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May 15, 2016

Event Coverage: TGIF with Surface!

Hello ladies and gentlemen, this is Jack from Tech-Critter bringing you coverage of Microsoft's TGIF with Surface event, which was held at GSC Signature this past Friday.

To celebrate the success of the Surface and Windows 10, Microsoft Malaysia has recently launched an influencer campaign by partnering with four talented, young individuals from ranging sectors including but not limited to the startup, technology and also creative scenes of today. 

(l-r) Andres Sirel, Windows & Devices Business Group Lead at Microsoft Malaysia; Pang Tun Yau, Editor at Lowyat.Net; Raeesa Sya, CCO and Founder of Bfab.My; Sheldon Goh, accomplished comic book and storyboard artist; Reuben Samuel, professional DJ and multi-instrumentalist; and Bruce Howe, General Manager, Consumer Channel Group at Microsoft Malaysia, at the TGIF with Surface session on Friday
Throughout the campaign, these talented individuals showed how the Surface Pro 4, powered by Windows 10 helped them to be more productive and creative. The four individuals are:

  • Pang Tun Yau, Editor of Lowyat.Net - Malaysia's largest tech publication, full-time tech fan, and a self-proclaimed walking gadget encyclopedia.
  • Raeesa Sya, Entrepreneur, brand strategist, designer, commercial model, and currently the co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Bfab.my, an online beauty, and one-stop wellness center.
  • Reuben Samuel, Professional DJ and multi-instrumentalist, as well as the founder of Mile High Sounds. He also goes by the moniker "Blastique" for his more electronic-based projects.
  • Sheldon Goh, Accomplished comic book and storyboard artist with notable works, including horror and adventure comic book series "Grimm Fairy Tales" and other independent comic book publishers in the United Kingdom.

Bruce Howe, General Manager, Consumer Channel Group at Microsoft Malaysia, addressing the media at the TGIF with Surface session on Friday
"Our company mission is to empower every person and every organization to do more - with the right tools like the Surface Pro 4, there are no limits to what you can achieve, and that is what we are looking to accomplish with this campaign," commented Bruce Howe, General Manager, Consumer Channel Group, Microsoft Malaysia. "People may have seen or heard of tech reviews of the Surface Pro 4, but we know that they also want to see it's practicality. And our engagement with Pang Tun Yau, Raeesa Sya, Reuben Samuel and Sheldon Goh does just that - the campaign is a challenge to these individuals - and by extension to all Malaysians - to explore what they could do with this powerful device."

Andres Sirel, Windows & Devices Business Group Lead at Microsoft Malaysia, demonstrating Windows Ink - an all-new experience, putting the power of Windows in the tip of the Surface pen
Moving on, Andres Sirel, Windows & Devices Business Group Lead at Microsoft Malaysia then proceeded to show us how Microsoft aims to integrate both hardware, the Surface Pro 4 and software, Windows 10 to create the perfect product for people from all walks of life. With the new insider build of Windows 10, Andres Sirel gave us an interesting glimpse of all the features and updates that Microsoft has planned to release in the not to distant future in attempts to further amplify the features that the Surface Pro 4 has to offer.

The campaign then kicked into high gear, with Pang and Raeesa sharing tips on being productive, while Reuben and Sheldon talked about their passion and creativity in designing works of art. All four of them also shared their experience of what it was like to be using the Surface Pro 4 as their main device throughout their month long endeavour. 

Pang Tun Yau, Editor at Lowyat.Net, describing his experience working on the go with the Surface Pro 4  
The first to start was editor and tech-lover, Pang who spoke about balancing his busy professional life with personal downtime with his Surface Pro 4. "Being and editor, my work involves a lot of traveling, covering events and trying to be among the earliest to report breaking news. This means a lot of productivity is done on-the-go. The Surface is a mobile, lightweight machine that allows me to work virtually anywhere - and has enough power under the hood to do more intensive tasks like photo and video editing when necessary" he said. Also, despite him being a password-heavy person, he found that Windows Hello feature that comes with Windows 10 surprisingly impressive. "Biometric authentication is common for smartphones, so it's great that it is seamlessly replicated on a laptop/tablet!" he concluded.

Raeesa Sya, CCO and Founder of Bfab.My, sharing tips on how the Surface Pro 4 can be an essential tool for a busy entrepreneur like her
Designer, start-up expert and co-founder of Bfab.my, Raeesa, also weighed in on how the device can be an essential tool for a busy entrepreneur like her. "My work requires constant connectivity and mobility when dealing with internal teams, partners and clients. Times is indeed of the essence and having the right tool is extremely important when you need to be qquick and responsive at all times." she shared. Previously coming from a Macbook, she claimed that the OneNote and Surface Pen combo is definitely a pleasant surprise. Her favourite thing about it was that she doesn't need multiple Word documents to store her notes anymore and everything is saved to her cloud-backed OneNote. She was also kind enough to let us in on a little secret, first time users of Bfab.my can enter the promo code "welcome25" to get rm25 off their first try of the range of services they provide!

