Panos Panay
reddit AMA - May 2014

Full microsoft surface keyboard snapping
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

We are Panos Panay and the Surface team at Microsoft. We proudly introduced Surface Pro 3 last week. Ask us anything!

Hi All. This is Panos. I am super pumped to be here in AMA again. Looking forward to answering as much as we can as quick as we can. So you know we have Ralf, Pete, Brett, Stevie, Brian all here with me. It has been fun to see the reception on Surface Pro 3 to date... lets get started

inb4 Where is Surface Mini Congrats on the Surface Pro 3 launch, I enjoyed tuning into the live stream My question is what if anything will you do Re the slight Start button issue that some artists and doodlers have a problem with? hitting Start on accident with your hand, while in the desktop(photoshop lets say) I came up with a sort of snap-on solution you are free to use, you can work around the kickstand I'm sure Thanks for the excellent innovations(don't stop), Surface Pro 3 is my next PC

Love the questions and the solution you suggested. As you've likely already read, we've said all along that we have a roadmap of products. Exactly what they look like and precisely when they might come to market, you'll have to wait and see. :)

What about the output resolution? I keep hearing that the dock can produce 4K output resolution. But what about without the dock, just using the displayminiport - can I get 4K output resolution then? I am thinking about the SP3 i7 edition? I would love to replace my desktop machine and connect to a new 4K monitor without purchasing the dock.

Hi, this is Pete from the Surface Team. The mDP port on the device can drive a 4K display - this is true for the i7, i5, and i3 - while still running the Surface Pro 3 display.

What is the number one thing you say when someone asks, "why the surface pro 3, and not this other laptop or tablet?" Also, thanks for doing this AMA! Big fan of the surface (have an rt 1 and still love it despite its relative age) and if I had the funds I'd definitely get myself a pro 3 :).

Great question- high level, our statement says it all. It is the tablet that can replace the laptop. This is the one product you need to do it all. It acts as a tablet, and can be used as a laptop. It is great in both scenarios. There is no product out there that compares. Too many times folks are stuck in the middle, have to carry two devices, or don't want to lug around the weight.

What happened to the Blades concept? Will we see any unique covers or 3rd parties making covers?

Hey jigarshah84, thx for the question. The ability to click in is something that was part of Surface from the very beginning. With the new Type Cover for Surface Pro 3, we take productivity to the next level with the double fold hinge adding magnetic stability and a much larger track pad for even more accurate 'mousing'. As for any additional covers, you'll just have to wait and see. :)

Does the omission of a non-Pro Surface during last week's presentation mean the end of the product and Windows RT?

Windows on ARM continues to be an important part of the Windows strategy. The Surface 2 (which runs Windows RT) is a great choice for both play and getting work done. Windows on ARM got even better with recent additions including third-party MDM, workplace join and Outlook, which is preinstalled along with the other Microsoft Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote), with the Windows RT 8.1 update.

Will there be much of a battery trade off for performance in the i7 SP3? Also, what is the overall performance gain for the i7 version over the i5?

The battery performance is the same across the i3, i5, and i7. The i7 will see benchmark scores appx. 15-20% better than the SP3 i5.

Does the surface touchpad have gestures like the Macbooks have? They have 3 finger and 4 finger swipes to get to different areas of the OS, and having touchpad gestures, while I've not used them before, is a good demo for the system.

Thx for asking JJohnson1701, yes the track pad supports both edge gestures and two finger gestures for scrolling and zooming.

Have you done anything to improve the keyboard plastic so that it does not tear off? I had to return two of my touch keyboards :-(

We have done a ton of research and design work in the new Type Covers. All materials have improved. We have a team that focusses on materials design exclusively. The whole construction of the Type Cover is redesigned to be more robust and more productive

I love a lot of what the new pen does, but I never use Onenote in metro mode. Would I be able to reprogram the top pen button to:
  • Do something that doesn't require waking the tablet ex. save a file in office or advance a slide in PowerPoint
  • Wake up the tablet into a different application
  • Use the top button as an eraser

Glad to hear you love the new pen! With regards to OneNote metro -- we are making it configurable to launch the classic desktop for users who want that experience. With regards to general configurability of the top buton -- at this point, we are not planning to make it generally configurable. Eraser on the top button -- great feedback.

There is a question out there regarding branding of the Surface pro 3. While the product accomplishes much more than a tablet and takes aim at laptops it is still difficult to pin down exactly what the device truly is. On the Microsoft website the product is called a tablet but during the press conference the term tablet was barely mentioned. In your words how would you describe the Surface Pro 3 to a regular everyday consumer.

Hi BlackIron_Man, I would describe Surface Pro 3 as the tablet that can replace your laptop. :)

I'm a Windows user, and the first time I used one of Apple's glass touchpads, I couldn't believe how accurate and responsive it was. Last year, some folks from Microsoft came on and did an AMA on precision touchpads, promising that the days of horrible touchpads on Windows would finally be behind us. Then you released the Surface Pro 2 which used precision touchpads on its covers, and they were lambasted in reviews as some of the worst touchpads ever created, a fact alluded to in your recent presentation launching the Surface Pro 3. The reviews for the Surface Pro 3 are out, and the touchpad has been described variously as somewhere around decent to at-least-better-than-the-old-ones. Why is it so difficult in the Windows ecosystem to create a touchpad experience as good as the one found in Apple MacBooks?

A couple of things that we have done with the new TypeCover. 60%+ larger trackpad area, embedded glass beads for smoother feel, and a mechanical button...provides greatly improved feel.

Trackpad also support Precision Track Pad features with Windows to support gestures including; Edgy, Pan, & Pinch/Zoom. (link)

What about more gaming-oriented tablet? Something based on AMD's APU, with specialised cover, may be with D-pad and buttons on frame or ever sticks?

anonymfus, love the suggestion, keep them coming.

What would make the surface pro 3 perfect for every utilisations would be an external GPU to put on the desktop. With that i could replace my laptop, my tablet and my desktop by a single device, the surface pro 3. Have you ever considered it ?

Hey NotCassim, love the suggestion! Keep them coming please. :)

My question: Firstly, let me start by saying I love the Surface line and I was amazed when I first saw it, because of how powerful the devices are. I have a Surface RT (1st Gen) and it was almost everything I needed for high school. I'm going into 6th form next year (Year 12-13 16-18 year old) to do my A-level qualifications. For this I know my first gen Surface will not be enough. However after trying to bring my laptop into school on multiple occasions, I have decided that it will not be enough either. It is way too heavy and big to carry in a small backpack. This is why I want to upgrade to a hybrid device such as the new Surface Pro 3. I was considering a Surface Pro 2 but the small screen didn't appeal to me as much as the new 12'' screen does. However, I know this is not the only device on the market that can fulfil my needs. So my questions are:
  1. As a student already invested in Microsoft's ecosystem (with Windows, Office, OneDrive and Xbox), what benefits does the Surface Pro 3 bring me as opposed to another Windows Hybrid with Office included for free?
  2. Is the i5 128gb model of the Surface Pro 3 powerful enough for me to run Microsoft Office software, Visual Studio Ultimate and other processor intensive software that I may need for 6th form?
  3. How good honestly is the new trackpad on the Type cover 3? Because my laptop trackpad is perfect (because it has real clickable buttons), and the Type cover 2 is almost unusable for my needs.
  4. Which is best, the black type cover or the royal blue one? Because the royal blue one looks so sweet.
Thanks for taking the time to read my question, Jordan.

Hey Jordan. Thanks for the questions. Few things I'd call out based on spending a bunch of time with students using Surface today. First thing is the device itself. It is super thin, much lighter than earlier versions of Surface Pro and as a student, you will love the note-taking experience. Check out some of the videos at the bottom of this page. These scenarios only get better with Surface Pro 3. (link)

The i5 is definitely powerful enough to run Office, Visual Studio Ultimate and other powerful software. If you missed the launch video, we showcased Surface Pro 3 running Revit (powerful building modeling software from Autodesk), Adobe Photoshop and other cool software and apps.

