Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – Launch Event Transcript

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – the tablet that can replace your laptop – was unveiled on May 20, 2014 at a lunch event held in New York. Below is the full transcript of the said event.. 


Satya Nadella – Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft

Good morning everyone, and welcome to our event in New York. I’ve had a chance to see many of you over the last couple of busy months, and you’ve been on our journey with a couple of events. And so it’s great to see many of you made it to the East Coast. It’s good to be on a different coast this time.

I wanted to talk about our devices today. But I want to start by talking about the journey that we’ve been on. You heard me talk about our mobile-first, cloud-first strategy. And this is our focus for every device and every service that we launch at Microsoft.

And over the last couple of months, you’ve seen us talk about various aspects of this strategy. We started off by talking about how our cloud enabled everyone on every device. This is what we did when we launched Office 365 and Office Apps on the iPad.

We also talked at that event about our enterprise mobility suite, which enables enterprise IT to enable access to corporate information on any device.

We also had a major event around our data platform. This was the event at which we talked about creating this new platform for ambient intelligent experiences, as well as how one goes about creating a data culture within an organization using these data platforms.

And then lastly, at Build, which is our developer conference, we talked about the advances in Windows and our Azure platform on the cloud. We talked about how, in particular with Windows, we were advancing on every dimension from form factors to business models to experiences for both people, IT and developers.

Today is the next step on that journey. We want to talk about devices and hardware. But it starts for us with this obsession of empowering every individual and organization to do more and be more. That is what we at Microsoft are all about. This is what is the unifying theme for the company across everything that we do.

We want products and technologies that enable people to dream and get stuff done. We want products and technologies that enable people to be able to get more out of every moment of their life. That’s the mission that we’re on.

The motivation for this comes from really looking at people in real life. When you see a doctor doing a diagnosis and making important, but rapid decisions. When you see an architect do a design for a building. When you see a student create a trip report. A busy professional or a parent organize their life and their time and communicate. All of those activities act as the motivation for what we want to do at Microsoft.

That’s what has led us to build the ubiquitous software products that we’ve built to date. Take Office with over a billion users of Office. That’s the motivation for it.

And of course, now we’re extending it with Office 365 and services like Skype, OneNote, OneDrive, to really take that notion of productivity forward in a mobile-first world.

It’s just not us. In fact, we have many, many partners who also equally obsess about creating these software services for productivity. You take Adobe and Autodesk and SAP and Intuit on the other end of business process. All of them are also building software that is all about enabling and empowering people to do stuff.

Why hardware?

So that’s what leads us to today’s discussion. The question that needs to be asked and answered is: Why hardware? We clearly are not interested in building refrigerators or toasters. We are not building hardware for hardware’s sake. We want to build experiences that bring together all the capabilities of our company from our cloud infrastructure to our application services to our hardware capabilities to build these mobile-first productivity experiences. That’s the mission.

We’re building new strength and capability around that alchemy of being able to bring hardware and software together. And the Nokia close really gives us that extra strength to be able to do that.

We’re not interested in competing with our OEMs when it comes to hardware. In fact, our goal is to create new categories and spark new demand for our entire ecosystem. That’s what inspires us and motivates us with what we’re doing in our devices and hardware.

And today is a major milestone on that journey. It starts with dreaming the impossible, of can we design and build a device that takes the best of the tablet and the laptop and enables any individual to be able to read, and to be able to create and write. Allows you to watch a movie and make a movie, enjoy art and create art. That’s the device that we want to create. That was the motivation for the Surface line.

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And today, we have a major step forward on that dream and that mission. And to really show you what we’ve done over the last year or so on that dream, I want to invite up on stage Panos Panay, he and his team have been really driving this quest forward. Panos? Come on up.

Panos Panay – Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Surface

What’s up, dude? Good to see you. Thank you, it’s always awesome to come up here and talk, and the privilege to talk after Satya is something that is almost dream-worthy.

I will tell you, starting every time I stand up here and I stand in front, and then all this flash and so forth, the truth is, it’s a humbling experience every time. And I’m humbled because I get to represent the Surface team specifically and they work so hard around the globe to bring these products to you alongside.

It’s a beautiful thing, but there’s a little bit more to this product. And it’s not just the Surface team that I get to represent today. It’s all of Microsoft. It’s been an amazing journey for Surface for sure, but when you think about all the hard work that you’re going to see that happened in this device, amazing work by Windows and Office and Skype, OneDrive, even Microsoft Studios all coming together. Representing that is one of these feelings that you get as a leader and it gets you pretty excited.

What also gets you excited is when you have somebody who is pushing you to dream the impossible. Just push you. Like, go do it. Do more. Get it done. That kind of jacks you up and you get excited about it, no doubt.