Reuben Samuel, professional DJ and multi-instrumentalist, giving LIVE music-making demonstration on the Surface Pro 4 
 As for multi-instrumentalist and musician Reuben, his challenge was to create a unique soundscape with a Malaysian vibe - a challenge he completed by mising sounds from a busy Malaysian street, a local TV program, and the voices of Malaysians themselves. Mixed using the Surface Pro 4, he shares his experiences while producing it from start to finish.

"Sound and music are something that is very abstract and one can very well interpret the piece in various ways, but it took careful planning for me to record each sound and stitch them on the Surface Pro 4. Being a stranger to the Surface, the device has impressed me since I started using it - from replacing the mouse with a more natural movement using the Surface Pen, to doing the mixing on the device without my sequencer - in short, the Surface Pro 4 has really exceeded my expectations!" he said.

Sheldon Goh, accomplished comic book and storyboard artist, sharing design variations for character Spike, the sidekick to his original superhero character The Mighty Kenyalang, designed on Surface Pro 4 
Last but not least, comic book artist Sheldon Goh was challenged by Microsoft to create a Malaysian-themed superhero worthy of any mainstream comic, to which he responded with Sarawak-insipired creations - the "Mighty Kenyalang" (Rhinoceros Hornbill) and his sidekick, Spike. The superhero boasts uniques Rhinoceros Hornbill features including a horned-mask and winged black-and-white cape.

Sheldon Goh, giving a live demonstration of how he sketched the initial designs of his comic book character on the Surface Pro 4
While effortlessly demonstrating how he used the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pen to sketch out early designs of the characters, he shared, "As a Sarawakian myself, I drew inspiration from the hornbill that is both the state bird of Sarawak and a cultural symbol for the people of Sarawka, especially the Dayak communities. Because inspiration comes at random times, it is important for me to have sketching tools around, which normally consist of a pen and paper. Impressively, I found that sketching on Surface feels very natural, the Surface Pen having been engineered to very closely mimic the way a real pencil feels on paper. Despite its size, having access to the full Adobe Creative Cloud, specifically Photoshop makes a huge difference to us artists when we are on-the-go, especially when we need to work with heavy editing."

(l-r) Pang Tun Yau, Editor at Lowyat.Net; Raeesa Sya, CCO and Founder of Bfab.My; Bruce Howe, General Manager, Consumer Channel Group at Microsoft Malaysia; Andres Sirel, Windows & Devices Business Group Lead at Microsoft Malaysia; Reuben Samuel, professional DJ and multi-instrumentalist; and Sheldon Goh, accomplished comic book and storyboard artist, showcasing their Surface Pro 4 devices 
Other than a few minor setbacks that the four individuals seem to agree on such as the kickstand not being as lap friendly as it could be, overall they were all quite impressed with the Surface Pro 4 and would definitely use it as their main device. Bruce Howe also chimed in at the last second that although the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 was a first for Microsoft, helping people upgrade faster than ever before, time is running out! The free upgrade offer will end soon on the 29th of July. The event then ended with a short Q&A and photo session, and after that we all went on our merry way! In conclusion, the seemingly formidable Surface Pro 4 does seem to be keeping up with expectations. However, if anyone is interested in a more in-depth review to see how the Surface Pro 4 would hold up in depths of Tech-Critter's lab do let us know!

Once again, this has been Jack bringing you coverage of Microsoft's TGIF with Surface, stay tuned for everything tech related right here at Tech-Critter. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a nice day!

Additional links:

Windows 10 and Surface
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-upgrade
https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-my
https://www.facebook.com/SurfaceMalaysia

Pang Tun Yau
http://www.lowyat.net/
https://twitter.com/typang14

Raeesa Sya
http://bfab.my
http://www.raeesasya.com
https://twitter.com/Raeesa_Sya

Reuben Samuel
http://www.blastique.com
http://www.milehighsounds.com
http://facebook.com/blastique
https://twitter.com/blastique

Sheldon Goh
http://comiconart.com/portfolio/Sheldon-Goh
http://comiconart.com/artist/Sheldon-Goh-2013-06-06
https://facebook.com/sheldongohart
https://twitter.com/sheldongoh



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