You will love the new trackpad. We reduced friction by 78% vs. our previous trackpads, it is 60% bigger than the previous Surface Pro. This is as good as trackpads you will find on some of the best laptops.

Finally, the best typecover is whatever color you like best. The blue one is awesome IMO, but I'm writing on a purple right now.

You guys aren't really answering any questions, just promoting your products.

Hey, what's your question?

I'd love for a definitive answer on this as well, but I suspect the hardware just doesn't support it - the Pro 1 & 2 have a TPM 1.2, and the Pro 3 has a TPM 2.0.

jhoff80 is right -- the Pro2 was not designed for Connected Standby. Pro3 is :-).

Does the Surface 3 dock have multiple video out connections? I have a surface pro 2 (I love it) but it REALLY sucks to have no option for dual external monitors without daisy chaining displayport (honestly cant find a reasonably priced monitor that does this)

It has a miniDisplayPort and supports Multi-Stream Transport (MST) so you can drive multiple monitors.

In Surface Pro (2), a big complaint of the platform was how few accessories were available for it (especially compared to other ecosystems). Now that the form factor, connectors, screen, and almost everything else has changed, what is Microsoft doing to encourage partners to make everything from cases to chargers to nifty gadgets for the Surface Pro 3?

We're working with a bunch of partners to get great accessories out there. you'll see cases more quickly than other things, but you'll see mounts, protective cases, etc.

Will we ever get Connected standby support on the Surface Pro? Right now I think that's the only item I see lacking on the Surface Pro other than a GPS and NFC support. Also, thanks for creating some awesome products, I bought a SP2 on release day and it was my only computer when I studied abroad in Ireland, everyone I meet is continuously impressed with just how capable the tablet is.

The Pro3 is a Connected Standby system!

Is the pen accuracy better on surface pro 3? My pen is seriously out of sync with the screen whenever I get close to edges, making it nearly impossible to hit anything accurately if it's closer than 1.5cm from the edge (like the X in the corner, to close a window). Apparently this is the case for more or less everyone with a surface pro 2. The pen accuracy on the surface pro 2 really disappointed me.

Sorry to hear that. The Accuracy of pen on pro3 is very impressive.. see blog post: (link) The edge accuracy is greatly improved as well.. see the first picture.. which shows the error map of pro3.. very low. This is the best around now. :)

There are also a bunch of questions that people have prepared over at /r/surface yesterday, I'm sure they'll repost them over in this thread too, but just in case you guys miss it, here is a link to the other thread: (link)

Got it. Thanks. We will weave in answers from this as well. Thanks for pointing it out.

Surface Remix. What happened and why can't I buy a Surface Remix blade at a Microsoft Store? 2014 is nearly half over.

Hey GeneralSham - The ability to click in is something that was part of Surface from the very beginning. We're always exploring new products that will make Surface awesome for our customers. Stay tuned for more.

Reviews have been relatively consistent that while the new type cover for the SP3 is an improvement in almost every way compared to the original, it still doesn't compared to refined options like what you find on a MBA in terms of "lapability", keyboard feel and trackpad performance. Does the Surface team have any plans to release a "cover" that would provide performance and ease of use in-line with traditional clamshell designs, with a base that effectively secures the screen?

PopcornPenguin, thanks for this. The double-fold hinge with magnetic stability on the Surface Pro 3 Type Cover, coupled with the multi-position kickstand make for a great 'lapable' solution. Go and try it our for yourself. :)

How is it possible to call the Surface Pro 3 a laptop killer when the device does not come with a keyboard? The keyboard is an "optional" accessory that is marketed as vital to the the Surface experience (to which I agree), but it makes no sense to charge so much extra for it.

When we first launched Surface, we sold it only in a bundle format. the top feedback we got was that people loved the color covers and wanted full choice (but stores wouldn't sell all color bundles) and some people definitely wanted to buy without cover.

Will you be adding a feature to rebind the top key on the surface pro 3 digitizer to do something other than open OneNote?

OrjanNC, great suggestion... nothing to share right now, but keep the suggestions coming. :)

I have an original Surface Pro, and my number one complaint with it is that when the battery stops holding a charge in two years, my only option is to have the entire device replaced by Microsoft for $450. In two years, there's a good chance the device won't even be worth that much anymore, which turns the Surface Pro into essentially a disposable computer. This was almost a deal breaker for me buying my Surface Pro, and the only reason I still bought one was because I got a good enough deal on it that I've come to terms with the fact that when the battery wears out, I'll need to buy a new computer. Is this still the case with the Surface Pro 3?

The batteries on our Surface products are designed with some of the highest charge cycles for consumer electronic devices. This means that the battery can get charged daily (5 days a week) for over 4.5 years and still maintain 80% capacity.

Will there be a new non-Pro Surface released?

vehcilet, nothing to share here, but you can rest assured that we have a roadmap of products. You'll have to wait and see what they look like and when they might be released though...

Panos and Surface team, The work you have done with the Surface line has VASTLY improved my work/life. As someone who worked for a F500 brick and mortar retailer, to eventually their corporate-level environment, my ability to utilize this tool in BOTH environments has been WILDLY supportive. I've always believed my rapid career path has been because of my decision to adopt the FIRST Surface Pro back on Feb 9, 2013. So THANK YOU for all the hard work you and your teams have done to make MY life more efficient, integrated, and easy.

Very cool to hear. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Panos (and team!), Thanks for doing the AMA, I really enjoyed watching the launch and getting a bit of a behind the scenes look at the team's thought processes when developing the new surface. Great examples of human oriented design. I have a question though, is there an accessory certification program for the Surface? I've done some mockups for (what I believe to be) a really solid accessory for the surface and I think I'd like to produce a few and then kickstart it. Is there anyone in particular I should get in contact with first? Any pinout information for the keyboard connector?

Yes flamingbigtex, there is! :) Here's the link: (link)

I would really like to see some improvements in the graphics. Since the SP1, I don't believe the graphics have changed any. If I want to really replace a laptop, I'd like to be able to replace it for work and play. Are there future plans on changing the graphics controller, giving that you have more space in the new larger layout?

Hi, the i7 has Intel HD graphics 5000, the i5 has Intel HD Graphics 4400, and the i3 has Intel HD Graphics 4200

Just for reference, Gabe mentions this in his review: (link) As I use the Surface for landscape currently while drawing, I was surprised to read the button is not disabled the same way touch is when the pen is above the screen.

Hey guys. When we made Surface Pro 3, we wanted a device that worked not only in landscape mode, but worked beautifully in portrait mode. This is super important for things like reading, annotating docs, etc. Putting the home button where it is in SP3 makes working in portrait natural. Now that said, we also invested a ton of effort into ensuring that when working in landscape mode, you don't trigger the button by accident. This includes things like palm rejection, guard sensors that prevent inadvertent hits, etc. Mike (Gabe) is one of our favorite Surface fans, so we're working closely with him to understand and address the issues he is specifically having.

Almost none of their answers have. This AMA is pure marketing drivel. Not answering the difficult questions either.

Tell me what you need answered... this is not a marketing drive

As a corollary, will you be updating the Music Cover for the larger Surface Pro 3 format or is the spine still compatible with the existing line of Touch and TypeCovers (and PowerCover)?

All Type and Touch Covers are compatible with Surface Pro 3, including the Power Cover. :)

What is being done to fill the "App Gap" on Windows 8 ModernUI? For some apps, there is no Windows Desktop or ModernUI equivalent compared to non-Windows devices (the same problem exists for Windows Phone), so I am limited to other devices. Will this be addressed to work with companies/developers to fill out the top apps on other platforms and bring them to Surface devices both Pro and RT?

Surface Pro 3 will run full Windows desktop apps. What other apps would you love to see work with the Surface Pro Pen?

