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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Microsoft Unveils New Technology

Mircosoft hopes their new laptop, tablet, and phones will make people love Windows.

Microsoft unveiled a new line of products to consumers today including a new laptop, tablet and phones--all designed to work with Windows 10. It also revealed new details of gaming systems and a holographic computer. 

The release represents a move away from people "needing to choosing to loving Windows,"said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a press release. 

With that in mind the new laptop, the Surface Book, will be incredibly thin with a high-contrast, detachable screen and support a responsive pen.  The new tablet, Surface Pro 4, is only 8.4 mm thick, with faster processors and better battery life than its predecessor. There will be two new phones, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, both designed to transition to other devices as people move throughout their day.

Kyle Mayer, University of Southern California Professor of Business Strategy, agrees the two-hour long presentation Tuesday morning represents a shift in how the brand wants to be perceived. 

"No matter how much money Microsoft's made over the last 30 years, the word 'exciting' is not usually attached to that company." Mayer said. "It's not a beloved brand... with a history of bundling software and squashing competition." They're trying to be a more innovative and public-facing brand. 

Microsoft doesn't evoke the cool image of its rivals. However, despite the morning's theatrics, Mayer doesn't think Microsoft's biggest competitor is Apple. It's Google. 

Not only does Google get more positive reviews; its financial model, based on ad revenue, has been difficult to beat. In comparison, Mayer says Microsoft made "boring" albeit functional software, which people pay to license. 

"They [Google] are something that millenials are growing up using and knowing so they are ahead of Microsoft in terms of brands, most definitely," Mayer said.

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