How the Surface was engineered

Following up on today’s Surface price list, pre-orders and a pretty nice commercial, Microsoft has also posted another interesting thingie which I think highlights how the engineering team went about designing  Microsoft’s iPad contender. Make no mistake about it: with the Surface, the Windows maker has raised the water line on its platform’s functionality. This tablet’s here to stay. It is at any rate refreshing to have a fresh approach to the tablet other than the boring iOS-Android duopoly. Microsoft also has a few other promo clips for the Surface, all included past the fold…

The promotional video follows Apple’s established concept of spotlighting engineers who actually build gadgets (where’s Microsoft’s Jony Ive, I wonder).

It goes on to describe how the team was seeking a material that was thin, light and strong before coming across magnesium. Its density and lightness served as “a great starting point” to build a the Surface’s vapor-deposited magnesium chassis.

To fit a user experience of the traditional desktop into something as light, portable and thin as the Surface tablet, which is 9.3mm thick, Microsoft tapped its 30 year hardware experience building keyboards, mice, web cameras, consoles and other peripherals and accessories.

One of the engineers says in the video:

I remember when we had our conversations with the engineering teams, saying no way that you can make a keyboard that thin. And it’s really interesting that the final product is one millimeter thinner.

Here’s a timelapse video of some interesting Surface street art, part of Microsoft’s guerrilla marketing set to culminate with a massive $1 billion advertising blitz.

Three months ago, Microsoft released this Surface teaser.

Love the magnesium references and the satisfying click sound of the keyboard attachment. And right below is, of course, the first commercial that set the tongues wagging on the Interwebs. That is, until Apple sent out invites for its October 23 thing.

If you love these, why not favorite the Surface team’s YouTube channel?

I’m loving this comment by Jim Dalrymple of The Loop:

So what I get from this ad is that the Surface will make a clicking sound when you connect the keyboard; I will be able to dance; other people will join me dancing; I will kiss someone; and if I throw the Surface in the air someone will catch it.

It is amusing, I’ll give him that, though I wholeheartedly disagree.

This is just a teaser ad and I’m fairly certain the Windows maker will follow up with more clips highlighting what the Surface is capable of, once the gizmo lands on store shelves next Friday, October 25.

Other than that, the commercial ticks exactly the right boxes: it’s intriguing, memorable, unusual and certainly piques one’s interest. Besides, nobody complained about “dancing” in Apple’s ad for the new iPod touch.

What’s your comment on the Surface videos?

Is Microsoft finally getting it right?