Good morning! I'm curious about the compatibility of the Surface Pro 3 with a 21" Cintiq. I'm an artist, and the idea of a mobile digital work station is amazing. However, i still need the option of the larger workspace that a full-size Cintiq provides. I'd love to be able to just hook the SP3 up to my Cintiq and easily transition from a mobile workspace to a larger workspace when i need to, but i've had issues with this on similar devices in the past; i suspect conflicting tablet drivers were causing stylus recognition issues, but i never quite got to the bottom of it. Have any of your team tried this with the SP3? It sounds like a great replacement for my current laptop, but this could be a big dealbreaker for me. Thanks! :)

Hello Lissa,

We have a couple of Cintiq Pads in our studio and they all work with Pro. Surface Pro3 is a full PC and supports up to 4k resolution out, the Cintiq drivers should all work. The Surface pen will not work on the Cintiq, since the technology is different. Great idea to use Pro for mobile sketching. I use Sketch Book Pro and it is a sweet experience.

Home Button Issue-While drawing in Landscape, home button gets pressed if you are right handed. Can be disabled but haptic feed back still on, Will there be a fix for this on release or is it being looked at? Is there a fix that also disabled haptic feedback and home button, while still allowing the other physical buttons to work? Power Setting-Can we control power setting? What happened to High Performance Mode on Surface Pro 3 it appears we cannot change it. Is this a Thermal issue?

Home Button - (link)

Power Setting - Not a thermal decision, related to connected standby. We are continuing to review options.

Are you looking into a way to disable the Start button without disabling other hardware buttons to respond to the complaints by Penny Arcade and others? For a tablet so strong at inking, it seems like an obvious major oversight to place the button there in the way of right handers.


Are there limitations to the resolution or performance if daisy chaining multiple displays?

i7 and i5 will drive 1x4K, or 2x2K (while supporting the Surface Pro 2K display).

i3 will drive 1x4K, or 2xHD (while supporting the Surface Pro 2K display).

Are you guys going to be releasing a power cover for the SP3? I feel like with the larger size it could be even more effective or thinner. Also, I hope this time it will be easier to get a dock. Last time it took months to get one for the SP2.

Hey ThatGamer707, I don't have anything to share here on any new covers... in the meantime, the existing Power Cover is compatible with the Surface Pro 3.

Hi SurfaceTeam, as a music producer from The Netherlands I am very interested in the Surface Music kit. However, it's availability is extremely limited, so my question is: Is the Surface Music kit compatible with the Surface Pro 3, if not will the Surface Pro 3 have a Music Kit of its own? And will it be available in Europe? Thanks for the AMA you guys are awesome!

Hey Mic-oky - the Surface Music Kit is no longer available. Stay tuned for other cool stuff in the future.

Panos, I love your presentation style. Are there any books you'd recommend or general advice you have to share when communicating to a larger audience?

Thanks for the comment. My best advise.

Be genuine, have fun, and have products you believe in.

I'm a Microsoft Consultant for Best Buy, so is there any chance of the stores getting demo units early to drive pre-orders? I've managed to get a few but for some people it's hard to justify spending that much on a product they have never even heard of or seen.

Demo units will be showing up on June 6th in Best Buy stores.

Hey thanks for doing this Surface Team! Love my Surface 2 for home and work! Quick Question: Has the WiFi Been Improved over the Pro2, Throughput / Range?

Pro3 has 802.11ac -- if you have an 802.11ac access point, you will see much higher throughput.

When Windows 9 comes around, will we be able to upgrade to it on the Surface Pro 3?

Yes. Whatever the next version is called.

His main question was whether you're planning to do anything about the start button while drawing, which you didn't answer. I'm also considering a surface 3, and would love to know if that's being ironed out.


When we made Surface Pro 3, we wanted a device that worked not only in landscape mode, but worked beautifully in portrait mode. This is super important for things like reading, annotating docs, etc. Putting the home button where it is in SP3 makes working in portrait natural. Now that said, we also invested a ton of effort into ensuring that when working in landscape mode, you don't trigger the button by accident. This includes things like palm rejection, guard sensors that prevent inadvertent hits, etc. Mike (Gabe) is one of our favorite Surface fans, so we're working closely with him to understand and address the issues he is specifically having.

Hello Panos!Gongratulations for the excellent product you have presented to us called Surface Pro 3!One question.Why won't you release a white cover?I have the original white touch cover that came with surface rt but with surface pro 2 & 3 you guys did not unveil any touch or type covers in white?Why is that?Is there a proble with the colour?Thank you and greetings from Cyprus Panos!!We are very proud of you!

Not many people were buying white, so we did not launch it this time around. Thanks for the nice words...

Can we ask questions about warranty support for the surface here?

yes. ask.

But CAN the battery be replaced if necessary?

The battery can be replaced, but not by the user. The process would be to contact support and send the device in to have it replaced.

The response above that "the battery can get charged daily (5 days a week) for over 4.5 years and still maintain 80% capacity." reflects the testing we've done on the battery. If the battery life becomes an issue you should contact Microsoft support.

Our summary response is deep enough in the comments that it’s not visible – reposting it here.

We’ve built a great battery into the product (details above).

IF the battery fails during the warranty period, we’ll replace the battery.

IF the battery fails after the warranty period, you’ll call Microsoft support and arrange for the battery to be replaced. The cost will be $200 USD.

I'm a 3D artist and proud owner of the first Surface Pro. I believe that many artists out there have been and will be interested to any new evolution of Surface products. You addressed many problems related to using the tablet from an artistic point of view, but many of them still remain imo. 1) I was surprised that you don't use Wacom Technology anymore. Maybe there was some problem as the Surface could be seen as a direct competitor of the Wacom Companion. But the new pen, while more accurate, lacks of levels of pressure. It is only 256, and while it may be enough for digital painters working on a a small canvas, it may result in less accurate sampling. I'm actually happy that you ditched Wacom technology, as they currently have the monopoly, which usually isn't a good thing... but from a user point of view, it may be a risk to jump on the first iteration with a new technology. Do you think the pen will be updated with more levels of pressure during SP3's lifecycle? 1a) This pen probably will not work with applications that use WinTab drivers only... Will this problem be solved? Currently I can't think how it will be possible for me to use softwares like zbrush or mudbox without pen pressure. 2) One of my bigger concerns with the first Pro was that the screen wasn't that big, and that many applications weren't scaling the text properly when using different DPI settings. Is it possible to solve it in some way? Furthermore, can you add an option in windows 8.1, to setup different DPI settings per application? 3) The bigger resolution will probably impact performances. I don't understand this big run to the "retina" resolution. Is it really that important? I would have preferred the classic HD resolution coming from the previous pro. 4) Is it true that the windows logo, being on the right oprtion of the screen, represents a problem for right-handed artists, as it is often pressed by mistake? 5) I would like to see a customizable on-screen keyboard (like ArtDock), where I can put the keys I use the most in my applications. This would be useful when using Photoshop for example... where I can setup a mini-touch-keyboard with ctrl+alt+shift+space buttons only. The problem I have with existing solutions (artdock again), is that palm rejection disables it, and I am forced to remove the hand holding the pen from the screen, while using this on-screen buttons. Thank you!

Hi.. this is StevieB. I anticipated the pen digitizer question.. so I have been thinking about how to talk about it over the weekend. I hope you and other folks find it useful. I will try to answer the rest of your questions preceding. Below is about your Wacom and Pressure question.

There are 3 main types of pen digitizer technologies: Electromagnetic, passive capacitive (those conductive rubber tipped pens that trick the digitizer into looking like a finger), and active capacitive.

