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Microsoft developed Surface in an underground bunker

updated 07:49 pm EDT, Thu June 21, 2012

Microsoft spills Surface development secrets

Microsoft was able to maintain a high level of secrecy before revealing its new Surface tablets due in part to the fact that the devices appear to have been developed in a literal underground bunker. Speaking with TechRadar, Microsoft hardware executive Stevie Bathiche said the company avoided its usual design process for the Surface in order to maintain secrecy. In spilling the secrets on Surface's development, Microsoft reveals an attention to minute details, even if the company isn't revealing much else at the moment.

The Surface design team initially worked in an underground bunker with no windows and only moved away from that location when the team outgrew the facilities. Next, the project landed in a building with airlock-style doors and biometric verification. There, the team experimented with a range of 3D-printed mockups, tweaking the design of the tablets to test Wi-Fi antenna performance.

The design team spent a considerable amount of time on the Surface's kickstand. A primary concern for the group was tweaking the sound the kickstand makes when it closes. The team set a target for the closing sound and tested the kickstand again and again in an anechoic chamber until they got the sound they wanted.

While Microsoft has revealed a few anecdotal bits on the development of the Surface tablets, the company remains tight-lipped with regard to specifications. Microsoft has not revealed the type of antenna used in the tablets. Nor has the company given any details on battery life or processor speeds beyond the type of processors (ARM in the Surface RT and Ivy Bridge Core i5 in the Surface Pro).

In a sense, the company seems to have taken a page or two from Apple's book: secrecy in product design coupled with a focus on user experience over specs. How well the secrecy and attention to detail pay off will be determined when the device launches later this year. [via TechRadar]



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. aviamquepasa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2011

    0

    well done

    very good! At last there will be competition in the tablet arena

  1. macnnoel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005

    +2

    Too bad

    Too bad the final product seems underwhelming--

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000

    +3

    One part they doesn't get

    There is one thing Microsoft forget, when you announce a new product and you want to create a big hype announcement, better have a finished and ready to market product. Microsoft is doing the exact same mistake that kill RIM, Nokia and WebOS, they all announced a non-ready product way too early and by the time the product finally goes to market the hype is gone.

  1. viktorob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2011

    +3

    a very bad joke

    Apple secrecy is because every time they came with a new product they change the entire industry.
    This microsoft tablet is just a "follow up" of the android tablets, it can not be compared even with a Sansumg galaxy tab. Also, when a company present a product, they have a working prototype so the press can play with it, microsoft had a prototype that not even work during the presentation (if you see the video you will se the crash). This looks more like a news from the PR department at microsoft. who would really want to spy on microsoft products? they could copy.. er "design" this tablet in a public toilet and still no body would care.

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    0

    just like the old auto industry

    "The design team spent a considerable amount of time on the Surface's kickstand. A primary concern for the group was tweaking the sound the kickstand makes when it closes. The team set a target for the closing sound and tested the kickstand again and again in an anechoic chamber until they got the sound they wanted."

    Just like the auto industry making car doors SOUND solid when you slam them instead of making them solid by design. Its creating something to sell vs making an insanely great product.

    Just a thought,

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