It is great to see Redmond invest so much in accessories and peripherals for its Surface slates. So much so that one may mistake the company is in the hardware accessories business.

Then again, Microsoft traditionally has had deep roots in PC peripherals — Sidewinder 3D Pro Joystick, anyone? The company has brought along several notable accessories for computers, from game controllers to keyboards, mice, even webcams.

And now this legacy seems to be continuing with the Surface tablets.

Microsoft has just made the Surface Music Cover official at its NYC event a little while back. This, as you may have guessed, was a bit of a surprise, considering an accessory like this was not actually leaked in previous reports.

But as the name gives away, the Music Cover is a Touch Cover that works with all Surface tablets that allows users to remix songs with ease. All the typical audio buttons (like play, pause, and stop) are on this cover, along with specific buttons that can be mapped to specific audio related tasks.

Additionally, the company has also announced a new app that will work in parallel with Xbox Music and launch automatically with the Music Cover is plugged into a Surface slate.

The company has also updated its Touch and Type covers, providing them with accurate input along with backlist keys — two features that are sure to be a hit with fans.

Touch Cover 2, for instance, now features a backlit keyboard to go with 1,092 touch sensors, making it a significant improvement over the 80 in the original Touch Cover. This much increased sensor count means that users can now use the entire surface of the cover (get it?) as a gesture pad for input.

Type Cover 2 has also received similar improvements, including backlit keys and a thinner frame. An optional wireless adaptor is also available for the Type Cover 2 allowing its keyboard to be used via Bluetooth instead of being physically connected to the device.

Despite these improvements, the second generation Touch and Type covers now boast a thinner frame, up to 2mm thinner. Now color options are also on offer — Type Cover 2 for example is now available in purple and pink to go with the blue and black.

These new covers will launch on October 22 alongside the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Both second generation Touch and Type covers are compatible with all Surface tablets, though the Music Cover will not work with the first generation Surface RT.

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  1. Wow! This gets better and better!

  2. is that innovative?

    • Too funny, @mikegreenway:disqus. Ask Timmy Boy and let’s see what he says about that. LOL!

      I’m blown away by this. Just imagine having custom keyboards in various business applications, particularly in industry where it launches an app built for the job itself. I’m also thinking of everyday places as well, such as driving POS systems in the restaurant business (and having a credit card swipe device attached and using a pen to sign your signature on screen), etc.

      Perhaps third-party vendors could really make a go of this.

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