It's no secret that Microsoft has a firm focus on the business space under new CEO Satya Nadella. Last year, the company released the Surface Studio, a 28″ all-in-one touchscreen that competes directly with Apple in the creative market.
However, Microsoft's innovation comes at a cost. The change in hardware makes for unique challenges in the workplace, from increased portability to different writing angles.
The Focus Studio and Ideation Hub
The Redmond giant's answer to such struggles is the creation of a workspace for the modern age. It's something the company has been obsessed with recently, releasing regular vision of the future videos.
This latest collaboration between Microsoft and Steelcase makes some of those ideas feel more achievable. Creative Spaces is essentially a mash-up of office furniture and layout principles to create the ideal work environment.
The core idea is that workers need different spaces for different situations. At some points, they really need to hunker down and focus, while others require collaboration and portability.
Microsoft's answer comes in the form of five new products. The Focus studio is designed specifically for the Surface Pro and Book, letting workers focus, but also shift quickly into collaboration.
The Surface Studio has its own furniture too, called the Duo-Studio. As with the others, it lets designers switch seamlessly between individual work and collaboration.
However, Microsoft is also accommodating for its more niche products. An Ideation Hub lets workers team up in a conference-rescue space using the Surface Hub.
Finally, there's a space where colleagues can just relax. You can just sit back in a comfortable environment, away from the stress of everyone else.
According to Microsoft, these spaces should be seen not just as new furniture, but a way to change the work environment for the better. That said, there are plenty of new and expensive purchases from Steelhub, including the $1,000 Gesture Chair and the AirTouch table.
When combined with the expense of Microsoft's hardware, such concepts aren't ideal for small to medium scale businesses. However, the company will be working with Steelcase to implement them in existing work environments and has showings at the Steelcase Worklife Center in New York.
You can find more about Creative Spaces on the Steelcase website.