Electromagnetic works by putting a printed circuit board across the entire device, typically situated underneath the display and its backlight. This is a completely separate system from the touch digitizer that typically goes in front of the display. The circuit board has a bunch of planar coils that emit an electromagnetic field (like one side of a transformer). The Other side of the transformer is located in the pen itself. As the pen approaches these fields and coils it couples the EM signal and adds a load. This load is picked up across multiple coils and the position of the stylus is then interpolated. These field lines can emit 15mm or so above the display, and thus the mechanism for hover. Data is transmitted from the pen to the device (pressure and button data), by modifying the frequency content of the load. To get orientation there is typically a secondary coil/circuit.. and simple trig can extrapolate the orientation of the pen.. this is important for later to remove mechanical parallax. Among the three this technique has been around the longest.

Passive stylus, works by simply acting as an extension of your finger, by being a conductor to passively couple with the electrostatic signal from the transmit and receive rows and columns of the digitizer. This technique uses the same transparent conductive lines in front of the display to do both the finger and “fake” finger/stylus.

Finally, active capacitive solutions started coming into fruition in the early 2000s. Their mode of operation is to use the same transparent conductive lines as passive stylus does above, but rather the pen tip injects an electrostatic signal which is picked up by these touch capacitive lines. Think of the pen is a mini radio and the sensing lines in front of the display the device are little antennas. The junction(s) (where the rows and columns of the transparent conducting lines cross) which receives the strongest signal is correlated to the position of the pen. To do this, the pen typically needs a battery, but the pen can emit all kinds of signals from buttons, pressure, and other. We purchased a really fantastic active capacitive pen and touch technology a couple years ago: you may remember the company that did the CNN election boards.. Perceptive Pixel. This is no doubt the most fantastic pen technology around for large non-mobile screens. Active capacitive field is defiantly showing a lot of activity by a number of different touch makers.. cause it is a natural extension of touch technology and its integration with the touch solution.

Now let’s go into what makes a great stylus from a hardware perceptive : 1) Precision is king. The more accurate and consistent the pen tip is to the actual ink of the display the more natural and more accurate you as an artist and user are able to execute. a. The Precision problem is broken down into 3 categories: i. Visual Parallax: from pen tip to ink on screen. This is where you think the pen tip is. ii. Electronic parallax: from pen tip to digitizer and where the digester thinks the pen tip actually is.
iii. Digitizer precision and linearity across the entire screen. 2) Feel and sound: should sound and feel like writing on paper. 3) Pen weight, feel, and ergonomics. 4) Consistent and accurate pressure sensitivity 5) Buttons for switching modes (erase, selection, and other commands) 6) Latency: the lag of ink behind the pen tip (highly app dependent)… good developers can keep this number to a minimum. 7) Palm detection so the computer can reject false touches. 8) Device Integration: how it fits, and the industrial design requirements.

Now that we have a bit of a background of the different popular pen digitizer options and the hardware characteristics of what makes a good pen. Let’s go into a brief pros and cons of each of these (I am gonna skip passive stylus as it is still offers an obvious compromise in experience for our current applications [for now]). But before we begin, please let me say first none of these 3 options are generally more superior than one another. It all depends on the application and even more importantly the implementation/execution of technology. The performance of any one of these technologies is highly dependent on how thoughtful, careful, the engineering put into by the device makers to integrate the digitizer system. I have seen some really poor implementations of all 3 of these solutions above by various device makers. Using the brand of technology does not guarantee performance in the least bit.

continued below

I'm a business owner and everyone runs off of laptops with docking stations. Our dev team runs off of a full MS stack and utilizes Azure and BizSpark. We've looked in to the Surface but are still sticking with Ultrabooks for now, mostly because of the dock. I'd imagine MS developers would be a big target for you but I'm unsure how you'd attract them with a dock that seems to only easily support one external monitor. Is there a solution to support multi monitor setups that we are missing that don't require buying a bunch of other stuff? At that point, I may as well just buy someone else's docking station that do multi monitor support without additional hardware. At $199, the Surface docking station would also be the most expensive docking station in our office (the ones we currently use, which DO support dual monitors are $125 from ASUS). I REALLY like the idea of the Surface but I feel like you guys are dropping the ball on a key target market, developers. Maybe the devs I know are weird but we'd rather have 2-3 monitors at a good resolution than a single 4k monitor. I want to be docked at the office and at the end of the day be able to take the Surface home and dock it there, too. I was really excited when I saw a Surface 3 was coming out, thinking you would finally address this. I'm sure we could find ways to make it work with other docking stations but I guess it just feels like you guys aren't even considering this use case or have considered it and decided it's not a supported scenario. Either way, it makes us wary of diving in.

There are a bunch of USB3-based port replicators that will support multiple monitors.

This is what I am curious about too. I am a lay person with an iPad 2. Why would I want a surface pro 3?

always a popular question...Surface Pro 3 is designed for as a Pro machine. Surface is about productivity...enabling you to get 'stuff' done. Kickstand, Keyboard, Inking, all part of that story. And yes x86 Tax Based filing programs...

"We are Panos Panay & The Surface Team" sounds more like the band playing at a local Bar Mitzvah than someone I want designing my computer.

We are not a musically inclined group (to my knowledge). We will work on the naming for these in the future. But check out Stevie's hair in this picture, he is the closest thing we have to a rock star loo (link)

How do I explain the difference between a 256 point pressure sensitivity level versus 2048 pressure points with a wacom tablet to a photoshop novice and will other companies like corel painter get involved in the touch interface? thanks

please see this explanation: pressure is towards the bottom. (link)

When are you going to sell Surface in my country, Turkey? With the same price ofcourse. (Some products get too expensive when they sold in my country). We are eagerly waiting to get our hands on it.

Selam DenizYakamoz -- Henuz planlarimiz kesinlesmedigi icin bunun cevabini kesin veremeyecegim, ama emin ol benim listemin en ustunde :-).

I use a Surface Pro 2 as my professional laptop and Bitlocker is enabled for security. In order to boot the Surface I must have the keyboard attached because there is no option for a Bitlocker touchscreen interface. The lack of this feature means that I can't turn off my Surface if I intend to use it as a tablet without the keyboard. Does the new Surface Pro 3 correct this problem? Will Surface Pro 2 users ever get a UEFI update that allows us to start the device as a tablet with Bitlocker enabled?

Yep, Pro3 has you covered.

Will the Surface Pro 4 have Wacom's implementations return for a batteryless pen implementation? Have you considered extending the EMR layer beyond the visible screen bezel to minimize edge screen drift? Also, have you considered to have the pen be recognized in tilting and barrel rotating to also help in cursor orientation, calibration, and precision? Are those things not currently possible sourcing the digitizer with Wacom? Does Wacom's solution not work in reducing glass thickness needed for your parallax design requirement? Also, there are pros and cons for the now, side Windows bezel icon. I liked it in the bottom and adjusted to such, but given Penny Arcade's Gabe on that aspect, I am going to definitely have my hands interfere more there than where it is on my Surface Pro 2. Either way, would there be a Charms option to turn the haptic Windows bezel icon off? Also, even if the new Surface Pro 3 settles on the 3:2 ratio, would there still be the same Surface Pro 2 and Pro 1 aspect and footprint or will Microsoft leave that area up to other OEMs? If such a decision is done, would you guys open up the Magnetic cover system to be in use with such compatible chassis and design (as I don't expect Microsoft to fully cater in features and design for everyone). I speak of these things, because I am a VERY VERY satisfied user of the Pro 1 and Pro 2, and made the early adopter jump (and preordered the Pro 2 - due to the more roomier RAM and SSD storage). Not much in computing hardware has changed and in lieu of a batteryless (and less capable pen - I use a Fujitsu Lifebook pen with custom assignable menus and buttons on the Wacom driver - has two side buttons and a writing pressure end and eraser pressure end). The BIGGEST reason and draw to the device that surfaced was the pen in such a form factor (I researched and looked at Samsung's ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T before the Surface Pro 1 came out if any indication why I haven't picked it - due to the keyboard system). A very wishful thinking, is future Surface Pros having user access swappable batteries. But given the compact consolidated nature, it possible isn't feasible while maintaining strength and the hinge system.

