Microsoft enthusiasts around the world woke up this morning and tuned into an OEM hardware keynote that promised to feature hardware that shows how Windows 10 Experiences Come to Live on New Devices.
Most people knew not to expect anything related to first party Microsoft hardware but there was an expectation that this briefing would focus on some of the more innovative Windows 10 hardware from Microsoft’s partners.
The briefing began with familiar terms like the mobility of the experience as Nick Parker, Microsoft’s Corporate VP for OEM Hardware, also mentioned the same momentum stats for Windows 10 which we heard about last week from Yusuf Mehdi’s Twitter storm.
One number Parker shared which we had not heard before was that there are now over 7 million Windows Insiders. That is an increase of over 1 million in the last month or so. I am sure Microsoft is glad the program has grown since the release of Windows 10 as there may have been some concern on it slowing down post release.
Once Parker had shared his message and stats he introduced Brian Roper, a Program Manager on the Windows team, who did a Windows 10 demo similar to the one he provided at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference back in July. Brian did a great job at WPC and the feedback was obviously positive enough for Microsoft to bring him to Berlin for the IFA keynote.
Unfortunately, and thru no fault of Brian’s, the IFA keynote coverage did not include his computer screens as he demoed Windows 10. That meant viewers on the livestream were left with a view of the back of Brian’s onstage hardware for about 15 minutes.
Following Brian’s demo, Nick Parker was back on stage to show off OEM hardware. It was good to see that many of the devices included capabilities like fingerprint and facial recognition for Windows Hello.
Quite a few of them also had touch screens and some even included pen support which was good to see this soon after launch because it took months for OEMs to get touch enabled devices on shelves after Windows 8 was released.
The did show about 13 devices which included one ruggedized device from Panasonic (Toughpad FZ-M1) and an Internet of Things data logger from Toshiba (ED Logger) that can track cargo and environmental conditions.
Some of the other devices that were featured included:
- Acer Aspire One Cloudbook
- Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260
- ASUS ROG G752
- TrekStor Volks-tablet 4
- Toshiba Radius 12
- ASUS Zen AIO S
The final device Parker shared with the audience was an unreleased Toshiba 2-in-1 tablet concept device with pen support.
Then it was over and there was an immediate disturbance in the force as Microsoft followers everywhere wondered what had just happened in the last hour.
On multiple occasions this past week Nick Parker has been on stage with Microsoft Partners during their Pre-IFA press conferences to talk about the Microsoft/OEM relationship but not one of those partners were brought on stage during the Microsoft keynote.
One alternative might have been to cut the demo, no offense intended towards Brian Roper at all who did a great job, and allowed more time to focus on the capabilities of the various OEM devices that were discussed by bringing the partners on stage.
In addition – there needed to be more goodies to get the masses talking about the innovation in various form factors. They did not all need to be prototypes or concept devices however, enthusiasts who are also brand ambassadors, love to talk geek about what they have seen.
Unfortunately, following this keynote the exact opposite is happening.