Microsoft's Surface Studio launch: as it happened

A frame-by-frame account of what went down

(All times in BST)

17:08 And that's a wrap! Thanks for sticking around for so long. Check back to the homepage soon for our reaction and all of the information on the new products.

Goodnight!

17:06 “It is is for each of us collectively to imagine the future, create it, and allow ourselves to be transformed about it.”

Cue video of people doodling with Surface devices.

17:03 "We have seen the birth of a new medium where we moved from conventional constructs to 3D, from 3D to holograms, and from holograms to mixed reality. We think of mixed reality as the ability to seamlessly share experiences across your digital and analogue worlds. Scanning a sandcastle in the real world, making a 3D object in the virtual world, sharing it, transforming it, and placing it back in the real world as a hologram, we’re democratising this new medium of mixed reality for everyone."

17:02 “We are building Windows for each of us. One that pushes the boundaries of input and output modalities, enabling people to see, speak and touch computing in new ways. With Surface we’re creating a new category that transforms your desk into a creative studio. It’s a tool for creation, connection and expression. We’re also bringing together Windows with Office and gaming, all as cloud-connected, AI-enhanced trusted experiences that span all of your devices.”

17:01 Nadella: “We all have an innate design to express - that’s what makes us human. The first computers were designed to help people be more productive and get more done … I believe that the next 10 years will be defined by technology that powers profound creation. I am inspired by what I see in the Minecraft generation, who see themselves not as players of a game, but as creators of new worlds that they dream up.”

16:58 Surface Studio is available to preorder tomorrow for $2,999. "For three thousand dollars it's incredible value," says Panos, unconvincingly. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella takes to the stage.

16:55 Panos is back. He says that Microsoft has a "ton of partners" working with Surface Studio and apps built specifically for the device, like the one demoed by MediaFire’s “Ben”. Panos starts talking about another app called Mental Canvas that allows animated drawings to be created using Microsoft’s PC. Cue video showing them off.

16:50 "Ben", CEO at comic book company Madefire, is using a Surface Pen to draw a character in Photoshop, which he's going to animate. "There's no lag - it's really immediate," he muses. Now he's imported the creation into the MadeFire app and it's started moving, leaping from buildings against a swirling background.

16:46 Paragraphs highlight when you touch them with the pen, and you can delete paragraphs by scribbling them out. Now we've moving onto Surface Dial. It's "a new form of input" that lets you do things using the Dial in one hand and a Surface pen in the other. The accessory can be used offscreen as well.

16:42 Panay is now showing how the Surface Pen works with it. The pen can be used to edit Word documents in real-time with the document in 1:1 view. Palm rejection keeps things from getting messy.

16:40 “There are 80 custom parts in those two arms, creating a zero gravity hinge. It basically means that it’s weightless, and that’s critical. There’s a 13-pound display, and we have to make it as simple as possible. You can pick any angle. We have a counter-spring system in the base that lets you put it in any position you want.”

16:37 “Everyone is a creator. Start with your mind and move through your heart. Let it out of your heart onto a beautiful screen and into someone else’s life. This product is about endless possibilities and pure imagination.”

A video is using 3D animated parts to show how the Surface Studio was built. What's this? Oh! It's folding. The screen has folded. Now it's almost flat. Somebody has picked up a little accessory called 'Surface Dial' and is rotating an image by placing it on the display and giving it a twist to spin round its contents. NOW it looks like a massive Surface tablet.

16:33 The built-in Surface Studio camera is compatible with Windows Hello. The audience claps.

16:31 “Many times we can read out specs and I can tell you how performant this machine is, and it is. It’s phenomenal. But a lot of the time it's about more than specs - it’s about keeping you in the moment. Creating, producing and staying productive, you have to find ways to utilise the product. One of those ways is voice. Built into the product is a linear microphone array. Whether it’s locked or not you can talk to the device using Cortana."

16.27 The display has 192ppi and is tuned perfectly with Windows to scale to true life, according to Panay. The screen is large enough for 1:1 double wide letter/A4 paper, so what you see on the display is supposed to translate perfectly to the printed page.