Thank you!! On the Pen stuff.. please see : (link)

good feedback on the Charms idea. So Happy you love your pros!!!you will love pro3 too.. I am sure.

How long does it take to fully charge the SP3?

SP3 will charge from 0% to 80% in 2 hours and to 100% in 4 hours.

What considerations have stopped mobile SIM card/3G/LTE support being directly included in any of the Surface Pro series?

it's not in the roadmap right now, but we hear the ask. we have USB so lots of people are using those and "mifi" tethering solutions. Battery certainly has been a consideration to date...

Panos - First off, you're the best MS presenter by far- No disrespect to Joe Belfiore, he's pretty great too. Pleasantries aside: Ignoring the touch + pen capabilities (which are awesome and the reason I'm hopefully going to be able to preorder a SP3 for my job hunt this week!), how is your team approaching selling a great product that might be more expensive in terms of power/money when most people just need a browser and Instagram? Personally, even though I'm an architect intern and I work with 3ds Max, Illustrator and Revit - not having the most powerful machine isn't necessarily the most important thing to me but that machine having a fantastic build quality that won't break and also an attractive design definitely upsells my decisions - which I definitely see with the SP3.

If you saw the launch event, you would likely appreciate the fact that we showed Revit on stage running on the Surface Pro 3 and we showed some architects who are using Surface Pros every day. They use these devices because they want power and performance, but they also want mobility, so they can go from the office to the construction site and not lose access to the models and info they need to do their jobs. Architects also tend to love great design and build quality. Our device is beautiful. I think you will love it.

I can say I'm biggest fan of device even tho I never got to use it. Ever since the first generation I watched almost every review on Youtube. And I watched the New York Event with my unstable connection. 1 hours of event took my 8 hours to watch. One thing I'd like to ask is what happened to the dark color? It was really amazing

The dark titanium was great. We spent a lot of time to study and develop extremely scratch resistant finishes. The magnesium, Surface is made from has a silver sheen and we decided to have it shine through the semi clear top coat of Surface Pro3.

where is the thunderbolt link? you could have external gpu's and make it a desktop replacement, i thought the "ultrabook" standard included thunderbolt.

When you buy your Surface Pro3, do me a favor, and take a close look at the "power connector"

How long does it take for the Surface Pro 3 to come out of Standby when pressing the button? Is it several seconds like previous Surface Pros?

Pro3 is a Connected Standby system, it will wake up in half a second. If you do not touch the system for more than 4 hours, it will go to hibernate, and then deep sleep to go to single digit miliwatts. At that point it will take longer, like a pro2 coming out of hibernate.

How can I be apart of the Surface Team :D

Hi tm_pg. Send us your resume! We're always looking for great people. :)

Good job with the Surface Pro 3 I cant wait to get my hands on one! I have a quick question why not include the type cover. If your going to make a device that will replace the laptop & tablet then you should include the keyboard. As for a suggestion you should sell RT tablets as development devices. Create a Visual Studio IDE for RT. Just a thought.

When we first launched Surface, we sold it only in a bundle format. the top feedback we got was that people loved the color covers and wanted full choice (but stores wouldn't sell all color bundles) and some people definitely wanted to buy without cover.

Are you guys planning on partnering or developing specifically for education beyond just the 10% discount? (Apple and Lenovo are really big at doing this, so everyone on my campus uses them.) I feel like the Surface Pro series is made for students in math associated fields. An example (beyond partnering with a campus) is to integrate textbook lending with one note. Or to be able to better annotate PDF's of slides and academic papers. Or better integration of math writing to math notation. Or exporting to Latex.

We also believe Surface is a great opportunity for students and education. We do continue to work with different organizations in this space and are excited about the potential. For annotating PDFs, you should take a look at DrawBoard - its in the Surface Picks section now.

Photographers use full size SD cards and for those with micro cards there are adapters, what was the thinking behind only offering the micro option?

One of the goals with Pro3 is thin. Space inside the device is critical and always a valued resource. SD functionality was important for us and has been since the first products introduced. Options are the adapter you mention or connecting your camera directly to full size USB.

Hello Panos and the Surface Team, I was recently accepted to medical school in the U.S. and I am currently looking at devices to use in my preclinical and clinical years. The Surface Pro 3 appears to be the perfect preclinical device for note-taking and organizing information, but I'm likely to also purchase an iPad Mini or a large Android phone (Sony Xperia Z Ultra comes to mind) to supplement the tablet on the clinical side.
  • The Toshiba Encore 8 was recently announced, but like many 8” Windows tablets, it uses an Intel Atom processor (which I've always associated with underpowered netbooks). Are we still a few years from seeing full-fledged ultrabook components in an 8" form factor?
  • In your presentation, you addressed "lappability" with the magnetized Type Cover. However, there are some who would still prefer a full laptop experience with a detachable tablet when necessary. Is there a possibility of seeing a keyboard/battery dock in the future?
  • In my experience shadowing and scribing for physicians using an Android tablet, iPad and Windows laptop, there are very few chances to actually sit down or set my device on a table to input information with two hands. Is there anything in development for Surface – such as Word Flow/Swiftkey Flow, or even a hardware solution - that would make it easier for one-handed input while standing?
  • There is no replaceable battery (which is expected), so I'm somewhat worried about how the Surface Pro 3 will hold up with heavy use. Heavy use, in my case, means hours off the charger and even more hours on the charger while connected to an external monitor. What kind of battery degradation should we expect over 1-2 years of using it?
Thank you for your time! I look forward to picking up the Surface Pro 3 at a Microsoft store next month (the education discount will save me quite a bit of money).

First off, congratulations. My brother in law just graduated from med school as well. We've had great interaction with doctors and the feedback has helped us to make Surface Pro 3 better in a clinic or hospital setting: (link)

Surface Pro 3 is powerful - it's a full PC so you can run the software you need, including full EMR applications for electronic medical records. It runs Windows 8.1, so working with 2 apps side-by-side is really easy, yet with all this its still incredibly thin and light. We know a lot of people still carry multiple devices (tablet + laptop) and we worked hard to make a device that would make carrying multiple things unnecessary.

As far as using the device on your lap - the new Type Cover adds a lot of stability and the experience of using it on your lab is pretty great. I've had this question a few times, and I hope you'll get the chance as devices arrive in stores to try this out in a store and see how it actually feels on your lap. Surface is designed to be super portable.

On one-handed input - the onscreen keyboard is a very good option, as is the Pen. The pen makes it easy to use Surface when standing, on the move, or when you’re consulting with a patient.

Finally, to your question on battery life, I’ll take some language from another question above - “The batteries on our Surface products are designed with some of the highest charge cycles for consumer electronic devices. This means that the battery can get charged daily (5 days a week) for over 4.5 years and still maintain 80% capacity.” So you should be good to go for a very long time.

Best of luck as you start your career.

Hi, I was going to buy a Surface Pro 3, but when I heard about N-Trig I wasn’t so sure anymore. One of the biggest differences between Wacom and N-Trig is the Initial Activation Force. For N-Trig devices it seems to be much larger. Is there / will be there a way to adjust the IAF for the Surface 3 pen? Also does the Surface Pro 3 pen make those N-Trig typical clicking noise?

Check out the response below. Initial activation force is the same if not better than Surface Pro 2. No clicking noises. (link) (link) (link)

Have you ever thought about combing two Surfaces together through the accessory spine to create a two screen book-like device? Probably wouldn't make sense with full sized Surfaces though... maybe two 7-ish inch devices.... with pen support. Would definitely need to have a patent for it before you released it of course... and then you'd need a good brand name to set it apart from other tablets and devices... Something like a... Surface Messenger...hmm no... Surface Herald? Nah. Hmm... what... could... it be....? Oh! A Surface Courier. Or just Courier for short. ;)

I like the name!

