Here we are then, a late look at this year's bag for Microsoft New Zealand's TechEd conference which kicks off next week. Without further ado, this is what it looks like:
TechEd delegates will advertise the conference itself (naturally) but also Microsoft Surface and the bag original equipment manufacturer, Targus. It's not clear which variant of Surface Microsoft is referring to, but let's ignore that for now. Having learnt from past bags, Microsoft made sure the logos are indelible, sewed onto the bag as they are.
Other than that, the bag's made of the dark grey Komputabaghide man-made material which should last a few years. Pockets? Yes, there are pockets a-plenty. Including some for pens, which is mystifyingly anachronistic as nobody under the age of 45 engages in the arcane art of handwriting any more.
Also strange: the smartphone pocket looks too small to house a Microsoft Lumia 1020 RT Home Edition device.
As per the last few year's bag-only corporate policy, there was nothing in the bag at all. Not even those chewy silica gel cushions.
The bald as Ballmer thing about this year's bag is that it's small. Let me demonstrate with a Dell desktop replacement notebook:
Well, that didn't work, did it? No matter which angle I inserted the Dell notebook, it wouldn't fit in. In fact, this year's bag is not good for anything else than tablets.
See for yourself:
A retina iPad fits perfectly into the bag. In fact, you could squeeze in a bunch more tablets. I didn't have a Surface of any kind to test with, but should fit in too.
What this signifies is a new company-wide direction for Microsoft, namely an acceptance that the PC is Dead. The bag is adapted to the Post-PC, cloud computing era with its small size. This could actually be the last-ever TechEd bag if Microsoft manages to ship the new, wearable Windows Goggles (note: not Googles) and Fob 8.2 Professional products that I am not allowed to talk about because… well, you don't really need a bag for those.
I am wondering if the bag might not upset HP which has made available an unprecedented amount of delegate deals this year for TechEd. Buy some desktops and laptops by all means, the discounts are fairly good I think. Stuff them into the bag though to take home? Forget it. Won't fit.
Things are very different these days.
Update Rating. Gotta have that. Thanks for reminding me, @dubdotdash.
Rating: 3.5/5 - would've been 4.5/5 with a working USB adapter, and not just a symbol (thanks, Daniel Ballinger, for spotting that).
Pros: It's small
Cons: It's small.
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