Microsoft has now launched six different Surface tablets, with the latest being the Surface 3. However, many years ago, a team at Microsoft first got the funding to create the initial version of the tablet based on a very early and crude prototype.
At the Microsoft Ignite conference this week Ralf Groene, the Creative Director for the company's Surface team, talked about how they designed the hardware for the tablets. He also showed images of that early prototype that impressed Steven Sinofsky, who back then was the head of the Windows division, enough to approve the funding to take that prototype and turn it into the first Surface device, the Surface RT.
Groene stated that the team worked on many different ideas and prototypes for the Surface, but all of them looked like regular tablets. It was the addition of the kickstand that made the Surface look and work differently. That first approved prototype was created pretty crudely, according to Groene, with electrical tape to hold the kickstand into place and glued magnets on the bottom of the case to show off the idea of the Touch cover.
You can watch Groene's entire Surface design presentation on Microsoft's Channel 9 website.