Microsoft has shown off a range of new partner PCs designed for Windows 10 – including new form factors – and talked about partner revenue opportunities.
During a keynote address at the Computex 2015 trade show, Nick Parker, corporate VP for Microsoft’s OEM division, highlighted the array of devices, some never before seen, designed for Windows 10 including the following:
- Acer Z3-710 – an all-in-one PC in a slim 1.4-inch-thin chassis.
- ASUS Transformer Book T100HA – a 2-in-1 laptop with a detachable keyboard that boasts up to 14 hours of battery life and a tablet measuring 8.45mm and 580g
- ASUS Zen AiO Z240 – this features the latest quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU, gaming-grade NVIDIA GTX 960M graphics, a 3D camera and a six-speaker stereo sound system
- Dell XPS 15 – shown publicly for the first time and optimised for Windows 10, it features the same almost borderless InfinityEdge display from the XPS 13
- HP x2 – a 2-in-1 ‘tablet first’ detachable with a magnetic hinge design that makes the device flexible and can switch from Windows 10 tablet to PC mode instantly
- A new HP tablet
- A new Toshiba PC which enables Windows Hello using biometric security technology, including a face-authentication camera, an Ultra HD 4K screen and optimisation for Cortana
In addition, Parker demonstrated two new PC form factors.
The FoxConn Kangaroo is a portable desktop PC that turns your TV into a Windows PC, including a fingerprint reader to support Windows Hello and up to six hours of battery life.
Then there’s the Quanta Compute Plug (pictured), a mini-PC in a power adapter instead of a stick. Plugged into the HDMI port, it turns a TV into a smart computer and enables users to control their TV using Cortana via Bluetooth remote or headset.
Microsoft said in a statement: "Parker highlighted the vast opportunities that Windows 10 creates for partners to grow their businesses by selling the innovative Windows 8.1 devices that are in the marketplace now, promoting the great experience that Windows 10 will offer on those devices when upgraded, and building new hardware across traditional and emerging device categories."
"These new devices will bring Windows 10 to life when it becomes available in 190 countries around the world on July 29th and in the following months."
Parker was joined onstage by Tony Prophet, corporate VP for Windows and Search Marketing, and Roanne Sones, general manager of Windows Engineering.
Sones demonstrated the latest innovations in Cortana, Continuum, Microsoft Edge and Windows Hello, and she discussed how DirectX 12 will improve the gaming experience, as well as the opportunity for OEMs to develop unique hardware to light up these new capabilities.
Parker added: "Our device partners continue to push the envelope of innovation, developing stunning PCs that are sure to delight customers. And our commitment to broaden the ecosystem opportunity with Windows 10 is revolutionizing how people interact with their devices and create new opportunities for revenue growth."
HP also announced that its current Windows-based PCs are expected to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 when available on July 29th.
“Working closely with Microsoft we designed all our 2015 products to be ready for Windows 10,” said Mike Nash, VP of portfolio strategy and customer experience, Personal Systems, HP. “As a result, customers who purchased or plan to buy a 2015 Windows PC from HP should have a smooth transition to Windows 10.”
Also showcased was the new GeForce GTX 980 Ti graphics card from Nvidia.
Parker also announced a new collaboration between Microsoft and Toshiba to build next-generation Windows- and Azure-powered Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. The companies expect to release a complete offering for the transportation and logistics industry, from devices to services, including hardware such as an onboard video recorder that can also track vehicle data and analyze driver behavior.
Parker also showed Crestron Pyng, a home-automation technology powered by Windows embedded services that connects lighting, shades, audio, thermostats, door locks and security systems, and utilizes Azure IoT.