Why hasnt a good wireless screen sharing solution been implemented in Windows yet? I understand that "WiDi" and "Miracast" are two options but I have not seen Microsoft mention these solutions very much and they are confusing and convoluted for the average user.

If you have a Miracast enabled endpoint (dongle, built-in etc.), you can project to it by sliding the right side edgie, selecting devices, then project, add wireless display.

Can I have one? (Doesn't hurt to ask, right?)

Get this voted to the top, and you got it.

Will you guys sell Surface in Turkey? I know there are a lot of countries but I really don't get the low number of sales news while you are not selling it everywhere. You can buy Apple almost everywhere. But you can't get Surface. Will there be a wider marketing this time?


(This question was deleted by the user)

To clarify, alienwp, the Power Cover is indeed compatible with Surface Pro 3.

When do we get to order the docking station for the Surface Pro 3 in US?

It will be out in the next few months. Microsoft Stores is taking reservations now.

I'm going to start studying Law later this year and I'm torn between the Mac Book Air and the Surface Pro 3 (actually I was definitely getting a MBA until you announced the SP3 out of the blue!) Since I'm not likely to be doing huge amounts of drawing (engineering) or written notes (maths symbols.. which are not lawyer-y). So what else does the Surface Pro 3 have for me? Sell it to me :)

There are a few significant differences with Mac Book Air that you might love, especially as a law student. Studies have shown that people learn more conceptually when they write vs when they just type. Surface Pro 3 allows pen note taking in a great size (legal pad!). You also have a touch screen for faster navigation. Add those to the fact that it is lighter to carry in your bag around campus.

Congrats! My mom and brother are lawyers (or mom was).

You will love the Surface Pro 3 as a law student. First, check out this video that was done with Marcus who works with law firms: (link)

Second - things you will love a lot more we think a) you can use it in portrait mode for reading. you are going to be reading a LOT - you will want to be able to do comfortably, i.e. leaning back with an amazing screen. b) you will want to take notes. OneNote is amazing (and particularly loved by students) and you will be able to take your notes in keyboard and in pen. you can also mark up PDFs. 3) the lightness is great for carryting around campus. 4) when you are actually meeting with clients, you can hand them the device to read things or take notes/look at it without a big machine in front of you.

generally some good info on students here: (link)

First of all; thank you for designing something that is great for students. I bought my SP2 in January and I'm wondering how much longer the SP2 will receive firmware updates? It's a shame I can't afford a SP3.

We will release software/firmware updates when there are items that we need to address and roll out -- There isn't a hard date for cutting it off.

What's the cost? Please stop avoiding the question of cost.

To sum up:

We’ve built a great battery into the product (details above).

IF the battery fails during the warranty period, we’ll replace the battery.

IF the battery fails after the warranty period, you’ll call Microsoft support and arrange for the battery to be replaced. The cost will be $200 USD.

  • Can I turn connected standby off/would doing so conserve battery life?
  • If I can turn it off, would I be able to create a custom high performance power profile?

You cannot turn CS off, but you could extend quiet hours in settings, so as to reduce the hours during which the system is connecting to the network.

Also, know that Pro3 will go to hibernate and then deep sleep after 4 hours of inactivity, to preserve battery even more.

Please confirm on the processor + GPU specs for all models - helps in decision making!

Here you go: i3 – 4020Y - 1.50GHz with Intel HD graphics 4200 I5 - 4300U - 1.6GHz with Intel Turbo Boost up to 2.90GHz with Intel HD Graphics 4400 i7 – 4650U – 1.7GHz Intel Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz  with Intel HD graphics 5000

As an Outside Sales Rep I've grown to love my SP1. I've even grown to love the Touch Cover I use with it. Are there any plans to release an updated Touch Cover to go with the SP3?

Hey gwydionjhr, nothing to share here, but love the suggestions. Keep them coming. :)

I am really curious to hear what your high level intentions towards marketing the Surface pro 3 are. I am writing this question on my Surface 2 and I love this machine. What’s more, EVERY person I have shown it to has been amazed at how versatile it is (wait, it has HD video out, I can plug almost anything in to the USB slot like a real computer, it comes with real office and that is a real keyboard that does what when you fold it back!!!??). I know that giving others the chance to play with my Surface 2 has sold at least four of them to friends and family members, but none of these people would even thought of Microsoft for their tablet needs before that. In general the Surface is seen as Microsoft’s desperate attempt to make an iPad, and almost no one realizes that what you’ve actually done is made a whole new class of tablet which is MUCH closer to the laptop experience with tablet dimensions. How do you plan to get that information across this time when you have (in most people’s mind I think) failed so far?

we are starting by making the bold statement "the tablet that can replace your laptop". we've heard from a lot of folks like you who that's what they love about it.

second, we will be kicking off a whole new marketing campaign here.

lastly, I do think it's important that we are meeting more people like yourself who are telling their surface stories. we are focusing a lot on helping people like you tell your story. it's far more interesting and impactful than just the product. this is a new category that we're creating.

When Panos dropped the SP3 during the presentation, he dropped it onto a carpet. Do normal devices break / shatter upon that sort of impact with a carpet? How durable is the Surface Pro 3 really?

We spend a lot of Engineering time to make our products robust - and we do a lot of testing to verify these designs. We could've also dropped it on hardwood (slightly lower height) and the device will work great.

Hi guys. I love your device and as an upcoming 3D artist/animator/gamedev, I can tell you I will definitely be getting one for myself, once I have the money for it. I hope you guys realize how good a device you guys have actually made for portable gaming, because of the ability to run Steam. At a lower resolution, your integrated graphics are actually able to run most new AAA titles pretty well witch is extremely significant for such a small and light device. Would you guys consider making this a more obvious choice when it comes to portable gaming? (Branding, Easing the progress for non-techies, showing off it's power)
  • You could make an easy way to run games at a lower resolution for a great result (Given the screen-size is so small)
  • Help your colleges work on XBOX ONE CONTROLLER support for Windows 8.1/Surface. This would be a huge deal.

Hey Jesperbj. Totally hear you about gaming on the go. There are a lot of PC games that have run well on Surface Pro 2 and will run great on 3. We just had an awesome presence at PAX East, including showing There Came and Echo on the Surface Pro. You can also check out (link) to see some of the games that we have highlighted on the device. We'll work on getting the Xbox One controller working soon. Stay tuned.

Will the new Surface Pro 3 Pen (I believe it's simply called the "Surface Pen") be compatible with the Surface Pro 2? I imagine most Wacom pens are cross-compatible, but will the new pen be able to sync via Bluetooth and impart the "Purple Button" functionality onto the Surface Pro 2?

The Pen will be called Surface Pen. It was specifically designed for Surface Pro3 and currently works on this device only. We wanted to add in the "click to OneNote" feature and had to push the technology forward.

Have you guys thought about putting out a 'best for X' app list? For some reason your app store search often comes up with poor results when searching for common things like Youtube or Pandora or Feedly, which all have great 3rd party apps (Hyper, Plug Radio, and Nextgen Reader, respectively). I feel like a lot of the perception about the app store comes down to poor search results, because for most things you only need 1 app that does it well. So you could just fix that as well, but I know that's not your department. :P

Great feedback. We are constantly looking for ways to connect people to the best apps for what they want to do and try not only through the store, but also through other mediums like and in retail.

You should also check out the Surface Picks in the Windows Store. There are some cool apps up there right now. We will also highlight new apps from time to time on the Surface blog.

That link's a picture not a video.

LOL, good point. how bout this one? (link)

Does the SP3 use the recently announced 'refreshed' Haswell chips?

Here are the latest Haswell chips that we're using in SP3: i3 – 4020Y - 1.50GHz with Intel HD graphics 4200 I5 - 4300U - 1.6GHz with Intel Turbo Boost up to 2.90GHz with Intel HD Graphics 4400 i7 – 4650U – 1.7GHz Intel Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz  with Intel HD graphics 5000

Will there be any way to quickly enable/disable the functionality of the Windows button on the Surface Pro 3 so it does not get accidentally pressed while using the stylus?


