Microsoft launched the Surface Pro tablet on Saturday and while the company is selling the tablet with the Touch and Type Covers as optional accessories, it’s clear that Microsoft considers a physical keyboard of some kind to be an important aspect of the Surface line-up.
It begs the question of why didn’t Microsoft just go ahead and launch a true laptop as part of the Surface family. ABCNews.com chatted with Mike Angiulo, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Windows Planning, who stated:
Our partners are doing a very good job with laptops right now. We started thinking at the beginning at Windows 8, what is something that someone isn’t going to be able to come out with? The notebook form factor is alive and well, we are just working with partners on those.
Those partners like HP, Dell, Lenovo and others have released a number of Windows 8 and RT products in the last few months, including tablets, touchscreen notebooks and convertibles that can be used as both a tablet and a full notebook. Although Microsoft has admitted, so far, PC OEMs have not released many of these kinds of products.
So does that mean that Microsoft could take the next step and launch a Surface laptop? Panos Panay, the leader of the Surface team, seems to hint in the ABCNews.com interview that one could indeed be in the works. He is quoted as saying:
This is a good marathon for us, we are pretty excited about the short term and the long term. When you ask if you are making a laptop or a notebook, we have a pretty good selection of things we have been working on. It’s pretty exciting.