As we wrap up 2018, it’s time to take a look at what Microsoft has planned for the year ahead when it comes to Surface. Conveniently, I wrote a book on this topic (the inside story of building the entire brand, that you can read about here) which is how I came across this information.
Initially, my plan was to not post any of this and leave it in the book but knowing that anyone is $10 away from a roadmap of Microsoft’s upcoming products, there was no way to keep it out of the headlines. All this being said, some of these products are a year or more away which means plans will, and often do, change; typically I wait until I know exactly when something will release before posting but here we are.
Surface Laptop is scheduled to be refreshed in Q4 of next year, the interesting bit here is that Microsoft may use an AMD chip for some models of the device. The company is still exploring chipset options and is waiting for the silicon to materialize but it’s on the agenda to take a look at team red for a possible laptop upgrade.
Surface Studio is not expected to be updated next year. Instead, look for a significant update in 2020 that will utilize the ‘compute-module’ style design being pioneered with the new Surface Hub.
If you want a Surface monitor, this is as a close as you may get, an all-in-one PC with a swappable compute unit. I love this idea: monitors last much longer than CPUs and by being able to upgrade the ‘compute’ portion of the Surface Studio, this makes it easier to stretch the lifecycle of the product for the end-user.
Microsoft is working on a new ‘ambient’ device that it may launch in the spring of 2019. This device is said to work with a mobile phone and may help with text input and navigation; details are still a bit murky here but that’s what I’m hearing currently.
As for Andromeda, it’s growing up; look at Intel’s Tiger Rapids prototype, Microsoft is working on a Surface device of this style. So it’s not quite the pocketable design that we have been seeing in all of the patents but is a bit larger. Again, this device will ship when it’s ready and there is justification for it but the company sees it as a visionary device and it is currently slated for a Q4 release.
And the device that started the entire book, the Surface Pro will get heavily updated in Q4 of 2019 with thinner bezels, new color options, USB-C, and a few other enhancements.
If you have made it this far, you will like the rest of the content in the book, Beneath a Surface. It’s the inside story of how Microsoft built the powerhouse PC brand that led to the creation of this post.