Could Microsoft’s Surface Studio wow creative users?
The Anglepoise lamp: influential in the design of the Microsoft Surface monitor. Image by Coprid (via Shutterstock).
Apple seems to have lost its creative mojo, since the loss of Steve Jobs. The specifications of their Mac Pro high-end Mac haven’t had an update since 2013. Compared with similar Windows-powered PCs, their iMac has lost ground. Apple’s Macs have also lost ports in favour of Bluetooth and WiFi-powered peripherals. Its influence among its core users – creative artists and web designers – could be jeopardised by Microsoft’s breathtaking Surface Studio peripherals and computers.
Could Microsoft revive the desktop PC?
In the last half decade, there has been a long term shift towards tablets, laptops and ultra-light notebook PCs. Traditional desktop PCs seem to be on the wane, but Microsoft is repudiating these claims with its revolutionary Surface Studio systems. It is clear that the Redmond-based computer giant understands that portable PCs have their limitations, and that professional users would like to use a ‘proper’ full-travel mouse and keyboard.
What’s amazing is that Microsoft’s Surface Studio system is everything that Apple’s iMacs should be in 2016. Aesthetically, the keyboard and mouse is fairly similar. As for the monitor, Apple could well be making a mistake by ceasing production of its own displays. Microsoft’s luscious flatscreen monitor isn’t only inspired by Apple’s minimalist design; its pivoting arm is inspired by the anglepoise lamp.
Better still, you can pivot the Surface Studio monitor to the same angle as a drawing board. This will be a boon for graphic designers and CAD technicians (imagine AutoCAD on one of these PCs?).
The pen and dial is mightier than the sword
The Surface Studio monitor is also touch sensitive, akin to contemporary digital tablets and smartphones. As well as the mouse and keyboard, there will be two revolutionary peripherals. Its pen will enable you to draw or write on the monitor screen instead of a tablet – like the light pens of old you had on the BBC Micro or Commodore 64.
More revolutionary is Microsoft’s Surface Dial. You can place the dial onto your monitor and use it to set commands – intuitively. Like the “set it and forget it” approach of Ronco’s Veg-o-matic gadget. It also saves you from moving the mouse up and down or left and right towards a toolbox or menu.
The Apple teaser?
We think Microsoft’s Surface Studio will give Apple a run for their money. In Britain at least, with Apple announcing eye watering price rises (which many critics have attributed to Brexit). On the other hand, Microsoft’s announcement of a 22% hike haven’t attracted the same ire. Whether you think it’s a last hurrah for the desktop PC or the dawn of its renaissance, they could be onto a winner.
If you’re still not convinced, take a look at this YouTube clip.