December 08, 2022

More than just a chip: how Microsoft and Intel deliver flexible work experiences

Scott Gosling
National Practice Manager - Microsoft at Data#3
Someone once said that innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way. However, what happens when you combine the penchant for innovation from two of the biggest computing brands in the world, Microsoft and Intel? You get the Microsoft Surface device family – a range of devices that power businesses on the path to flexible, collaborative, and secure work.

In this blog, I’ll explore the legacy of each company and show how their product innovations play together in the Surface device range and what this means for today’s hybrid business.

Intel: a history of driving innovation

In 1971, Intel made computing history when it introduced the world’s first commercially available microprocessor chip, the Intel 4004. Using cutting-edge silicon-gate technology, the 4004 was the size of a fingernail and held 2,300 transistors (2022 chips currently have transistors numbering in the billions). Initially created for a calculator, Intel’s logic chip set the stage for general-purpose microprocessors that permeate every aspect of our lives. Today, the chips power many of the world’s most powerful devices, everything from smart devices to cars to aeroplanes.

Intel’s deep commitment to innovation continues today, with their chips delivering some of the highest performance increases and fastest memories in-market, to ultimately provide true, accelerated performance to end-users.

Microsoft: reinventing computing over the decades

While Intel was making inroads as the seminal chip developer, Microsoft was making their own mark in the computing world. Microsoft notably released its first operating system product in 1980, a mouse and Windows operating system in 1983, Microsoft Office in 1989, and Xbox in 2001.

Then in 2012, they made their first foray into the computing hardware market with Microsoft Surface, a family of devices that are helping to define what it means to be a desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile productivity device. 10 years later, these devices have kept pace with the demands of modern workers, supporting them with industry-leading CPU performance, immersive graphics, incredible AI acceleration and best-in-class wired and wireless connectivity.

Magnifying the power of innovation

Undoubtedly, Microsoft and Intel are both giants in the computing world. Each with a history of ground-breaking innovation, Intel and Microsoft come together as one to create a powerful set of business tools with the Surface device range. This range’s flexible form factors and functionality, paired with the power of Intel chips, deliver hyper-mobile devices for creating, communicating and connecting in hybrid work environments.

So, what does this pairing mean for business users?

Intel is famous for its processors and chipsets, but more recently they have been focusing on delivering complete platform experiences, or what they refer to as “purposeful computing” solutions, that meet real, identifiable user requirements to help get things done more efficiently – and Intel Evo is this vision in action.

Essentially, Intel Evo is Intel’s stamp of approval on the quality of devices containing their chips. To meet Intel’s high standards, devices must meet a long list of usability and quality criteria, including instant wake from sleep, fast charging, a minimum of nine hours of real-world battery life, and modern connectivity options – such as Thunderbird 4 and Wi-Fi 6E. It’s features like these, Intel believes, that demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements of hybrid working demands, providing better employee experiences, improved collaboration and connection, high-powered productivity and industry-leading security.

Microsoft clearly agrees. Intel Core processors built on the Intel Evo platform are almost exclusively included with the latest Surface devices. After all, Microsoft’s Surface line-up has long been leading the way in defining enterprise hardware over the last decade with an emphasis on portability, power, and battery life.

Meet the new Surface Laptops certified as Intel Evo devices

Released in late October 2022, Surface Pro 9 with 12th Gen Intel Core processors and storage of 256GB and above are built on the Intel Evo platform. Surface Laptop 5 is also a certified Intel Evo device featuring a 12th Gen Intel Core processor. Both come with Intel Evo features like Wi-Fi 6E, Thunderbolt ports, instant wake (<1 sec), fast charge, longer battery life, and dynamic background noise suppression.

However, there are other less obvious advantages of Intel Evo-certified Surface devices that make them an ideal fit for creating successful hybrid work conditions:

Reducing costs | Surface’s famous 2-in-1 flexible form factor means that multiple devices can be consolidated into a single Surface device, lowering the cost of purchasing devices and peripherals. And with fewer devices, energy usage drops too.

Zero touch deployment | Windows Autopilot provides for zero-touch deployment, and unified management means less time your IT team has to spend on device deployment, maintenance, support, and security. Plus, they can be shipped for out-of-the-box setup direct to the employee, no IT intervention necessary.

Video meetings | Surface devices were built with video conferencing in mind; they come with studio mics, Omnisonic speakers, AI-powered HD cameras, Intel Clear Video HD Technology, and Intel Smart Sound Technology.

Improved productivity | Surface PCs equipped with Intel and Windows 11 provide a simplified and streamlined experience. There’s voice typing, snap layouts, and touchscreen technology to save staff time and effort as they go about their day, creating more time to focus on achieving their business goals.

Meeting employee expectations | Modern devices are no longer just nice to have; employees expect newer devices to enhance their ability to effectively collaborate, video conference and communicate. With hybrid work the way of the future, having modern devices that make this possible is a cornerstone of future success.

The newest devices in the Surface range combine the very best of innovation over the decades and Intel brings some of the highest performance increases and fastest memory in-market today. At the same time, Microsoft delivers flexible, highly mobile devices that support hybrid workers to stay connected, secure, and productive. Together, Microsoft and Intel share the goal of providing a more flexible work experience for employees where they can do their best work from anywhere – without complication.

Why Choose Data#3

For a snapshot of how Intel, in partnership with Microsoft Surface, can help you create a seamless hybrid working experience, click here to download our infographic.

Request a quote from Microsoft’s largest Australian Surface partner. As the reigning worldwide Microsoft Surface+ and Device Distributor/Reseller Partner of the Year 2022, Data#3 is better positioned than anyone to help you with device sourcing, deployment and warranty handling.