And then you look back at the mission that Surface started, and it was all about that. As a matter of fact, our first catch phrase was: Click in and do more. We had this vision, this dream. We wanted to push forward with this thing called a tablet and this device, but help people be able to get more done on it. I don’t think that was dreaming the impossible just yet, but it was a step forward, and it was a good start.

And then we launched Surface Pro 2 and Surface 2 and some of you started to write nice things. That was really nice, by the way. It super helps when you write nice things.

And the team gets motivated and excited. And Microsoft, in general, just goes, “God, they kind of like this thing, that’s cool.”

And a couple of you made some fun quotes and nice stuff. And, by the way, we’ve read plenty of negative, and we learn and we grow and we take and we feed and we feed and we get better. There is no question.

And while it’s all interesting, it gets so much more important to think about what people are actually doing with the device. We don’t actually design the device for us in this room. We design it for people who use it every day. Super important to understand that.

And when you talk about dreaming the impossible, when you say those words, it’s better to look at the customers who do that, the people who use your device every day. So much more intriguing and inspiring. So we put together a few stories for you just to see a little bit of what Surface has done and some of the impact it’s had to the people around us. Take a look.

[Video Presentation]

That’s cool, right? I mean, it’s super inspiring when you see stuff like that. For me and for the team, when we get to feel that and people really using your device and people using it to make a change and to make things great, it’s pretty awesome.

But let’s take a step back for just a minute and let’s deal with some reality. Three years ago, there were a bunch of people in a room just like that right here, like this, that were writing stories. And a lot of those stories looked like there’s this thing called tablets and they’re coming and they’re going to kill the laptop. It’s going to change everything. That was supposed to happen — for sure.

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And a person like me sits back and we start putting road maps together and you start designing products knowing that this wave is coming. And then everybody is going to be in a press conference three years later using their tablets.

Just look around for one minute. It is super fascinating. Seriously, look around. I saw one, there might be two, for sure there’s plenty of MacBook Airs in for good reason. What happened? What happened? 96% of you who have iPads in your bag right now are also carrying laptops. I’d guess it’s 100, we just can only prove to 96.

That’s a reason for that. Let’s just talk about the reason. It’s not bad, it’s good. But there’s a reason. Just think it through with me.

Tablets, from a product-making standpoint, tablets, they’re designed for you to sit back and watch movies. They’re designed to read books. They’re made for browsing the Web, snacking on apps, those are interesting. Laptops are not designed that way at all. They’re designed to help you get stuff done. They’re designed because you actually need to do things.

They’re designed because when you’re sitting where you are right now, you have to capture the thoughts I’m trying to say. They’re designed for editing, they’re designed for making. That is a point of view that’s true, and sometimes they come out clunky, and sometimes they come out beautiful. But either way, there’s a design point. And they’re made for that reason. That’s happening.

But it gets even a little bit more tricky. We just did this. We did this. We made products. And you learn this thing was called “all-day battery life” and it blew you away. And you’re, like, I could use this thing all day. And then when I push the button, it’s still there. I mean, it does so much.

But then that started to blur, too. But was it the tablet? Was it the laptop? Which one was it that worked all day? And which one do I need to use every day? It’s super interesting.

But then that complex started to push itself into people. People. Isn’t that what matters? Isn’t that what we designed them for? Not for us, but everybody.

And then they’d walk into a store. And it doesn’t matter what store. Let me be super clear about that. It does not matter what store you walk into, the conflict exists. It exists. You walk into a store and you walk up to the sales person. And you can stand between two very clear tables and ask a question: What is it that I’m supposed to buy?

And most do, because not everybody knows everything about anything and everything about everything, and people are learning at all times, which is wonderful. And when they walk in, they say, “What am I supposed to buy?” What does the sales rep say almost every time, almost every time, what do they say? Does anyone know? I’m sure you’ve asked. You report on things like this. The response is so common it’s uncanny. It’s so simple, yet so complex.

The response is this: What is it that you want to do? I don’t know. I’m about to spend $1,000. I thought I needed to do everything. And that’s how you feel. But why? That happened because of the conflict that we’re creating every day. And does that conflict need to exist? You’ve been told to buy a tablet, but you know you need a laptop. And that’s happening. That’s a real conflict.

You walk into the store, that conflict is right in front of you. And sometimes you buy two things. Turns out, 96% of the time you buy two things. Maybe not on that day, but you definitely come back when you didn’t have what you needed. And why?

So today we’re going to focus on that and only that. Taking that conflict away. We have to remove it. People need that. But to do it, it’s just not that simple because it would have been done already, wouldn’t it?

To do it, you’d have to have everything in one package. You’d have to not compromise anything when it came to performance. It would still have to be thin and light. This paradigm called battery life, using your products all day, always having it there for you, all that had to still be true. It had to be sexy, sleek, feel good, personal. All this stuff. All of it in one package. It all had to be there.

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