Quietly coming out of last week’s Microsoft Surface event was the new wheel-like Surface Dial, but Panos Panay, head of Microsoft’s decice business has hinted that the Dial is just the start.
Speaking to CNET, Panay, who was directly responsible for launching the Surface, suggested that the $99 peripheral is a big part of the Surface’s strategy.
"Accessories can somewhat be undervalued in the sense that sometimes they’re too easy to talk about, but we have a couple of accessories that, without them, the experience can’t be completed," he said. "If I took away your keyboard right now. Or if I took away your trackpad right now, or when you learn to use the dial and we end up taking that away, your entire flow changes."
He also intimated that there will be more peripherals beyond the Surface Dial, an indicator of where Microsoft wants to set itself apart from Apple. According to Panay, the Dial is "not the last" accessory the company is going to produce for Windows.
Speaking about the new Surface Book, Panay was excited about the possibilities the device presents.
"When we made Surface Book we were super clear that the base was the innovation," he said. "The idea, though, when we built the product was this base can live separately. Meaning, if I wanted to create an LTE base, or if we wanted to create three times the battery, or if you wanted to create two times the power."
"The thing I was most scared about with the new book is we were able to present it in a way where it didn’t just look like, ‘we updated the processor,’" he said.