The Surface Studio represents Microsoft’s growing presence in the hardware side of the industry that it once left entirely to its partners.
Microsoft is trying to light a creative spark under the struggling personal computer industry.
On Wednesday, the company, which is based in Redmond, Wash., unveiled a desktop personal computer that turns into a digital drafting table. Surface Studio, as the new device is called, is the company’s first desktop PC, and a reminder of Microsoft’s growing presence in the hardware side of the industry that it once left entirely to its partners.
At an event in New York, Microsoft also announced an update to its Windows 10 operating system that is designed to make creating, manipulating and viewing 3-D objects easier.
The new Microsoft machine is a handsome specimen of the all-in-one PC category best exemplified by Apple’s iMac. It has a sleek aluminum body with 28-inch screen that rests on top of a stand. Microsoft also showed a new accessory device called the Surface Dial that augments computer mice, giving users a precise way to zoom in images and perform other actions.
“This is a product that we believe truly brings out the creator in all of us,” said Panos Panay, a Microsoft corporate vice president.
The new Microsoft PC will not be for everyone though, if only because of its $2,999 price tag. It will go on sale in limited quantities this holiday season, Mr. Panay said. Architects, product designers and engineers are among the likely targets for the product.
Surface Studio stands out from others in that its display is touch sensitive, effectively making it a gargantuan tablet that can be manipulated with hands and a stylus. A hinge in its stand allows users to position the screen at an angle so they can write and draw on it more naturally.
J.P. Gownder, an analyst at Forrester Research, thinks the new device allows Microsoft to participate in the high end of the PC market, where profit margins tend to be fatter. During its most recently reported quarter, Microsoft said it had $926 million in Surface revenue, up 38 percent from the same period a year earlier.
But like previous Surface computers from Microsoft, including a laptop and tablet, Surface Studio is also intended to inspire other PC makers, Mr. Gownder said.
“Without the vision that the Surface team has provided, frankly, the PC industry would be in worst shape than it is anyway,” Mr. Gownder said.
Sales in the PC market have been in a long slump. Shipments of new PCs in the third quarter fell 3.9 percent from the previous year, according to IDC, the technology research firm.
Microsoft said a new version of its operating system that would be released early next year, Windows 10 Creators Update, is aimed at responding to the interest in 3-D imagery inspired by new technologies like virtual reality. The company demonstrated how a 3-D image of a sand castle can easily be captured on a smartphone and then edited into a greeting card on Windows 10 with a new application that comes with the software.
The company’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said Microsoft’s new products were meant for the people who needed more than a regular consumer’s computer.
“We are the company that stands for the builders, the makers, the creators — that’s who we are,” Mr. Nadella said. “Every choice we make is about finding that balance between consumption and creative expression.”
Microsoft also said several hardware companies, including HP, Dell, Lenovo and Asus, would release virtual reality headsets next holiday season that work with Windows 10 PCs. The headsets will start at $299, hundreds of dollars less than comparable headsets.