Microsoft signals probable Surface launch event for Oct. 2

A Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3, and possibly a Surface Go 2 seem likely possibilities. Fingers crossed for a new Surface Book, too.

Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has issued an invitation for an event on October 2 in New York City, the traditional time and place for new Surface hardware.

Microsoft isn’t explicitly tying the event to Surface—it’s billed as a “#MicrosoftEvent,” complete with hashtag, and with a line drawing of the Windows logo.That likely implies that Microsoft will be touting both new Surface hardware as well as new Windows 10 updates, together with the apps and services that connect to it.

Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 6, the Surface Laptop 2, the Surface Studio 2, and the Surface Headphones in October 2018. None dramatically revamped the Surface experience, though all of the computing hardware featured an updated, quad-core, 8th-gen Intel Core chip. Could the Surface Pro 7, Surface Laptop 3, and a Surface Studio 3 be on the way?

panos panay surface pro 6 launch Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft chief product officer Panos Panay launches the Surface Pro 6 at last year’s event.

New Surface hardware would have a wealth of processor options from which to choose: Intel’s recently introduced, upclocked Comet Lake; Intel’s slower, more well-rounded Ice Lake processor; or even AMD’s mobile Ryzen processors. Rumors that we might see a Surface powered by Qualcomm’s battery-sipping Snapdragon 8cx chip have also been making the rounds, which would provide yet another alternative to Intel’s strategy of combining a low-power display panel with a larger battery. It’s also been more than a year since Microsoft launched the small, ultraportable Surface Go tablet. 

It seems likely we’ll see an updated Surface Laptop, a particularly adept combination of functionality and battery life. Adding an up-to-date processor to the Surface Pro 6 to create a Surface Pro 7 also seems like a wise choice. And with more attention being paid to always-connected, mobile tablets, a Surface Go 2 (or even a Surface Laptop mini clamshell) would be an intriguing reveal. A new Surface Book? Intel’s diversity of processor choices certainly makes room for a Surface Book 3, maybe even with some Nvidia RTX hardware inside. Windows Central also expects new Surface earbuds, code-named Morrison. 

Remember, too, that Microsoft hasn’t formally unveiled its latest Windows 10 strategy to the general public. Windows 10 Insiders know that the upcoming low-key Windows 10 “19H2” release will feature optimizations intended for enterprise users, with the next “20H1” release in early 2020 adding the features that consumers expect. Questions remain: Will Microsoft nudge Amazon Alexa to the forefront? One of the 19H2 features includes the ability for ”third party” digital assistants to appear on the PC’s lock screen, and we already know that Alexa is now essentially part of the Windows experience.

In the meantime, Microsoft has migrated more and more apps outside of the Windows Store, so that apps like Notepad can be updated at their own pace. It’s very possible that Microsoft will also provide an update to the features that have been introduced to Microsoft Office 365.

All that leaves room for a relatively jam-packed “#MicrosoftEvent” where the hardware will simply be one facet of the overall experience. We’ll be covering the event live as it happens, so clear your calendar for October 2.

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Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
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