Software steals show at Microsoft's Surface event
A partnership with Apple and a new app that uses Dall-E 2 to create 21st century clip art were the standout announcements at a Microsoft online event Wednesday that largely focused on modest improvements to the company's Surface hardware.
Why it matters: Microsoft is positioning Windows as the platform that offers the most choice, regardless of which mobile phone operating system or cloud provider a person uses. The new announcements help bolster its case.
- Microsoft announced a deal with Apple that will give the photo app in Windows access to pictures taken on an iPhone and stored in iCloud. Apple will also create Windows versions of its Apple TV+ and Apple Music apps.
- A new graphic design app, Designer, taps the AI power of Dall-E 2 to allow people to more easily create everything from social media posts to invitations. Microsoft said it is also bringing some of Designer's capabilities to its Edge browser and Bing search engine.
- Microsoft also previewed Places, an app that will help employers keep track of who at their distributed workplace is in which office at any given time and allow workers to take better advantage of time in the office.
- On the hardware front, Microsoft announced updated versions of its Surface Laptop, Surface Studio all-in-one and Surface Pro convertible tablet. It also announced a new audio dock and presentation remote, as well as a broadening of its Adaptive Accessories line that helps people with disabilities.
Of note: The Surface Pro 9 will come in both an Intel-powered model as well as a 5G-equipped version that uses a Qualcomm processor.