Microsoft reveals Surface Music Cover, refined Touch and Type covers

Microsoft's Monday morning Surface event didn't yield many surprises, but the announcement of a new music-mixing cover wasn't revealed in previous leaks of the event.

The Music Cover, a touch cover that works with all Surface tablets except the original Surface RT, allows users to remix songs easily, providing several standard audio-control buttons as well as buttons that can be mapped to specific audio-related tasks. A new app will work in conjunction with Xbox Music to allow users to remix songs, launching automatically when the Music Cover is plugged into a Surface tablet.

Remixes can be exported to MP3, WAV or WMA files through the app, and Microsoft says some remixes shared with the hashtag #RemixProject may be released on an official album. The Music Cover and app will be bundled in the Surface Music Kit, which will be available Oct. 22, though no price has been announced.

In addition to the Surface Music Cover, Microsoft revealed updates to its Touch and Type covers, giving both more accurate input and backlit keys.

Microsoft's Touch Cover 2 features 1,092 touch sensors, a significant improvement over the 80 in the original Touch Cover. The additional sensors allow users to use the cover's entire surface as a gesture pad for input. Despite the improvements, however, the cover is actually 2mm thinner than its predecessor.


Microsoft's Type Cove 2 will be available in pink, purple, blue and black for $129 each.

The Type Cover 2 received similar improvements, including backlit keys and a thinner frame, which Microsoft said is nearly the same thickness as the first-generation Touch Cover. New purple and pink color options have also been added to go along with blue and black covers.

An optional wireless adapter is available for any of the covers, allowing the keyboards to be used via Bluetooth without being physically connected to the device.

The new covers will all be available alongside the launch of the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 on Oct. 22. Both the Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 are compatible with all Surface tablets, with prices remaining consistent with the previous generation's covers. The Touch Cover 2 will retail for $119, while the Type Cover 2 will cost $129; the wireless adapter costs an additional $59, though it won't be available until early next year.

Both the Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2 can be pre-ordered from Microsoft's website.

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18 Comments

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yes, that's a totally sweet idea. Also, I'm betting that with third Surface generation they will come up with reversed kickstand with at least 3 positions, which means it would open from the top side and start with a sharp angle, then 90 degrees and finally the original Surface angle.

The article said said,
The Touch Cover 2 will retail for $199, while the Type Cover 2 will cost $129;

Thinking that the touch cover price was a typo. Should it be $119?

Klownicle said,
I just want to know if the new keyboards are backwards compatible with the old surface!

The Music Cover isn't compatible with the Surface RT, according to its website.

which is really sad, and the fact that it's limited edition that apparently can only be obtained by winning the contest. But at least if you win, you also get the Surface 2 for free.

I think that they might change that though, if demand is going to be exceeding their expectations that is.

Music mixing cover? Would like to see reviews on these. I know 3 DJ's in L.A. that are hardcore Apple users. That's pretty cool tech if it works well.

Gaffney said,
We need one of these for video editing.

They made it sound like this is just the start, music is probably the easier thing to do but why not video editing or even other things, they used painting as a example. What if all your painting apps control (think photoshop) was on the cover and the screen itself was just the image and nothing else?

When I was doing computer aided drawing back in the early 90's, I had vision of computers having interchangeable interface designed specific to what you are doing. Maybe this is the start - CAD, video editing tools, and such!

Gaffney said,

We need one of these for video editing.

yes.
GP007 said,

They made it sound like this is just the start, music is probably the easier thing to do but why not video editing or even other things, they used painting as a example. What if all your painting apps control (think photoshop) was on the cover and the screen itself was just the image and nothing else?


If you're talking about drawing on the screen free of panels it just sounds nice, but actually you need the screen to lay flat if you're going to draw on it, so panel buttons cover would just get in the way in the end. Also pro music making software isn't easier to use than video editing and I would even say it's a bit more complicated since you can't exactly "see" the sound. But both have many similarities.