Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) doesn’t exactly have a stellar record when it comes to producing hardware unlike, say, other tech giants like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). The company has tried making hardware for a long time – from broadband routers, fingerprint readers, music players, to computer peripherals – but arguably the only successful hardware it has produced are the Xbox console and Kinect sensor. People do not exactly remember the Microsoft Tablet that came out way back in 2000.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), however, is not seating on its heels when it comes to hardware development says the man responsible for the Surface tablet, Panos Panay, in an interview with CNN. The comment was made by the executive as he was taking CNN Money on a tour around the company’s facility in Redmond, Washington where all its hardware products are developed.
“Every bit of the design happens here in Redmond. We are moving fast. We have a very deep set of competitors right now. We are not seating on our heels. We need to go forward every day. We can’t fall behind and the way to do it is you build the product, you test and if it fails, build it again,” Panay tells CNN.
Characterizing the facility as “a big toy factory” where engineers can “build anything on the planet,” Panay says that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) uses the facility as a testing ground to get a feeling for its hardware products and create solutions that work for their customers.
Panay showed how the company used different machines like 3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters and fabric stations to get exact prototypes for its hardware. Here, their engineers get right down to the micron they need to understand a radius, or a corner, or how a bucket is going to feel, or how a certain apparatus like the Surface kickstand is going to operate.
“It all happens in this building. It happens quickly and it happens in a way where you get the true feel of the product. It is really important to really know what your customers are going to use and love. You have to feel it. You can look at any AutoCAD design on a screen or on a printout or you can get it in your hands right away and you can know what it feels like,” Panay tells CNN.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) also uses the building to tell exactly how the colors of finishings for their products are going to look like and feel, the executive adds.
William B. Gray’s Orbis Investment Management owned about 14.19 million Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares by the end of the December quarter.
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