Highlights from the Microsoft Surface keynote

While the Windows 8 keynote felt like a fairly normal technology press event, Microsoft's second press event for the day at Pier 57 in New York City was smaller and much more formal and fun. It was all about the Windows RT version of the Surface tablet, which officially goes on sale tonight at midnight

Microsoft clearly is wanting to look on the bright side of life when it comes to the first reviews of the Surface (look for Neowin's own review soon). Microsoft posted up some positive quotes from outlets like Time, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times but the press event didn't really address the main issue critics have had about the Surface; namely its use of Windows RT.

Windows head man Steven Sinofsky appeared first during the Surface keynote but the main star was Panos Panay, the General Manager of the Surface team. He clearly wanted the people in the room to know how much he and his team loved developing Microsoft's first PC hardware product.

Indeed, Panay had a few units of the Surface on stage but he gave away about three or four of them to members in the small audience (no, we were not one of them, alas). Panay also demonstrated how well the Surface is constructed by dropping it from his hands onto the floor, about two feet up.

Other highlights from the keynote included Panay watching The Avengers on the Surface and then transferring that movie to the big screen behind him, hooked up to the Xbox 360. Even Steven Sinofsky's Surface skateboard made a return appearance. Sinofsky joked that they were going to sell Surface skateboards in the Microsoft Store. He may have been kidding, but we think it might be a popular accessory.

All in all, the Windows RT version of the Surface is a gamble for Microsoft but it's looking like it might pay off. We can't wait to see how the Surface Pro turns out as that product will likely draw a lot of interest too.

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Microsoft's second press event for the day at Pier 57 in New York City was smaller and much more formal and fun.

Mr. C, don't you mean informal? Also you really need to brush up on your estimations of distances. Two feet is about knee high, he dropped it from well above his waist, nearer to shoulder level.

"from his hands onto the floor, about two feet up."

Actually he dropped it from about shoulder height. unless he is an infant, I would say that's higher than two feet.

Why can't you guys simply tell how it is instead of slanting things to fit your BS agendas. The entire article has a wierd slant to it.

Please Neowin, don't tell us about the same non-cons!
Appcount, hickups in performance and bugs are only am matter of time. (Verge-Non-Cons)
And people will get to know / used to RT.

I think I heard them mention they'll be on sale tonight at the Times Square store around 10pm. Can anyone confirm? I work like 4 blocks away, might be worth a visit though I doubt I'm buying one until the Surface Pro comes out.

icwhatudidthere said,
I think I heard them mention they'll be on sale tonight at the Times Square store around 10pm. Can anyone confirm? I work like 4 blocks away, might be worth a visit though I doubt I'm buying one until the Surface Pro comes out.
The holiday store in Times Square will indeed open at 10PM tonight, and stay open until early Monday morning, so I'm told.

rojorojo said,
They also mentioned how the entire event was running off a surface rt device including lighting. I was shocked.

Yeah, I thought that was pretty impressive.

Can someone explain me what did they say at the end of the keynote? They were to make an extra announcement but the Audio cut off.

Jose_49 said,
Can someone explain me what did they say at the end of the keynote? They were to make an extra announcement but the Audio cut off.

I was interested in that too

Just a two-foot drop? Zoinks. You'd have to bend over before you drop your Surface. Four feet would be more interesting.

That was much more than two feet. I'd say about 4 feet.

Skwerl said,
Just a two-foot drop? Zoinks. You'd have to bend over before you drop your Surface. Four feet would be more interesting.

Skwerl said,
Just a two-foot drop? Zoinks. You'd have to bend over before you drop your Surface. Four feet would be more interesting.

Weirdly enough, there are "industry standard" drop test distances. They've never matched up to reality for me, but eh.

Then there's the physics of a real world drop. You know what I'm talking about: slapping/clawing/reaching for it, desperately trying to intercept it before it hits the ground and only serving to slightly change its course, set it in a spin, and maybe slow it down a hiccup's worth.

dcoaster said,
That was much more than two feet. I'd say about 4 feet.
Was gonna say, I remember him holding it up by his head! Not sure if he lowered his arm slightly after but it was more than 2ft.

dcoaster said,
That was much more than two feet. I'd say about 4 feet.
had to be at least 5 feet he doesnt seem that short and he droped it from about level or slighty above his head....unless the camera was angled up or something