Microsoft is planning to announce at least one new Surface device at its annual “Future Decoded” event in London at the end of October, reports the Verge.
The timing is in line with the company’s past history. Microsoft has released or unveiled updates to its Surface lineup of laptops, tablets, and PCs every October for the last several years.
However, Business Insider is hearing that this isn’t the whole story. While Microsoft will unveil a new Surface device at the London event, we’re hearing it also plans to announce other Surface devices at separate events later this year. But details on those other devices are scarce.
We are hearing from people familiar with the company’s plans that one device won’t be making an appearance — the Surface Phone. The long-rumored new Windows smartphone from Microsoft hardware chief Panos Panay and his team will remain missing in action.
That means 2017 will mark the second year in a row that Microsoft has failed to release a new mobile device. In the absence of new hardware, the company’s phone business has collapsed.
We can only speculate what Surface products Microsoft will unveil. Microsoft released a souped-up Surface Pro tablet and the all-new Surface Laptop this spring, so it’s unlikely the company will significantly upgrade either of those products.
But a new Surface Book may be in the works. A recent Intel promotional video had a mysterious shot of a Surface Book clad entirely in black. Given that Microsoft doesn’t currently sell a black Surface Book, this could be a hint that a new version of the two-year-old laptop is on the way.
Another possibility: a new Surface device powered by an ARM processor. Back in December, Microsoft announced a partnership with Qualcomm to bring Windows 10 to low-cost, low-powered ARM chips, but we haven’t seen any devices running Windows 10 on ARM yet.
An ARM-powered Surface would certainly be big news, representing another attempt by Microsoft to separate Windows from Intel processors after its abortive effort with Windows RT.
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