Windows 10 comes to party in Dubai: Surface Pro 4, Lumia 950 launched

Mohammed Arif, Partner Strategy and Program Lead, Microsoft Gulf, announced the launch of new products in Dubai on Tuesday (Supplied)

Microsoft Devices today unveiled its hot new Surface Pro 4 at a media event in Dubai, with the tablet scheduled to go on sale across the country on January 1, 2016.

Mohammed Arif, Windows Business Group Lead, Microsoft Gulf, said the Surface Pro 4 was the firm’s thinnest, lightest and best PC ever.

“It’s just t 8.4mm thin… the only reason we couldn’t make it any thinner is because we wanted to retain the USB 3.0 port,” Arif quipped.

The Surface Pro 4 is now available for pre-order through Microsoft authorised resellers including Alpha Data and Sharaf DG, with delivery starting January 1, 2016.

The device is priced starting Dh3,395, which makes it expensive when compared to competition – the iPad Pro, for instance, starts at Dh3,099.

However, spec for spec, the Surface Pro 4 comes out richer than Apple’s biggest tablet in several departments – but not in display, though, where the iPad Pro is the clear leader at 12.9 inches.

The Surface Pro 4 comes with PC-sized memory and storage, offering up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage options, he noted.

Emirates 24|7 took a quick hands-on experience of the demo devices at the event, and found truth in Arif’s claims of the Surface Pro 4 being faster than its predecessor.

In addition, even as Microsoft has maintained the overall dimensions of the device the same as the Surface Pro 3, it has removed the bezels and managed to stretch the display from 12 inches to 12.3 inches – incremental gain alright but still quite handy.

The Surface Pro 4 isn’t your run-of-the-mill tablet, but should be seen more as a laptop replacement. It uses the 6th-generation Core processor to run full Windows 10.

“When we polled Surface Pro 3 users, a staggering 98 per cent said they’d recommend it to friends and family,” says Arif. With the improved Surface Pro 4, Microsoft is looking to go the whole hog, he says.

The latest iteration in Microsoft’s popular Surface range is 30 per cent more powerful than the Pro 3, and is also quieter, runs cooler, and is efficient with up to nine hours of battery life, Arif said while presenting the device.

The Surface Pro 4 comes with a built-in kickstand and an included magnetic pen in addition to the optional keyboard.

“We have 1.5 billion people on the Windows ecosystem worldwide,” said Arif, adding that the Windows 10 has seen the fastest offtake in the firm’s history – it is already installed on 110 million (and counting) devices in 192 countries.

Microsoft says it has a goal to see Windows 10 on 1 billion devices within two to three years of Windows 10’s availability – the first platform version, in any ecosystem, that can achieve that goal, it noted.

“With our bold ambition of creating more personal computing and empowering individuals to do more, we are taking innovation to the next level and building upon the unique experiences of Windows 10 for our users,” said Arif. 

Lumia 950 and 950 XL

At the Dubai event, Microsoft Gulf also unveiled the Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones – the first Lumia phones to come pre-loaded with Windows 10. The new smartphones also come pre-loaded with Continuum for phones, enabling the new devices to work like PCs.

This Windows 10 feature allows people to use their phone like a PC by connecting it to a monitor and transforming it for larger-screen entertainment, or adding a keyboard and mouse to work like a PC with Windows 10 apps like Microsoft Office, while simultaneously taking calls or performing other tasks.

“We designed Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL for people who want the most productive smartphones running the most productive operating system. People like mobile professionals who want a premium phone that can work like a PC; now have the perfect partner for their Windows 10 devices in Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL. With full Windows 10 and features like Continuum for phone, it’s easy to do more than ever from your phone whether you’re in the office, at home or on the road,” he added.

In UAE, the new devices are being retailed at a starting price of Dh2,099 for Lumia 950 and Dh2,349 for 950 XL. Accessories like the Display Dock are available at a special launch price of Dh99, and the Continuum Accessory Pack is being retailed at Dh499.