Microsoft Gets Creative with Surface Studio Desktop PC

The company that helped put a computer on every desktop is taking a stab at reshaping the desktop. And, in the process, it's trying to shift the conversation around computers toward creating and building things.

"We are the company that stands for the builders, the makers, the creators," Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said at a Windows 10 media event Wednesday in Lower Manhattan. "That's who we are."

One prominent example was the introduction Wednesday of the Surface Studio, a desktop computer aimed at engineers and creative types. The 28-inch touch-screen monitor, connected to a processing base, can lie nearly flat, turning into a digital whiteboard for drafting engineering blueprints, film storyboards or other pursuits.

The device, along with a new set of coming Windows 10 features announced on Wednesday, is part of the Redmond company's effort to keep Windows relevant amid a shrinking personal-computer market.

Nadella said advances in computing devices during the past 10 years, an era in which Microsoft struggled to succeed among technology consumers, had primarily opened up new ways of consuming media. The next 10 years, he said, would be about computers enabling new ways to create things.

Microsoft is hoping that better lines up with the company's strengths.

Sales of PCs, home to the vast majority of Windows devices, peaked at about 353 million units sold in 2011, and have declined each year since, according to researcher Gartner. The firm expects another decline this year, to 265 million units.

Microsoft, which traditionally relied on companies like Dell and HP to build the hardware running Windows, has turned to its lineup of Surface-branded devices to drum up interest in Windows-powered hardware.

In the past five years, Microsoft has introduced a successful Surface tablet PC line, the high-end Surface Book laptop, and, on Wednesday, the Surface Studio, a resident of the all-in-one category of...

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