16.25 The TrueColor system is meant to render deepest colors possible, but how will it stack up on the RGB spectrum? Ah - it instantly change from DCI-P3 to RGB with a screen tap, so there's our answer. “You’ll find yourself saying here’s the beauty and depth of the colors, and then here’s how something might look if it was using sRGB," says Panay.

This desktop is aimed squarely at designers and other media pros. Microsoft is going after the 5K iMac, hard.

16:23 The monitor houses the “thinnest ever enclosure ever created” at 3.1mm, and is 12.5mm thick in total. It has touch. It looks as if they blew up a Surface Book tablet and put a hinge on it. This is the thinnest desktop monitor ever created, much less the thinnest all-in-one. It has 13.5 million pixels. We haven’t been told a resolution yet, though...

16:21 Panay: “We built it for professionals. It’s meant to transform the way you’re going to work. It has to. That’s what it’s meant for. It’s going to help you produce, but I think in its essence, in everything we designed it around, we wanted it to transform the way you create and think about creating. It’s kind of built, when you look at it, to pull you in, to immerse you into the content or creation that you want to work with."

16:19 A new product! It’s here! Surface Studio (the rumored Surface PC) is an all-in-one desktop with a 28-inch PixelSense display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, the “thinnest monitor ever built”, a Quad-core Intel Core i7 processor and a GTX 980M mobile GPU. It looks tasty.

16:15 Panos says that it’s “pound for pound the most performant laptop on the market.” It costs $2,399 (around £1,962) and is available for pre-order on October 26, and is available in November.

16:13 New Surface Book Core i7 has x2 more graphics and 3x more graphics than the highest power 13-inch MacBook Pro.

“We had to make thermal redesigns of the product - we talk about how people love the versatility but all that versatility comes in something you want to be proud to hold, something that you believe is beautiful and you want to show other people. So we doubled the performance and redesigned the thermal system from the inside. We have a second fan that can move air faster than ever before with a set of hyperbolic cooling fins in the back of the product so we can pump up performance.”

It now has 16 hours of battery life, apparently.

16.12 Microsoft has taken the top-end Core i7 Surface Book and done something special with it. We’re about to find out what.

16:11 “Gamers want more frame-rates. They just want it. I don’t really get it, but they want it. Engineers - they want to spin more parts in CAD and they don’t want any lag. Zero. They want to render beautiful parts in real-time all of the time. I don’t get that either but they do. And I hear it."

16:09 Looks like we're starting with Surface Book. "Surface Book has the highest user satisfaction among any current Windows 10 or MacBook users. You can take the screen off and hold it and write, as if it was a legal pad and you were the best lawyer on the planet - and if you aren't - you can pretend to be. It doesn't matter - that's the versatility of it."

16:05 Panos Panay, Microsoft’s leader of Surface devices, is on stage. “Our products are nothing more than a reflection of the people that use them, make them, and love them. They are meant to be seamless in your life." He's now talking to a guy in the audience who loves Surface products. A Surface Pro 4, specifically. Panay is comparing how this guy knows what to do with a basketball when it lands in his hand as he does when picking up a Surface Pen. Okay.

16:00 Myerson is back on stage. “We want to free 3D, free mixed reality, free esports and game broadcasting, and so much more for everyone. This week we are releasing an early build of Creators Update to all of our Windows Insiders. This is the world’s largest collaborative software project. For tech to serve us, we have to ensure we have hardware that meets our needs ... It's our mission to ensure that everyone on the planet can achieve their potential at work and play."

15:58 Creators Update brings multiple communication apps together and filters content to help you sort through it quicker. "You put people first: now Windows does too."

15:56 “I want to start with a common task on Windows - sharing. Our goal is to make sharing on Windows as fast and easy as possible. What if you could simply drag any content directly to Vicky, view the message and send? It’s a couple of steps and you’re done. Doesn’t matter if you want to share a document, PowerPoint, picture or video, the friction is reduced. We will carry that principle of connecting to people quickly across Windows. The sharing experience in any application will understand 'My People'."

