Microsoft Surface team worked partly in an "underground bunker"

Microsoft managed to keep the existence of the Surface tablet a secret until just a few days before it was officially announced on Monday, and even then the major details about the upcoming Windows 8/RT tablet were still unknown until its reveal to the world. So how did Microsoft manage to keep this project from being revealed well ahead of time.

TechRadar reports that it took a lot of security for the Surface team to conceal the tablet's development. Stevie Bathiche, the Director of Research at Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group, said at one point the development team worked in what he called "an underground bunker with no windows."

Later the team apparently went above ground but even then, security was tight. The story says, "Getting into the Surface building means going through airlock-style doors; the outer door has to close before you can get through the second door and go inside, so you know there's no-one sneaking in behind you."

The Surface team created 3D mockups of the tablet, such as the stack of mockups in the above photo. They also worked on things as minor as the sound the Surface's built in kickstand makes as it snaps shut. Panos Panay, the head of the Microsoft Surface team, says:

We wanted to get the sound right ... we wanted to get that visceral feeling, that emotional connection. We created a specification for the sound [we wanted] and we iterated over and over again, testing it in an anechoic chamber.

Source: TechRadar | Image via TechRadar

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I can understand what microsoft was guarding against. There "product" was something that needed secrecy so as to maximum impact when finally released.
And it is NOT just a "PC" and or "Tablet" as it opens up a whole new world. Just like what happened when Microsoft issued out its first laser mouse, until that time king of mice was "logitech" now look at Logitech......KIng of the gaming mouse again, but they needed that kick up the bum to keep them inovating.

It has the earmarks of being designed in an "underground bunker with no windows." Was this the same team that came up with Windows-8?

TsarNikky said,
It has the earmarks of being designed in an "underground bunker with no windows." Was this the same team that came up with Windows-8?


Awww, you tried so hard, but yet failed so miserably.

I don't know. I like what they've shown of Surface, but even watching the reveal, they seem to have focused on mundane things like the kickstand and the magnets that connect the keyboard. Not saying this stuff isn't important, I just feel like they are going on and on about these features as if they should be the tablet's selling points. I think they have the drill down list a bit wonky...

M_Lyons10 said,
I don't know. I like what they've shown of Surface, but even watching the reveal, they seem to have focused on mundane things like the kickstand and the magnets that connect the keyboard. Not saying this stuff isn't important, I just feel like they are going on and on about these features as if they should be the tablet's selling points. I think they have the drill down list a bit wonky...

Its small details like this that can make a product feel like its a step above - its like over in the UK, car manufacturer Volkswagon sells the 'golf' and that car is notorious for build quality - the adverts for it focus entirely on the sound it makes (with a couple of examples focusing on the door closing 'sounds like a golf'.

If the sound feels sturdy, it subconsciously gives you the feeling of quality - the product may be sturdy as hell but if the sound or feel of a certain function sounds tacky, it will have a negative effect on peoples opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGEvdM9f6f4

This made me think of the "My name is Joseph Fritzel, and no windows was my idea" joke. I'm such a bad person..

Eric Michael Mihelcich said,
"an underground bunker with no windows."

... ah so all the computers in the bunker were Macs! lol

I giggled. Maybe a distro of Linux to keep them company as well?

Eric Michael Mihelcich said,
"an underground bunker with no windows."

... ah so all the computers in the bunker were Macs! lol

The Geth didn't use windows either because they considered them to be structural weaknesses, but look at what happened to them.


Later the team apparently went above ground but even then, security was tight. The story says, "Getting into the Surface building means going through airlock-style doors; the outer door has to close before you can get through the second door and go inside, so you know there's no-one sneaking in behind you."

I think many Microsoft buildings are like that. From what I remember, the Microsoft Office division works in a building with a similar style design.

It builds up hype.

A lot of Microsoft's products cannot be kept secret because of their requirements / uses. Businesses need to know what changes will be made, OEMs need that information, developers need to test stuff to make sure their products will work with the next version etc. So they can't keep Windows under wraps and then on the day of its release go "HERE IT IS THE NEW WINDOWS", it would be disastrous.

But since the Surface is (partly) a consumer product, they took a leaf out of Apple's book and built up a ton of hype and it worked. Now what they need to do is take another leaf out of Apple's book and release the product on the day they announce it since otherwise people end up getting bored of waiting and the hype dies.

s3n4te said,
It's just a tablet.

