The new Surface Laptop was the marquee arrival in today’s Microsoft announcement, but boy howdy, the company also dropped a whole bunch of new accessories. It’s a pretty broad range of new devices, including some small updates to existing products and entirely new entries. But there’s one clear through line across them all: Teams.
Microsoft is, after all, a software company at heart. That’s always fueled the company’s hardware products. So it’s really not a major surprise that its productivity software is the driving force here. After all, this is the company that was pushing Office integration on its earbuds.
Matter of fact, the company’s actually debuting a slight upgrade to its Surface Headphone line. The Headphones 2+ for Business. The big distinction here is the addition on-ear Teams control. The other additions to the well-received over-ear headphones are fairly minor (hence the telling “2+” name), including improved remote calling. They also run a bit of a premium at $299 to the Headphone 2’s $250. They’re shipping later this month.
The remainder of the new products fall under the “Modern” line, which currently also includes the Modern Mouse. Joining the Headphones are the Microsoft Modern USB and Wireless Headsets. Here the products get a dedicated Teams button for joining calls on MS’ platform. They’ll ship in June for $50 and $100, respectively.
Microsoft is also adding a 1080p webcam to the mix. The Modern Webcam has a 78-degree field of view and can shoot in HDR. There’s a privacy shutter on board, as well as software settings for things like auto white balance and facial retouching, if you’re so inclined. And yes, Teams certification. Can’t help but think this would have been a big hit this time last year, but for many working from home will be the new normal, going forward. That will ship in June for a reasonable $70.
The oddest addition is probably the Microsoft Modern USB-C Speaker. With Cortana seemingly dead in the water, Teams is once again the driving force here. It’s a desktop speaker with dual microphones designed for Teams calls and some light music listening. That one is also arriving in June, priced at $100.