You can drag content and drop it onto select contacts on your taskbar to send it quckly, in other words.

15:53 Allison O'Mahoney from the Windows team is on stage. "Over the last decade we've seen an explosion of ways to connect with people across devices, starting with email, moving from Facebook to Sharepoint, Messenger to text, and each network brings increasingly innovative ways to connect with a growing network of people. While the benefits of growing social networks is clear, it comes at a cost - complexity. When we talk to our customers, we see a universal truth again and again that most of our communications happen with a few key people."

Sounds like a Skype update...

15:51 Creators Update allows bitstream audio passthrough including dolby atmos support on the Xbox One.

15:46 Beam is apparently low-latency, which is good to know, and requires no setup or configuration. Another new feature, custom tournaments, is coming to a part of Xbox Live called "Arena". People on Xbox One can go head-to-head with those playing on PC.

15:42 Gaming now. Jenn McCoy from the Xbox team is on stage, dishing the dirt on what gaming features Creative Update brings. Game Broadcasting is now built into Windows 10. A racing demo is being shown using a service called Beam, and it all looks very Twitch-y. Jenn has suggested to the person streaming (called Jason) to go offroad, and he complies, causing the car to veer off track. Broadcasting is activated using the Win+G combo which brings up the game bar, then clicking a button to go live. It all looks very simple.

15:40 A slew of partners are gearing up to launch VR headsets that work with Creative Update, including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer. The headsets start at $299.

15:35 A new demo has begun showing new mixed reality capabilities that have come to Windows 10's Creation Update. The man is using the HoloTour app checking out Roman-era buildings. Like a virtual holiday. 

15:31 A HoloLens demo has begun. A man is browsing a webpage in Microsoft Edge using the headset. Now he's pulled the 3D sandcastle from the earlier 3D Paint session and placed it in the real world as a hologram. "With Windows 10 you can move content seamlessly from the real world to the digital world and back again." A stool has just been yanked out of the browser and placed next to a real-world table that the sandcastle hologram is currently resting on. This is going to give the next "The Sims" game a massive boost...

15:27 Microsoft is going to integrate 3D into its Office applications, including PowerPoint, which uses the same library of 3D models that 3D Paint has. She's imported a 3D tree into a PowerPoint presentation and is now spinning it around to find the most suitable angle. Microosft is encouraging people to use 2D and 3D drawings in the same document.

15:25 Saunders has found a 3D tree and slotted it into the image next to the sandcastle. It does't look very convincing. Now she's inserted a 2D cloud and used the 'doodle' tool to make it look slightly 3D.  2D images can be turned into textures to use on 3D objects, and creations can be exported to Facebook. Animations are automatically turned into video.

15:23 Anyone can now print their creations using a 3D printer. Microsoft has also partnered with Trimble to provide prebuilt 3D designs and objects for use in 3D Paint.

15:20 Talk has moved to Microsoft Paint, and how epic it has been over the years. We can't argue with that. With Creators Update, Paint 3D is now a thing. Saunders is showing off one of its new features. Magic Select lets you remove a piece of an existing image (in this case, her daughters), replacing it with the magic sandcastle that was scanned moments ago. Using the move tool, her daughters have been moved "inside" the sandcastle.

15:18 Saunders is showing how it's possible to capture a sandcastle by circling it while using the Windows Capture 3D experience app.

"I'm taking something temporary and making it permanent. We all know how when the sun goes down at the end of the day, you have to leave your sand castle behind, but with the magic of scanning we can take this temporary memory and keep it forever, on any device." 

15:18 "80% of people aged 20-24 believe that creative is one of the most important thing. It's this next-gen of creators that have inspired what we're going to share with you today. We can build this amazing platform for them to create in new ways, learn, and choose a path they might not have otherwise chosen. We want to make 3D creation as simple as taking a video on your phone."

15:17 "We think if we can enable the creation of 3D content easily, then we can unlock a whole new ability for the way that people can create, and learn new things."

It looks a bit like using Paint in 3D, moving objects around with a stylus.

