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Microsoft launches new Surface Pro like Apple, with an edge

Commentary: A new video surfaces for Microsoft's latest Surfaces. It has a little funkiness to it.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


These could Jony Ive's words, no?

Microsoft/Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's not a big deal. It is, as CNET editor Dan Ackerman calls it, "a small upgrade."

However, when Microsoft presented the new Surface Pro on Tuesday morning, it offered a video that was every bit as slick as Microsoft rarely was in the past.

How slick? Well, all it needed was Jony Ive's voice-over uttering the words: "Beautifully crafted."

Here, we don't have a voice-over. Instead, Microsoft chooses to set the mood with graphic visuals -- simple, Apple-style -- and an overlay of sound that has a little more edge than we're used to seeing from Apple. (Or from Microsoft, until recent times.)

The promise of 13.5 hours of battery life would sound almost ludicrous if someone was saying it. Seeing it written in restrained, sophisticated type makes me wonder if it could be true.

In presenting how the Surface Pen and the Dial work with it, Microsoft labors the point not at all. It just lets you feel and perhaps experience a modicum of interest or even excitement.

This more sophisticated approach surfaced last year when Microsoft made Apple look decidedly pedestrian, as it launched the Surface Studio, a machine that so moved professionals -- to complain about Apple, that is.


Slowly, the Surface brand had gained momentum and feels like a credible competitor to MacBooks and iPads.

The computer itself is, indeed, a small step. The mood Microsoft is setting, however, is allowing small steps to accumulate into one big one.

Credibility is hard to achieve, especially after years of losing so much ground. This presentation, however, is another step in a very credible direction. Especially when Apple's attempts to boost its laptop offerings have been, well, a touch labored.

Then again, Apple is rumored to be ready with a strike back in June.

And just in case you'd forgotten how painful Microsoft product launched used to be, I offer you a reminder of how the Surface brand came into the world -- with an ad that may turn out to rival the worst of all time.

Technically Incorrect: Bringing you a fresh and irreverent take on tech.

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