Microsoft’s devices chief, Panos Panay, has strongly hinted that the company isn’t ready to launch a Surface Pro 5. In an interview with CNET, Panay says Microsoft will launch the Surface Pro 5 when it has achieved enough “meaningful change” to make it a new product. “Meaningful change isn’t necessarily a hardware change, which is what a lot of people look for,” explains Panay. “They’re like, ‘Where’s the latest processor?’ That’s not what I mean. I’m looking for an experiential change that makes a huge difference in product line.”
Panay explains “there’s no such thing as a Pro 5,” which suggests that we won’t see a true successor to the Surface Pro 4 anytime soon. The first details emerged about a potential “Surface Pro 5” recently, suggesting that the successor would switch to a Kaby Lake processor without any other dramatic differences. It’s likely that Microsoft is simply planning to refresh its Surface Pro 4 with the latest Intel processors, and the timing of Panay’s comments come just before Microsoft announced another hardware event.
Microsoft is traveling to Shanghai on May 23rd and plans to “show the world what’s next.” Panos Panay will be attending the event, and we’re expecting new hardware to be announced. Microsoft usually announces major Surface additions at events in New York, so a minor hardware refresh fits an event being held in a different time zone and location. Either way, Panos Panay’s use of the #surface tag suggests we’ll likely see a new Surface device later this month.