Microsoft "Surface" is a series of tablets designed and marketed by Microsoft. They were first introduced on June 18, 2012 by CEO Steve Ballmer at a Los Angeles event in Milk Studios. The Surface was the first major initiative by Microsoft to integrate its Windows operating system with its own hardware. The Surface debuted in two models marketed as Surface RT and Surface Pro. Earlier this month the US Patent and Trademark Office published a series of patents revealing Microsoft's original thinking behind their Surface tablets and beyond.
Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer recently gave his farewell speech to Microsoft employees at their annual meeting. In his speech he dwelled on his new plan to transform the company from a software-centric operation into a more innovative devices and services company, which he said would make it "fundamentally more powerful."
On September 5, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published six patent applications from Microsoft revealing current and/or future ideas about their Surface Tablet.
Microsoft's patent FIG. 2 illustrates the Surface tablet with its removable keyboard attached; FIG. 3 depicts an example implementation of an input device of FIG. 2 as showing a flexible hinge in greater detail; and FIG. 4 depicts an example implementation showing a perspective view of a connecting portion of FIG. 3 that includes mechanical coupling protrusions and a plurality of communication contacts.
For those wishing to dig into Microsoft's six Surface related patent for details, hidden and/or future features, simply check out these links:
Microsoft originally filed all of their patent applications back in Q4 2012. The timing of any new or hidden feature unavailable today coming to market is unknown at this time.
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