Microsoft shows off Surface prototypes, talks about the design process

Building hardware is very different to building software, so when Microsoft decided to build the Surface tablets, they had to start from scratch. At the company's Ignite conference this week, Ralf Groene - Senior Creative Director for the Surface team - discussed this process and showed off a few early prototypes of the devices.

In the video, which you can see below, Groene talks about the process for building the Surface, starting all the way back with the first device. He says that the product was homegrown, all done at their campus in Redmond, and that brought with it some steep learning curves.

The early prototypes are rough, to no surprise, and it was Steven Sinofsky - the former head of Windows - who was the executive sponsor behind the product, and who saw the image at the top of this post and approved the funding for the team to go forward.

The Surface RT had many faults and ultimately was not a success for the company - but not letting a road bump get in the way, the Surface brand has grown into a billion dollar product for the company and their latest addition to the family is drawing a lot of praise.

When it came to building the Surface, Groene said that they had 2,000 bad ideas, before they finalized their design.

If you have been following the Surface developments over the past few years, the video is worth a watch as it brings light to all of the design decisions the company made, including the fact that they originally went with a 16:9 layout because of a mandate from the Windows team.

Thanks for the tip Piotr!

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