Since it's a Tablet PC & not just 1 of those, "tablets," it's the 1st time Microsoft's made an actual PC, instead of just operating systems for them. (Not to mention that its OS, Windows 8, culminates all these years of history Microsoft's had in the tablet OS market, which even includes many years before anyone's heard of them, but, whatever.)

It's pretty big.

-Razorfold said,
Now what they need to do is take another leaf out of Apple's book and release the product on the day they announce it since otherwise people end up getting bored of waiting and the hype dies.

The original iPhone was announced Jan 9 2007, and released June 29 2007.
The original iPad was announced Jan 27 2010, and released April 3 2010.
iOS 6 was announced 10 days ago, and there is no plan on when it will be available.

-Razorfold said,
It builds up hype.

A lot of Microsoft's products cannot be kept secret because of their requirements / uses. Businesses need to know what changes will be made, OEMs need that information, developers need to test stuff to make sure their products will work with the next version etc. So they can't keep Windows under wraps and then on the day of its release go "HERE IT IS THE NEW WINDOWS", it would be disastrous.

But since the Surface is (partly) a consumer product, they took a leaf out of Apple's book and built up a ton of hype and it worked. Now what they need to do is take another leaf out of Apple's book and release the product on the day they announce it since otherwise people end up getting bored of waiting and the hype dies.

A lot of people are missing the point here. The real secret wasn't the design of the device at all, it's that Microsoft was building a device and planning on competing with it's partners. It's never done that in the 30 years the company has existed.

dagamer34 said,

A lot of people are missing the point here. The real secret wasn't the design of the device at all, it's that Microsoft was building a device and planning on competing with it's partners. It's never done that in the 30 years the company has existed.

BS Microsoft has been competing with partners all the time take the mouse/keyboard it competes with Logitech. Yes it never has competed with PC venders in selling a PC. Honestly a lot of PC vendors screwed microsoft by making Android Tablets. Intel screwed Microsoft by selling Apple intel Chips. So they should get over it and build the best PC they can at an affordable price.

Melfster said,

BS Microsoft has been competing with partners all the time take the mouse/keyboard it competes with Logitech. Yes it never has competed with PC venders in selling a PC. Honestly a lot of PC vendors screwed microsoft by making Android Tablets. Intel screwed Microsoft by selling Apple intel Chips. So they should get over it and build the best PC they can at an affordable price.

No ones 'screwing' anyone, they are in business and they will do business with anyone that its profitable to do business with. Fan boy loyalty exists on forums and in the minds of immature people - not in boardrooms!

-Razorfold said,
It builds up hype.

A lot of Microsoft's products cannot be kept secret because of their requirements / uses. Businesses need to know what changes will be made, OEMs need that information, developers need to test stuff to make sure their products will work with the next version etc. So they can't keep Windows under wraps and then on the day of its release go "HERE IT IS THE NEW WINDOWS", it would be disastrous.

But since the Surface is (partly) a consumer product, they took a leaf out of Apple's book and built up a ton of hype and it worked. Now what they need to do is take another leaf out of Apple's book and release the product on the day they announce it since otherwise people end up getting bored of waiting and the hype dies.

Ignoring the fact that apple does not release on the day of unveiling, part of this announcement is designed to make OEM's 'up their game' so when W8 is released there is a healthy stack of tablets of decent quality, or shortly after. They set a bar with the surface device and its pretty high

duddit2 said,

Ignoring the fact that apple does not release on the day of unveiling, part of this announcement is designed to make OEM's 'up their game' so when W8 is released there is a healthy stack of tablets of decent quality, or shortly after. They set a bar with the surface device and its pretty high


Sorry you're right for their initial reveals, but with the later ones you could at least pre-order it on the very same day it was revealed. The only release date we have for Surface is fall 2012, and nothing about pre-orders.

duddit2 said,

Ignoring the fact that apple does not release on the day of unveiling, part of this announcement is designed to make OEM's 'up their game' so when W8 is released there is a healthy stack of tablets of decent quality, or shortly after. They set a bar with the surface device and its pretty high

They wont have time to deelop new devices in time for the launch

Raa said,
That's what I say about the iPad.

I say, "It's just a toy." That's where the full Windows 8 tablets differ.