Hello Panos Panay. First of all I'd like to congratulate you for that fantastic presentation for the SP3. I don't think I've seen a better presentation from Microsoft (Belfiore's come close!). I'm big on aspect ratios, and am a big believer of the golden ratio, and waging a war on 16:9. The 3:2 aspect ratio really got me excited, so I'll like to ask some questions on the new aspect ratio that the Surface Pro 3 advocates.
  • 1) Why was it 16:9 in the first place? What changed?
  • 2) What are the reasons behind 3:2? Was it merely because of the similarity to that notepad? Or is it a Fibonacci thing? Why not a more familiar 5:3 or 16:10 then?
  • 3) Will you be encouraging other Windows laptop/tablet OEMs to follow suit with the 3:2 aspect ratio?

Hey.. this is StevieB. we chose 3:2 cause it works great both in landscape and portrait. it is a 1.5 aspect ratio.. vs. 16:9 which 1.77 is really geared more towards landscape. 3:2 is also more a kin to paper… something natural and familiar for people. Given we wanted to build a device that worked well in all 4 modes of input: it had to be wide enough to house a full keyboard, tall enough in landscape so you can see all your emails lists.. facebooks posts, etc… and it had to be balanced in your hand to hold it in portrait so you could write like you would on a notepad and touch the screen. With Surface we really try to build a new class of device that adapts to the tasks you want to do… that is why the keyboard works the way it does.. the screen is the aspect ratio it is, and function of the pen and touch. It is a perfect balance between productivity and entertainment. We mapped a lot of the available digital content… took their aspect ratios.. and the aspect ratio that was a balanced fit for all.. was 3:2. I really like 3:2.. cause when you divide 3:2 in half in landscape.. you get two 4:3 screens in portrait. So Pro3 in split screen mode is like running to 8” 4:3 screen side by side (1080x1440 times 2).. pretty cool! The other reason why we like 3:2.. is cause of its kinship with paper. 8.5x11 piece of paper is 1.33 ratio.. but once you take into account the margins.. about 1.25” on both sides.. and 1” top and bottom (various standards).. means an “Active area” of 9”x6”.. that is where 9x6 comes from.. now take 9/6 and reduce the fraction.. (divide by 3).. and your 3:2  . For the flexibility in experience we have designed pro 3 for.. typing, mousing, touch, and pen: 3:2 is a great choice.. hits a sweet spot in productivity, is compact and easy to carry, and adapts to both landscape and portrait well.

One more comment.. about the pro 3 screen.. it is a mighty screen.. Productivity and available content on screen are strongly correlated. Gary Starkweather, retired from MSR, did a great study that showed this. The pro 3 screen is 2160x1440.. the OS scaled the High DPI pixels by 1.5x.. which means the effective resolution is 1440x960.. I would compare this effective resolution (OS resolution) to other 13”-14” laptops on market.. it shows just as much if not more!!  so a mighty screen.

Hi, what about an application that makes Windows 8 device a miracast receiver, and would then makes a Surface 2 or Surface RT a second screen for a Surface Pro 2/3?

remote desktop!

Hi Panos and the team, thanks for the AMA. My question is does anyone in the Microsoft offices use the Surface Pro 3 as a programming device and have you had any feedback about programming on an IDE on the 12" screen specially with the 3:2 ratio. Thanks in advance.

hey.. it should work great!! check out: (link)

I suspect that if you looked at all Surface users, and figured out what proportion of those users have spent a significant amount of time using Blizzard’s products (World of Warcraft, Diablo series etc), there would be a VERY significant overlap. Blizzard has a newer free to play game that is really gaining a lot of traction called Hearthstone. It requires an install to play so Pro users can play it but Surface users cannot. Blizzard have said they are working on an iDevice port but what are the odds we could get a conversation going that would lead to Hearthstone coming to Surface? It would be a HUGE coup if it happened because the nature of the game is such that it encourages you to log in every day to play a little more, so having access from our Surfaces would be a massive “ya boo sucks to be you” in the faces of Android tablet owners… just a thought…

Hey Gingaskunk. We are gaming fans here and being able to do full PC games on a tablet is pretty cool. You should reach out to Blizzard and tell them you'd like to see Hearthstone on Surface. In the meantime, have you checked this out: (link)

Surface team, I want a pro with a dedicated GPU. Do you think this can be accomplished? Sorry, this is probably beating a dead horse.

Good idea, Shakhaki.

Is there going to be a way to securely attach the pen to the SP3 so it doesn't get lost? I'm always loosing pens :-(

Pen loop comes with the TypeCover and enables you to choose where to attach (device or blade, which side, etc).

Are you open to accepting and listening to actual ideas from the community for feature suggestions/improvements. Does legal issues get in the way?

of course. we are always listening. we won't accept all of them, but we are definitely listening. one of our favorite things about AMAs.

I will be a freshman in college next fall. What should I be looking to major in that would help me the most towards becoming a part of the Surface Team?

Hi this is StevieB.. we have many disciplines on the Surface team. From Engineers (mechanical, electrical, all kinds), Scientists (Physics, Chemists, materials, Optics..), Designers, Artists, and Programmers. I say follow what comes easy to you..what do you love doing. If you love building things.. choose engineering..If you love asking fundamental questions and poking at nature: Science. If you like design and have an angle for taste.. industrial design and art. Either direction.. Surface Pro3 will help you no matter what discipline you choose. Good luck!

What happened to the dark color of the Surface? Will it come back or silver will be the only color?

Currently silver is the only device color we are going for. We spent a ton of time refining the scratch and fingerprint resistance on Surface Pro3's silver. The underlying magnesium layer is silver too and we decided to have the metal shine through the hard coat finish of the device.

Is the pen's 'click to open OneNote' feature customizable? For example, can it be changed to launch a drawing app instead? Edit: Already answered here -- (link)

We are making it configurable to launch the desktop OneNote, in addition to the default Modern OneNote -- at this point there isn't a plan to make it configurable to launch other apps.

I convinced my boss to get me a Surface Pro 1 for work, and I have used it extensively every single day for the last year or so. How can I convince him to upgrade me to the 3?

Show your boss the bigger, more beautiful screen and the note-taking and he'll probably want one himself. let him know that's not fair and everyone should get one. some nice info here: (link)

Hello Panos. I just wanted to tell you that I am a huge fan of what you have done with the Surface. I have watched every single one of the presentations and always follow the blog. Though I don't have one because I am drowning in student loans, I always picture how awesome it would be to have one. I am currently a university student hoping to get into business and hopefully eventually end up like you. I always have fun playing around with it at displays in stores and can't wait until the SP3 is there so I can try it out. Hopefully they have the OneNote pen so I can try it out :) Anyways thank you for reading and have a nice day :)

very kind words. thank you.

Does the Surface Pro 3 use Gorilla Glass? If not, what does it use to prevent the screen from shattering?

Ya it does!

Any plans to release a dock that has two video outs?

Have you considered display port daisy chaining?

While the double-fold definitely looks like it adds a lot to "lapable" stability and balance, does the extra hinge on the cover also help minimize any slight "bowing" of the keyboard when on an uneven surface? At times I have to adjust the SP2 location to prevent the keys on the left & right edges from feeling "off kilter" and slowing down my typing. This is most noticeable with the Ctrl and Shift keys when using various hot-key combinations.

We looked at many different options to address 'lapability', both how much space on the lap and more stability. The 'fold' addressed both of these pieces. When you try it, try it both with fold down and fold up striking improvement.

Another element we included was to change the substrate on the keyboard to a honeycomb structure. This let us take weight out, make thinner, and increase stability.

For you Panos: (link) Question to Panos, Dominos or Pizza Hut?

