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Here's how Microsoft kept the Surface tablet a secret

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Here's how Microsoft kept the Surface tablet a secret
The Microsoft Surface is a revolutionary device not just because it is a new tablet running on Windows 8 and sharing the kernel of a full-blown Windows 8, but because... it is made by Microsoft. Redmond’s entry into hardware is something not many expected and what’s even more interesting, there were practically no rumors about the Surface right before its launch. How did Microsoft manage to keep it all under cover?

After last week we learned to what extremes Samsung went to keep the Galaxy S III a secret, now Microsoft shows how hard it really is to develop a product for months while keeping it away from the public’s eye.

First, we should mention that Microsoft already has its own product design studio filled with 3D printers and all the technology needed for quick and effective prototyping. It’s called the Garage, but it wasn’t secretive enough for Redmond. When it all started with the Surface development, the whole team worked in what Microsoft’s Stevie Bathiche calls underground bunker with no windows.

That’s what it takes to set the stage for the extremely secretive Surface. Only later the team moved to a building that actually had buildings, but with security you’d usually see at bank vaults - airlock-like chained doors where the first has to close before the second opens so you’re completely sure no one is following you.

And development and prototyping went on and on under that very same silence. This allowed the team to focus its attention on the tiny details. A good example is the effort the Surface team put solely on the snapping sound when the keyboard joins the tablet. It’s surprisingly solid given the thin size of it and that’s deliberate, so you get really confident that it fits securely.

So at least in terms of security, Microsoft is definitely going Apple-like security, and that’s great, don’t you think? If only it managed to close the gap between the announcement and actual launch to mere days as well...

source: TechRadar

13 Comments
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posted on 22 Jun 2012, 06:41 19

1. tegradragon (Posts: 68; Member since: 23 May 2012)


I was a die-hard Apple fan but I'm pure Redmond now.
Thank you Surface and Windows Phone 8. :)

posted on 24 Jun 2012, 09:56 1

13. Sangeet (Posts: 232; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


agree, both companies are good but it is that Microsoft is just a bit better, i don't know why, but that doesn't mean that Apple is bad, believe me it isnt..

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 06:45 3

2. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5955; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Yeah, closing the gap between announcement and ship will be the real challenge - so many more mouths to muzzle. And each mouth has a vested interest in leaking.... That will be the real test of being to replicate Apple's security model.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 06:57

4. tegradragon (Posts: 68; Member since: 23 May 2012)


Apple usually ships after two weeks max after the announcement. And it starts pre-booking right after the keynote's over. Windows has a LOT of time before they start shipping Surface. October, if I'm not wrong. So IF they pull it off, they'll surpass Apple's iron-vault security standards.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 07:47

7. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5955; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


There is a huge supply chain that has to be mobilized to be able to ship an iDevice 2 weeks after product announcement. Every member of the supply chain has a vested interest in leaking their respective part to the world. When MS can get its supply chain to ship Surface tablets 2 weeks (much less the day of - new Retina MBP) after announcement and have almost zero leaks up until maybe the week before announcement, they will have been able to replicate Apple's security model.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 06:48 14

3. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


It's not Apple-like security. It's just plain tight security, please.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 12:43 1

11. rodex (Posts: 22; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


Exactly. Thanks :)

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 07:37 2

5. ardent1 (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


MicroSoft invented the tablet PC in about 2002 and it took another ten years to introduce the surface tablet and they expect people to get excited about the ten-year delay. Better late than never.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 07:41 1

6. mahoganyheart (Posts: 11; Member since: 23 May 2012)


It's almost unfair to announce a product 4 months before it becomes available while in most cases, 4 months is the lifetime of new technology products now a days! Microsoft has a lot to prove, a lot of expectations to meet to justify me waiting for so long.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 07:50

8. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5955; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


In four months, Apple could start to ship an MBA with detachable keyboard if they felt it would sell. Four months is almost the time it takes to prototype next year's GS IV.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 10:03

9. SmartPhoneStream (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


Smart idea by Microsoft, without all those rumors the developers can keep there mind set on the Surface prototype

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 11:28

10. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


If photos or specs are leaked , the surprise element are gone
Think of it this way , nobody knows a hell lot about Samsung Gs2 before it was announced so everyone was surprised and excited .
But in the GS3 case people already know what's coming except for the design all thanks to rumours

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 21:42

12. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1152; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


it's great that Microsoft now knows how to keep some of it's operation a secret they failed to do so with the xbox info that was on the web. PC users and PC Fans now want to know when these "surfsce" Tablets go on sale especially the Surface Pro because it can run the thousands of Windows Programs that now run on PC's Laptops world wide. Apple fans have their Ipad and it is a good Tablet now us Windows PC laptop fans have our MS Surface Pro Tablet to run our ECO system of thousands of Windows Educational, Business, Games, WEB based Entertainment and very specialized windows programs some businesses use. hurry up Microsft people who want them wont wait forever .

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