Microsoft unveils Surface Studio desktop computer with updated Windows OS

Microsoft Surface Studio

Microsoft recently launched its new high-end desktop computer called Surface Studio, to challenge the Apple iMac. Selling for $3,000, the high-end “all-in-one” device aims at creative professionals, with its updated Windows operating system that showcases three-dimensional content and “mixed reality”.

The Surface Studio features a large, 28-inch hinged touch-screen display touted as “the thinnest desktop monitor ever created,” adding to Microsoft’s range of tablets and laptop devices for the premium segment. Microsoft vice president Terry Myerson said: “It is a new class of device that transforms from desktop PC into a powerful digital canvas, unlocking a more natural and immersive way to create on the thinnest display ever built.”

The new PC has an ultra-HD 4.5K display, with more pixels than most new high-definition televisions. It will be available in "limited quantities" for the upcoming holiday season, with more units available in 2017, according to the company. It has, however, received mixed responses from analysts.

In a tweet, Benedict Evans from venture firm Andreessen Horowitz said: “Yes, this is very cool. But what’s the market for a $3,000 computer you can draw on? How many people have that job?” But other analysts suggest the device is aimed at setting a higher standard for the Windows ecosystem.

Microsoft also recently announced an updated Surface Book -- its high-end convertible tablet-computer -- which will sell for $2,400, adding improved graphics and computing power and with an estimated 16 hours of battery life. The Surface device are said to allow users to create content onscreen with a special pen-stylus, and Microsoft introduced a new disk device called Dial which attaches to the screen and offers additional controls such as viewing the timeline of a creation.

Microsoft also announced its Windows 10 Creators operating system would be offered as a free update in early 2017, enabling users to create 3D content and delve into virtual and augmented reality. The update offers "new ways to create and play," said Myerson. It will allow for a 3D capture application for mobile devices and a new version of the popular program Paint for 3D objects.

The system will allow users to add three-dimensional emojis and to create and manipulate content they create or scan. With the new Windows system, users will be able to experience virtual reality with Microsoft's HoloLens headgear and its Edge browser.