Dominos - extra jalapenos

Any word on a Surface Mini?


Hi SurfaceTeam, I am very happy that the Surface team is looking at larger screen devices as evident in Surface Pro 3. However, as a graduate student, it is beneficial to have larger on screen real estate to work with to be productive especially with side by side windows viewing. Any consideration for larger screen size (>13")? I believe that a perfect hybrid device should have a ~1 lb high res. 13 to 15" (preferably 15") screen with RT/windows phone UI running on a ARM processor and a ~2 lb base with proper keyboard/SSD/battery that we can plug the screen in with full Windows 8. A solid and stable keyboard base with good trackpad is key to productivity and lapability. This "Asus transformer" type of hybrid with dual OS and beautiful Microsoft Surface engineering will give the best laptop replacement! Any consideration about these types of devices by the Surface Team? I look forward to future surface products. Thanks. Best, A graduate student who is still patiently waiting for the perfect surface pro

Hey!! check out: (link)

Will we ever see a Surface product being offered outside the US? I loved the original surface RT i bought used but I had to buy a MacBook pro since I couldn't find a Surface here in Chile and despite having the money to buy one I can't afford to travel to the US to but one.

Yes, we will be available outside the US - almost all existing Surface markets this Summer. We don't have a date for Chile, though. sorry.

Thanks Surface Team! I have been a champion of the Surface Pro since the first generation. I have successfully converted three peers from Apple laptops. I was taking a look at Google trends to see how the surface was doing compared to Apple's Macbook Air and Macbook Pro. It looks like you have the internet's interest "Microsoft Surface" is trending higher than the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro in search. Specifically when new products were released/announced. The data is only for the United States, graph can be seen at (link) The keyword "Surface Pro" does not have the same volume as either, but is on an upward trajectory. Few questions: How is the team planning to capitalize on this? Will the fast product cycles continue? What is the team doing to make the Surface more enterprise friendly? I am pushing IT to allow the Surface Pro at a digital agency, no luck.

Hi, we have some great features in Surface Pro3: Features for commercial customers Enterprise Security 1. Use Bitlocker + TPM + PIN via soft UEFI keyboard (no physical keyboard attached) • Scenario: Mobile workers using Surface without a keyboard 2. Disable boot from USB. Set boot order. Disable USB port. • Scenarios: prevent booting to an uncontrolled / hostile environment or prevent use of USB accessories. 3. Password protect UEFI settings • Scenario: protect settings such as disabling boot from USB 4. Configurable secure boot policies to include 3rd party antivirus and encryption • Scenario: third party security clients can easily participate in the secure boot trusted chain

Can it drive two 2560x1440 screens?

Yes - the i5 and i7 will drive two 2560 x 1440 screens. The i3 can drive one of those or two HD screens.

Any chance of getting any accessories in a green color?

We have prototyped a number of different green options. Do you have a specific shade you want?

Why did you guys decide to release the surface pro 3 so soon after you released the surface pro 2. I have already ask about, how long you guys plan on offering the SP2 and it accessories (with no response). Why should I spend my hard earn money on a sp3 and it accessories when in 5 months(probably in 2 months) you guys will just decide to release the SP4 and discontinue or make obsolete, the sp3

Most accessories for SP2 will be available through this year, though depends a little bit on what retailers choose to do. Keyboards in particular will of course continue to be available because Surface 2 supports the same ones

Question for Panos: Which Windows Phone do you have?

I am using the Lumia 930. I love it.

Is there some kind of anti-fingerprint coating on the SP3's display? If not, please try to do something about fingerprints in the next model. Also, if it uses Gorilla Glass, yous should put that on the website, thats a big selling feature

Ya.. we use an oleophobic coating. OK. thanks.. we do.

First, I've already pre-ordered a Surface Pro 3 and can't wait for it to come, so no need to sell me on it... (though I wonder if there is any way I can convince you to ship it faster?) For my question. I have the original RT and it was really hounded by Wi-Fi issues. What are some of the improvements in Wi-Fi included with the SP3 and are the drivers better than they have been in the past? Thanks!

On Pro3, the WiFi drivers and firmware are very stable and performing out of the box. And, you get 802.11ac throughput, with the 2x2 antennas.

When are we going to get a Surface RT 3 with that sexy kickstand? How sturdy is the new kickstand to use? Will it eventually start slipping?

We design the product with a range of uses and a full lifetime in mind. The kickstand is cycled thousands and thousands and thousands of times to makes sure that continues to work great after a lifetime, 1 yr, 3 yr, typical and max exposure.

Same type of work goes into making the devices survive the drops that Panos keeps exposing on stage. :)

N-trig technology is not support it by 3D software(like zbrush). don't you think you just forget the artist on this new surface pro 3.

Hey Jjomail - we're working on testing Zbrush right now. Let us know what else you'd like to see tested.

Can you tell me why I should choose this over the competitor? I've never used a surface before.

this is a good overview: (link)

net, though - it's a new category. Surface Pro 3 is a tablet that can replace your laptop. it has great power, runs Windows, Office, and all other WIndows apps, it has the best notetaking and drawing capabilities, and has a big screen for entertainment.

give it a try at a Microsoft Store or Best Buy starting 6/6 when they'll have units you can touch too.

Hi! Can you give us an idea of why the delay on the i7 and i3 models, and is there any likelihood of them being available before the 8/31 date listed on the Microsoft Store? I had a Surface Pro and now a Surface Pro 2 - loved them both. I use my Pro 2 as my main laptop, although I find it a little small for comfortable lap usage (it's fine on a desk). I use my Pro 2 for,amongst other things, gaming, and am concerned that the higher resolution of the Pro 3, with the same i5 CPU as the Pro 2, could lead to some degradation in gaming performance, not to mention some resolution complications. As a result, I'm interested in the i7 models, but somewhat put off by their extended shipping dates. In any case, amazing work by the team. Surface Pro 3 is a thing of beauty!!

We are working hard to ship these as soon as possible - we have seen the excitement.

Is it possible that a shorter version of this will be used for marketing? (link)

we love that video too!

What was the actual reason tap-and-drag wasn't supported by the TypeCover2 until recently? I seems like a trivial problem to fix, and it was working fine on TypeCover1.

It's actually connected to the version of Windows you are running. With the update released this April, you get tap-and-drag.

All, Thanks for joining us today and taking the time with us. We always have a ton of fun doing AMA, wish we had more time to tackle more. I always walk away pumped from these. Congrats to /u/SailRacerX on making it to the top and getting a free Surface Pro 3. I hope you love it. And congrats to Stevie for posting another unbelievably long post....Panos

(This question was deleted by the user)

Thanks for reaching out.

The best place to get started is the "Designed for Surface" program. You can see details on how to get started here: (link)

Thank you, now to put it into a ultra succinct laymans sales pitch.

It works better :)

Superb replies, and you are in luck! I have a space bar to sell :D. The copy paste missed the change in formatting from word to reddit, but the preparation was impressive!!

LOL.. ok. thank you. sorry about that. Yeah it is hard to type a long reply in such a small edit box.. :)

Follow @interviewly to be notified of new interviews.

Other interviews you might enjoy

Thumb john perry barlow ji2

John Perry Barlow

reddit AMA August 2013

I am John Perry Barlow, cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, lyricist for the ...

Thumb nicholas eftimiades

Nicholas Eftimiades

reddit AMA September 2012

I’ve appeared on NBC, ABC, BBC, NPR, and testified before Congress about nat’l security, future ...

Thumb 4904611590 267fb7d06d o

Richelle Mead

reddit AMA December 2013

I'm Richelle Mead, author of the bestselling Vampire Academy series, soon to be a movie by Mean ...

Thumb sam harris  2009

Sam Harris

reddit AMA March 2014

I am Sam Harris - singer, actor, author of "Ham," dad, marriage equality activist, (not ...