It’s great to kick off the new year at CES, with so much energy and excitement around the industry’s latest innovations. Microsoft’s marketing and employee presence at the show is supporting our partners in their product announcements on the Windows platform and meeting to plan the many new launches and partnership activities for 2014. From new components to materials, devices, apps and services, OEMs continue to build on the strength of Windows to unlock new rich experiences for people.
We’ve seen huge growth and momentum in the tablet space over the past year. Partners have launched several small Windows 8.1 Intel-based tablets with great value, power and performance. They are also differentiated from tablets on other platforms by providing the ports users need, support for the broadest range of peripherals like older printers, pen/stylus support that makes note taking easy and Microsoft Office for productivity. Windows tablets also include the unique touch first Internet Explorer browser, Skype and Xbox so people can watch movies, play games and connect with their friends on social media, but also get stuff done on the go with Microsoft Office.
Today, Panasonic is introducing the newest small Windows ruggedized tablet, the 7” Toughpad designed for the enterprise market.
Also today, Toshiba announced the Tecra W50, a new 4k mobile workstation that offers ultra HD screen resolution perfect for engineers and 3D graphic professionals.
In addition to tablets, there are a few other device categories where I see the greatest advances and creativity: 2-in-1s and all-in-ones. 2-in-1s are a no-compromise solution, providing a tablet and a PC in one. Think of a tablet with a keyboard that either detaches or flips, twists or rotates behind the screen for full tablet mode. This is a new category that is growing quickly with focus from Intel and incredible innovation from OEMs.
Yesterday, our partner Lenovo announced a number of new 2-in-1 designs including the MIIX 2 10” and MIIX 2 11” that are detachable multi-mode devices. The new capabilities in Windows 8.1 such as touch, new ways to discover what’s important to you, modern apps and cloud services enable OEMs to think differently about designing hardware. New hinge designs, touch panels, smaller and more powerful silicon chips, longer-lasting batteries, more durable materials like Corning Gorilla Glass and modern trackpads are among the latest advancements that enable people to interact with their devices in entirely new ways. Customers will think twice about buying a 10” iPad or Android tablet and consider getting a Windows 2-in-1 that provides these additional benefits and represents much more value for their money
All-in-ones are another category where OEMs are delighting customers with rotating displays, ultra-thin chassis, beautiful HD/IPS screens and built-in batteries that enable portability. An all-in-one used to sit stationary on the kitchen counter or an office desk. Now it’s considered a large portable tablet, carried from room to room for home entertainment and media, from playing multi-touch games to watching movies. These new hardware innovations built on the touch capabilities in Windows 8.1 really exemplify the magic of hardware and software working seamlessly together. Microsoft and our partners are enabling people to get the most out of the moments they care about, and these types of experiences just aren’t possible on other platforms.
Windows devices offer more ways to create an experience that is personal, expressive and just right for both personal and business tasks. And with the enhancements in Windows 8.1 including cloud integration, enhanced Search, personalization and new ways to multi-task, the 1.5 billion people around the world using Windows have the widest breadth of advanced devices to choose from.
Despite the benefits of touch for both consumers and business customers, we’ve also seen lots of momentum in low price devices. Microsoft and our OEMs have some great offerings here, one in particular that is doing very well especially against Android-based devices is the ASUS X502CA that delivers all the benefits of Windows at just $279.
Congratulations to all of our OEM partners that announced new Windows devices at CES this year! We look forward to bringing them to market together in 2014 and continuing to develop and support the broad Windows ecosystem to deliver amazing experiences for customers.
Click here to learn more about Microsoft and our OEM partners here at CES 2014.