15:15 Megan Saunders, Microsoft's general manager of HoloLens, is on stage. She's going to show us how anyone can create, share and experience 3D with the Windows 10 Creators Update.

15:10 The next release of Windows is coming this spring to every Windows 10 device. It's called Windows 10 Creators Update and brings new capabilities around mixed reality, virtual reality, augmented reality and holographic computing.

15:08 "Windows is your think tank, your office, your studio, your archive gallery and workshop, your arena, your sanctuary. Above all, Windows is your kitchen table, where everything just gets done. Today we are humbled that over 400 million people are using Windows 10. They spend two billion hours using it."

15:03 Microsoft's executive vice president of the Windows and devices Group Terry Myerson is on stage talking about the company's mission to "challenge each of our software developers to deliver on our mission to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more."

15:00 And we're off! Microsoft has started with a video featuring Microsoft employees talking about Windows 10's accessibility features.

14:45 And we're in with 15 minutes spare. Microsoft has quite literally set the stage, with its event's tagline emblazoned across the back wall. Are you imagining yet?

14:29 Microsoft's Surface guru Panos Panay is in the house. (Well, outside of it.) That's all the confirmation we need, ladies and gents. Surface announcements are happening!

14:15 Our excitement levels right now:

14:00 DING! (That's our one hour to go bell). We've arrived at the venue. Look – we've got an official-looking pass and everything.

13:30 There's a quiet optimism that whatever Microsoft is planning to unveil today will be able to play games. "If Microsoft can make a Surface device with a pen that works, and sports decent gaming chops (a GTX 1080, perhaps), then I'd be sold," says TechRadar's Associate Editor Gerald Lynch. As would I, Gerald. As would I.

12:30 Remember this? You can still buy one of Microsoft's Pixelsense PC Coffee Tables online if you look hard enough, though these "pieces of technology history", as you will see them described, don't come cheap. They're designed to have drinks stood on them and, considering they're basically tables with computers inside, that makes us slightly nervous. That said, if the Surface PC makes an attempt at bringing board games back into fashion, we won't be complaining.

11:50 In fact, we get the feeling that modular computers are going to take off very soon. Remember Project Christine, Razer's modular gaming PC concept? Yep: it's still on the cards. "You will have to wait until we complete our designs for Project Christine, which we think will completely change the entire industry," Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan told us just last week. "You will have to wait a little bit for that, but hopefully not five years."

11:35 ...which reminds us of this little dude.

11:30 Our only look at what Microsoft may have in mind for the Surface PC came via a patent filed by Microsoft senior industrial designer Tim Escolin in July last year. It shows various stackable "blocks", with a base computing module containing processing, memory and other components. The idea is that they can be snapped together like Lego bricks to add extra functionality (think graphics, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, etc) without having to bust out a screwdriver...

11:05 You'll have to use some imagination to dream up what the Surface PC might look like, because Microsoft isn't giving away any clues on its event's placeholder page. There's a room that would benefit from some furnishings, and the view is admittedly better than the one at TechRadar towers.

10:50 While 'Surface PC' is an entirely plausable name for a computer, it's a little lacking in sex appeal. Admit it: you probably wouldn't get too excited if Microsoft unveiled a 'Surface Tablet' tomorrow. According to a leaked trademark, the modular computer is going to be called the 'Surface Studio', which sounds like somewhere you might record a best-selling funk album. 'Surface Dial' and 'Dial' have also been trademarked, which has us hoping that Microsoft is planning an oversized comedy handset in the vein of its Gigantic Surface 2.

10:45 If you're looking to get up to speed on what Microsoft might announce today, then check out our Surface PC release date, news and rumors piece which has everything you need to know.

10:30 Good morning, everyone! It's Surface PC day (probably), and we have one question on our lips: are we going to see Microsoft's modular PC? Rumor has it that the company is about to unveil an all-new computer that snaps together like Lego. Innovative, or just another brick in the wall socket? Hopefully we'll discover the answer soon. The event is due to kick off today at 10am EDT (or 3pm BST). Check back here to keep up with the action, or you can find out how to watch Microsoft's hardware launch yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.