The last time we checked almost every major mainstream company was pretty busy trying to chase Apple and Google, or to be honest… copying them. But Microsoft presented something that blew our minds.
I’m not the kind of Person that enjoys using Windows, I’m the kind of person that uses it most because it is the standard, the OS that is in almost every available computer; Even a big number of Macs have some version of Windows in Parallels or Bootcamp. But when tablets raised and empire even Microsoft was worried.
For the most of the people it was clear that a Tablet is the great option, I mean if you buy an Alienware PC just to check facebook… you are really doing it wrong. For Mainstream user’s tablets and smartphones came and took a big share of the market from Personal Computers. Apple commanded the invasion, and Google leaded the revolution; meanwhile Microsoft stayed there… somewhere… being awkward.
When they presented Windows 8 they literally went after touchscreens and hybrid computers, but the marked wasn’t that optimistic. And the non-mainstream market wasn’t convinced; we stayed in Windows 7. You know… it is simply better. The PC’s with touchscreen weren’t the leap that Microsoft and the manufacturers expected. Microsoft was pretty sure that it just needed a push, and they made a move: Windows Phone 8 for Lumias and Windows 8 for tablets and computers.
The problem was that the Tablets from 3rd parties weren’t that shiny and cool as an iPad, and Microsoft reevaluated their strategy; their own tablets. So they introduced the Surface… in two versions; the one with a Pro and fully-functional Windows 8… and the RT a cheaper and… disastrous tablet that had a lot of limitations and that was bad received.
Microsoft knew that there were so many bad decisions in a row, so they made a fresh start and after some revisions they presented the Surface Pro 3. Well, finally they got on track… but a little too late; the market is saturated and the hype for tablets is stopping. But they didn’t went this far to stop right?
While innovation has stopped and the major brands have centered in offer just small changes every year (a new camera, a thinner body,… a… newer… thing… called… ahm… you know…), Microsoft surprised us yesterday when they presented the FlexSense for Surface. It is still in development… but our minds were that excited!
The Microsoft Research division presented the FlexSense on YouTube and gave some of the ways that can be created with this tiny cover; as this cover is recognized as a peripheral the possibilities are endless. For example; While an artist can use it as a guide for drawings a tourist can use it to make annotations on maps, a geologist can use it to check different layers of the earth in a more natural way.
The FlexSense has proved to be a real innovation. While everybody is really submerged in making software and giving cute and shiny stuff this Research division did what the technology needs; software and hardware integration, High functionality in a natural way and more important peripherals for the hardware that we already own.
I’m not that sure if this will ever see the market, but if it does I will be really happy because they showed that innovation still has a reward and that every time someone presents something that blows a mind… there is still hope for great minds and smart projects. And maybe, just maybe… Microsoft isn’t chasing its tail anymore.