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Microsoft Launches Surface 4 pro, Surface Book and More

New York, Oct 6 (IANS) Technology giant Microsoft on Tuesday launched a tablet and a convertible laptop PC - the Surface 4 Pro and Surface Book - priced at $899 and $1,499 respectively.

Microsoft Surface division's vice president Panos Panay took to the stage to introduce the new devices. "This challenge of the tablet and the laptop... which do you buy? Remember that problem? It's gone," he said.

The Surface 4 will come with a fingerprint sensor on the keyboard and Cortana integration inside the new tablet, which fits a 12.3-inch display in the same physical footprint as the older 12-inch device.


Panos, who also introduced a new Pen, said: "And yes, there's an all-new Surface Pen as well, which also has an eraser on the end of it. The new pen has 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity and attaches magnetically to the side of the Surface Pro 4 when not in use."

"It comes in a variety of colors and even has Cortana integration: you can activate Microsoft's voice assistant by holding the button on the stylus," he added.

Intel's Skylake processors and Microsoft's own Windows 10 will power the Surface Pro 4 which Panos claimed is 50 percent faster than the Macbook Air. The Surface Pro 4, which will be available for pre-order starting tuesday, will be available on October 26.

The company also launched the new Surface Book laptop with 13.5-inch display which can be seen as competition to the new Apple tablet.

It has the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, from the Skylake family. There's also a Nvidia GeForce GPU with GDDR5 memory but that is located in the base and will need the display kept docked to tap into its power. The dock also includes two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot.

The company claims that the Surface Book is twice as fast as the MacBook Pro. "It will be available for pre-order from October 7," it said.

Microsoft unveils five new devices

Microsoft on Tuesday also unveiled five devices including a virtual reality gear, three smartphones, and two tablets along with new Xbox gaming consoles and a new gaming controller.

Executive vice president, Windows and devices group, Terry Myserson, who announced the new products, said that over 110 million devices had moved to Windows 10 within 10 weeks of the operating system's (OS) launch.

"Nearly 650 billion web pages have been viewed with the new Edge browser and 120 years of gameplay has been streamed via the Windows 10 Xbox app," he said, adding that nearly 1 billion questions had been posed to Cortana, Microsoft's voice assistant.

He also said that along with the share of Windows 10 PCs increasing in the market, app developers revenue has moved up four times. "Over eight million business PCs are running Windows 10 currently," Myerson said.

Microsoft launches its second-generation wearable device

Microsoft on Tuesday also launched its new wearable device, Microsoft Band 2, at a price of $249 and to be available by the end of the month.

The band, which supports all platforms including Android and iOS, will come with the VO2 Max measuring technology and a barometer to map elevation for users.

VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use. It is measured in millilitres per kilogramme of body weight per minute.

The Band 2, which also comes with a heart rate monitor, comes with Gorilla Glass protection. The curved organic LED (OLED) display of the device is also scratch resistant.

"The band can track sleep, suggest rest before workouts and train you on Golf and certain other activities," said Microsoft Band and Health division's senior communication manager Lindesey Matese.

Microsoft has also partnered with several other partners to support more extended usage on the device including Uber, fitness and nutrition apps.

"The band is for people who want to live a healthier life and achieve more. It gives user access to big data of their own set of exercises or every footstep they have taken," said Matese.

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