Panos Panay: To build powerful software, you need to build powerful hardware
Last day, Microsoft introduced many products, some completely innovative, some major upgrades and some basically new categories that the company Hopefully it will reflect tomorrow’s computing. Most of the time of yesterday’s event was dedicated to Panos Panai who is the manager of all the hardware products made by this company; From Xbox to laptop and Surface Duo, which may be the company’s first foray into the smartphone market since Satya Nadella’s line of phones. It destroyed the company in 2016. Panos says that Microsoft plans to introduce two new products named Surface Duo and Neo by the end of 2020, which will have two touch screens.
Which of the products you introduced today were you most interested in?
We have some great products for the holidays this year, and I think we’ve given both customers and fans a choice, and that’s what’s important to me. has it. Therefore, not just one product, all of them are important to me and they are all like my children. I love them all and am constantly oscillating between them.
Don’t get me wrong, I use all the products; But because I had a busy year, I had to fluctuate from one device to another. We usually launch one or two products every year and it was a bit challenging for me to try so many products. For example, for a Surface laptop, I prefer to use a fabric laptop rather than a metal one; Or even though I love the Surface Pro X, I also love the regular Pro and am constantly oscillating between the two. Ultimately, I like our customers to have a choice and that’s probably the thing I like the most.
If we go back seven years ago, there was only one product and what did you have to think about? Either you liked it or not; It was binary and that’s it. But what do we have now? which one? What color? What silicone? what gender What form factor? These are the things that are considered first class for me. I think all the team members were curious and excited and we were saying that with all the information that we are going to present to people in ninety minutes, what should be the keyword of this event? Three days ago, when we had a meeting with the team members, I was constantly rehearsing so that the part is not too much or too little, or how I should narrate the right story on stage; The team members said; Well, Panos, the difficulty of expressing the topics is not a quarter of the complexity of making it. We spent two years trying to make these products, some even took more than two years.
Why did you design two Surface tablets for this holiday season?
Since we saw the products of the Pro family. are very successful and we have many interested customers who want its stability, we had a few ways to think: First, business customers are a big part of our business and for them stability in the platform It is very important. Of course, there are a group of regular customers who love Surface Pro and its stability. However, we wanted to push the boundaries of technology as much as possible and I really wanted to do something for the fans as well. That’s why I said, well, now that you want the slimmest possible product and are looking for new innovations from the heart of the product and from the heart of silicon, we are not only for the hearts of technology fans, but also for those who are constantly on the move and in search of constant communication. a href=”/internet-network/”>internet, with the slimmest and lightest full-screen device possible, I’m going as far as possible. So we had both the core of a product that had to continue to be great, and we designed and evolved a product that was both for tech enthusiasts and professionals who wanted the slimmest and lightest product.
Your strategy is to name one Pro 7 and the other X, which is equivalent to the number 10 in Roman numerals. What is it?
We were totally looking to separate the lines of these two products. The new product was not Pro 7; Rather, it was the beginning of a new chip and architecture . However, no one goes to the store with the intention of buying architecture or generation; Rather, he looks at the product and falls in love with it and buys it. These two products are different from each other, so I told them to differentiate their names and this was important to me. Although there are many reasons to assume the two are the same, I didn’t want the product I was working on to be known as the seventh generation; Just the opposite of a laptop. Looking at the Surface Laptop 3, you will say, well, in terms of product identity, it is almost the same as the previous 13-inch product, which is now bigger than before.
Although you may not accept this naming, I will tell you why. It was probably one of the most complicated things we did. We looked at the Surface Neo and Surface Duo and thought of all the possible names they could have. Then we said to ourselves, what are these [devices]? Finally, we reached Neo; Because we believed that Neo is actually a new and new form factor.
Do you believe that Surface Duo will be placed next to Surface Neo?
Absolutely, actually there are many reasons. The gist of the story is that the interaction style with both is very similar; Only suitable for Windows operating system and for Duo Android a Why? Because Android offers thousands of pocket-sized apps. At the API level or the way we perceive the device or the functionality of the hinge or the advantage that the developer gets with this form factor, both are considered the same. Therefore, there are many points of commonality. Even in addition to the fact that each of these two can be placed next to the other, the Surface Duo can be placed next to any other surface. I think so.
What philosophy in So it is the introduction of products that will not be ready for another year?
I was very afraid. I even said the same thing on stage and it was not as planned. Almost when I was looking at the [current] specifications of the device. I said to myself that maybe I shouldn’t have introduced at all and I was really nervous about this; But since we’re dependent on developers, I wanted the world to know what I thought about the next form factor before I rushed into the wrong thing. Maybe these two products are not available at the moment; But in the next few months, we’ll have them ready and they’ll be really awesome, and all developers will have a chance to create magic.
So these are the benchmarks for the future?
I hope the world will accept and say in response: “I got it, now I understand why two screens are confusing the mind; Why two screens make a person more creative and productive; So let’s get started.” I’d love for any company to look at it and say, okay, let’s do it. We make people more creative and productive as possible.
How in less than a decade, Microsoft changed from a software company to a well-designed hardware manufacturer is really impressive; But why does hardware have an important strategic place for Microsoft, instead of just being on the side of its work?
I think, as Satya said, hardware is of great strategic importance to us. I look at this not from a software or hardware perspective, but as a product. I believe that if you want to make very good software, you must also make hardware; Because both are the same product. This is the way the world moves forward; The one who puts everything together. So, if you find something graceful, a phone or whatever, you’re actually in favor of a product. Any software or hardware can be admired; But it is elegance that is important; It means the level of quality, design and feeling you get from a piece of hardware. For this purpose, you must do both; Otherwise you won’t succeed, you can’t.
So why did you choose Android for the Surface Duo?
Well, it’s the result of a partnership with Google was to make a great product with the help of each other. Of course, we have also made many software; For example, how well Office 365 works on two great screens, or Outlook, which works great on Android, and how much productivity increases with the display . I have a very good feeling about what level and layer the applications will go to, how much Microsoft Edge will fight; So, Microsoft will also shine with this product and I mean it when I say that you will get the best of Microsoft with this product. However, I also wanted to have the best of Android. Currently, we are cooperating with Google and even when I was talking about the product, my colleague would send me a message from there; Because this moment was very important for both of us. We’ll be supporting the Duo very strongly.
On stage, you hesitated to call the Surface Duo a phone; But that’s the name people are going to give it.
No problem. People can call it whatever they want, I just want it to be a really useful product. I want you to get it for this reason; Because it makes your wishes possible.
Is there any hesitation within the company to return to the phone industry again?
I don’t think there is any such talk at all. We do the Surface business, which is a very large business at $5.7 billion and growing. Duo is part of this business. Neither Satya nor I see the phone as a business, but as a Surface. I don’t care if we call it a phone or not. The important thing is that people believe in it, buy it, use it and increase their productivity.