100 million installs. So 110 million is a nice, lofty figure and puts Microsoft well on its goal towards reaching one billion machines within the next two to three years.
And to highlight Windows 10 and all of its greatness, Microsoft is announcing new hardware to complement the operating system courtesy of the Surface Pro 4. It’s almost as if Microsoft was reading our wish list for the tablet, as it has incorporated sixth generation Skylake-based Intel Core processors (which Microsoft said are 50 percent faster than what’s available in Apple’s MacBook Air), up to 16GB of RAM and up to a 1TB solid-state drive (SSD). Microsoft has also made the device thinner and lighter, also hitting on two points that we were hoping for with a next generation Surface Pro.
Microsoft has expanded the display slightly from 12-inches to 12.3-inches, but has done so without changing the device’s footprint. The folks in Redmond managed to pack in over 5 million pixels into the display — which is covered in 0.4mm-thick Gorilla Glass 4 — allowing for over 200+ pixels per inch (2,763 x 1,824). And as you would expect, Microsoft is promoting “lappability” once more with the integrated kickstand.
An all-new Surface Pen supports 1024 levels of pressure, incorporates an eraser on the end and features all-year battery life (take that, Apple). Microsoft Devices chief Panos Panay got in another jab at the iPad Pro’s Apple Pencil during the presentation, noting that he couldn’t imagine a “Pencil” coming without an eraser. Microsoft has also designed its own G5 hardware chipset which handles the optical stack, allowing for more responsive inking. The Surface Pen is also attaches magnetically to your Surface Pro 4 using magnets, so you don’t have to worry about losing it.
There’s also a new Type Cover that includes redesigned keys, which helps make it Microsoft’s thinnest keyboard yet. It also features a 40 percent larger glass trackpad and an integrated fingerprint reader which supports Windows Hello.
The Surface Pro 4 is available for pre-order today starting at $899 and ships October 26th.
In related news, Apple has a knack for bashing the competition’s forward-thinking ideas, only to later come to the table with its own “reimagining” of said ideas. We’ve seen it with the move to larger-screen smartphones and with phablets (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) and we’ve seen it with Apple’s newfound respect for convertible tablets.
Microsoft isn’t just about Apple slide on that last point, however, making reference to Tim Cook’s dismissal of tablet-laptop hybrids back in 2012. “You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not gonna be pleasing to the user,” said Cook in April 2012.
It took three years for Microsoft to respond to Cook’s jab, but it still a nice “burn” regardless: