Here’s what Surface is Planning to Release in 2019

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.

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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.

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Conversation 51 comments

  • will

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 12:51 pm

    <p>…and the updates move along.</p><p><br></p><p>While USB-C is good, it would be disappointing if they do not move to TB3. eGPU's are a great addition for people that want the power at a desktop, but the portability when on the go.</p>

    • BigM72

      29 November, 2018 - 1:23 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374859">In reply to will:</a></em></blockquote><p>Even without a use-case, I think it makes the marketing much simpler if it is TB3. Quite simply, it can then do everything you might have heard that you can do with a USB-C port.</p><p><br></p><p>I thought this was going to be ready now because Intel brought the PCIe bus on-chip or something like that which reduced the cost/complexity of adding it in.</p>

    • drewidian

      30 November, 2018 - 11:45 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374859">In reply to will:</a></em></blockquote><p>While TB3 is great and needed, I really want a MicroSD card and a SIM(or eSIM) card slots on the clipboard on the Surface Book 3. As MicroSD capacities get greater, I'd love to have my OneDrive files here instead of using up my valuable NVMe storage.</p>

  • jaredthegeek

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 1:15 pm

    <p>So instead of Andromeda we will get a Courier, a project they tried in 2008 and killed in 2010, but I really hope its designed with LTE integrated from the beginning. Its interesting how early MS gets some ideas and the tech is not ready and they drop it and the rest of the world picks it up a few years later. I really home that we get a courier. Its what i would really like in a portable but I was one of the crazy people who thought 8 inch tablets with a stylus would be everywhere by now. Instead we have big long phones.</p>

  • ndelena

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 1:19 pm

    <p>No Surface Book 3 for 2019? Why does it feel like the Surface Book is the odd man out in the lineup?</p>

    • ecumenical

      29 November, 2018 - 1:47 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374878">In reply to ndelena:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>What would be the update? It already has 8th gen quad-core CPUs. It has the latest mobile NVidia GPUs. It has USB-C.</p><p><br></p><p>Sure, there will be some new chips announced in 2019, and then I expect MS to do their usual wait-6-to-9-months thing before updating in 2020.</p>

      • ruusterc

        30 November, 2018 - 12:10 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#374895">In reply to ecumenical:</a></em></blockquote><p>the one update it needs badly is get rid of the gap in between the screen an keyboard when folded</p>

  • Noel

    29 November, 2018 - 1:36 pm

    <p>I hope they release an updated Surface Book alongside the updated Surface Pro. Then I can finally decide which grown up Surface can replace my Surface 3</p>

  • MutualCore

    29 November, 2018 - 1:43 pm

    <p>For me the ultimate setup for 2020 might be a tricked-out Mac Mini with Surface monitor.</p>

    • VancouverNinja

      Premium Member
      29 November, 2018 - 3:04 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374892">In reply to MutualCore:</a></em></blockquote><p>OSX??? Dude really? Windows 10 is so much nicer to use now than that OS. </p>

      • MutualCore

        29 November, 2018 - 5:19 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#374961">In reply to VancouverNinja:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'll run Windows 10 on Parallels.</p>

      • shameermulji

        29 November, 2018 - 9:40 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#374961">In reply to VancouverNinja:</a></em></blockquote><p>That's a matter of opinion. OSX Mojave from all accounts I've heard is excellent &amp; considered every bit as good as OSX Snow Leopard</p>

        • waethorn

          30 November, 2018 - 11:01 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#375133">In reply to shameermulji:</a></em></blockquote><p>But you'd have to run it on an overpriced and poorly-built Mac.</p>

          • dontbe evil

            01 December, 2018 - 4:21 am

            <blockquote><em><a href="#375396">In reply to Waethorn:</a></em></blockquote><p>and with a touchscreen and digitizer monitor that cannot be use properly on mac</p>

    • dontbe evil

      29 November, 2018 - 3:20 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374892">In reply to MutualCore:</a></em></blockquote><p>if you want to waste your money … ah maybe you want install windows 10 on your mac mini to use that monitor properly</p>

  • ecumenical

    29 November, 2018 - 1:49 pm

    <p>"<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">new color options"</span></p><p><br></p><p>Yes please! I won't speak for others but I'd love a rich/dark orange type cover along the lines of the Lenovo Yoga line.</p>

  • webdev511

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 2:01 pm

    <p>Good to know. It's obvious now that this year's updates were almost all limited to new silicon on existing PCBs. USB-C across the board next year will be very welcome indeed.</p>

  • PeterC

    29 November, 2018 - 2:07 pm

    <p>So thinner bezels for the surface pro – interesting. I wonder if bigger screen in same size enclosure or smaller enclose and same screen size? </p><p><br></p><p>&gt;&gt;Edit: and what about those cameras in the bezel? through screen or notch I wonder.</p><p><br></p><p>Whats an "ambient" device? that works with a mobile phone and helps text input and navigation? Curious.</p>

    • VancouverNinja

      Premium Member
      29 November, 2018 - 2:54 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374911">In reply to PeterC:</a></em></blockquote><p>The ambient device will be a smart speaker. </p>

      • PeterC

        29 November, 2018 - 4:18 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#374941">In reply to VancouverNinja:</a></em></blockquote><p>that's interesting, so a smart speaker that maybe works with whichever OS/eco-system a person uses? or are MS pursuing another proprietary product?</p>

  • shameermulji

    29 November, 2018 - 2:37 pm

    <p>"<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">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."</span></p><p><br></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">What's gonna be the difference between this and the Surface Studio?</span></p>

    • dontbe evil

      29 November, 2018 - 3:19 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374929">In reply to shameermulji:</a></em></blockquote><p>this should be just a monitor (not a simple one of course)</p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      29 November, 2018 - 4:18 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374929">In reply to shameermulji:</a></em></blockquote><p>With that one you can upgrade the computer part and keep the screen. With the current Studio you can't.</p>

      • shameermulji

        29 November, 2018 - 5:52 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#375005">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>In other words, it's gonna be MS' take on an upgradeable iMac?</p>

        • curtisspendlove

          29 November, 2018 - 8:41 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#375066">In reply to shameermulji:</a></em></blockquote><p>More like a swappable iMac.</p><p><br></p><p>Basically you can detach the “foot” of the Surface Studio and plug the monitor into a newer, more powerful “foot”. </p><p><br></p><p>Part of me really loves that idea. And part of me has a few concerns. </p>

      • shameermulji

        29 November, 2018 - 9:38 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#375005">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>I should've been more specific. What's the difference between this;</p><p><br></p><p>"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."</p><p><br></p><p>And a modular Surface Studio that MS is planning. Kinda sound like the same thing.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

        • curtisspendlove

          30 November, 2018 - 12:09 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#375132">In reply to shameermulji:</a></em></blockquote><p>I think it is the same thing. That transition was written a bit awkwardly. </p><p><br></p><p>I think Brad meant: if you want a Surface monitor, this new swappable Surface Studio might be the closest you’re likely to get. </p>

  • VancouverNinja

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 2:59 pm

    <p>Thanks for the update Brad. All of these device launch plans match up to exactly what I have been anticipating MS to be have been planning over the last few years. The releases of them in 2019, or announcements for early 2020 releases, should close the loop of the device system ecosystem for MS. The surprise, from what you have written, is whether Andromeda will fill that mobile device space for MS or if it is leaning towards a courier design format; which would be surprising to me and still leave a mobile solution missing. </p>

  • Simard57

    29 November, 2018 - 3:14 pm

    <p>Any news on the Surface Go?</p><p><br></p>

    • remc86007

      29 November, 2018 - 4:08 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#374966">In reply to Simard57:</a></em></blockquote><p>I'd be really interested in a Surface Go with a Y series part that could burst up to 3GHz or so. As a longtime owner of a 1.5GHz i3 SP3, I'm not buying another computer that is permanently stuck at that low of a clockspeed.</p>

      • digiguy

        Premium Member
        30 November, 2018 - 3:52 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#375001">In reply to remc86007:</a></em></blockquote><p>Given that reports of the SN850 say it's faster that the surface go even with x86 in emulation, I'd be even more interested in a surface go with an even better Qualcomm chip and great battery life</p>

  • remc86007

    29 November, 2018 - 4:10 pm

    <p>I'd love a Surface Studio Monitor that I could hook up to my Surface Book with the Surface Connector. If they came out with that below $1500. I'd probably buy it and start saving for a new Surface Book too.</p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      29 November, 2018 - 4:17 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#375002">In reply to remc86007:</a></em></blockquote><p>Keep dreaming. There is no way that would cost under $1500. The computer part of the Studio is not a $2500 computer.</p>

      • curtisspendlove

        29 November, 2018 - 11:56 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#375004">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p>Agreed. There is no such thing as a cheap 4K touchscreen. </p><p><br></p><p>The cheapest I’ve seen are at least $2,000, with most being in the low- to mid-$3,000’s. </p><p><br></p><p>It it would be awesome, to be sure. But they are still very pricey for good ones. </p><p><br></p><p>If you really want to crap a brick or few, take a look at the prices on the 65” 4K multitouch screens. But man I’d love to have one of those mounted to a drafting table. </p><p><br></p><p></p><p><br></p><p&gt;^ tell me that isn’t gorgeous. ;)</p>

  • glenn8878

    29 November, 2018 - 4:26 pm

    <p>A more powerful Surface Go would be a good idea. Then sell this year's high end Surface Go for $150 cheaper next year.</p>

  • faustxd9

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 4:28 pm

    <p>Thanks for the update and writing the book! When I first head about the Surface Hub compute module I imediately thought "hey they could use this in Surface Studio". Great to hear that they are giving that beast a longer life span. Plus it could save them money buy not having displays sitting around with the version of CPU that not many people wanted. </p>

  • Travelrobert

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 4:58 pm

    <p>When can I buy my Surface 6 with LTE?</p>

    • SvenJ

      29 November, 2018 - 8:15 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#375041"><em>In reply to Travelrobert:</em></a><em> </em>Buy a Windows Phone and velcro it to the back ;)</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • Rycott

    Premium Member
    29 November, 2018 - 5:39 pm

    <p>No point in reading the book now… You spoiled the ending! :P</p>

  • SupaPete

    29 November, 2018 - 5:49 pm

    <p>i HATE the compute module concept of the surface hub and would be VERY unhappy if they bring that onto the next surface studio.</p><p>V 1 of the studio had way too weak internals, V2 a bit more acceptable, but still too underpowered for my liking.</p><p>I was hoping with V3 they would finally allow high end desktop grade options like a high end desktop grade NVidia card.</p><p>and also to allow to use it as external display.</p><p>If they instead go the route of making it even way less expandable/reusable by only allowing upgrades by basically replacing the whole computer part with a newer compute module (where then you end up with an old compute module which is good for exactly nothing), yeah, no thank you.</p><p>Sorry, this is not the direction desktop computers should go and should be flamed with good reason.</p>

    • lvthunder

      Premium Member
      29 November, 2018 - 7:39 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#375062">In reply to SupaPete:</a></em></blockquote><p>It's not a desktop computer. Thinking that it is a desktop is a bit misguided. It's basically a laptop with a huge screen. I know because I have one and absolutely love it.</p>

      • SupaPete

        29 November, 2018 - 9:30 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#375102"><em>In reply to lvthunder:</em></a><em> i don't understand your comment. I'm talking about the surface studio. You know, the desktop all in one which totally is not to be used in any way like a laptop.</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>Like neither on your lap nor portable.</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>I would buy it in the max specked out version if</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>a) one can have it with pretty much the best spec desktop hardware (so like the latest desktop nvidia 2080 for example, or whatever the latest best desktop highend graphic cards are when they release the next studio)</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>and </em></blockquote><blockquote><em>b) one could also use it as external display.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>I would be totally ok to pay what that costs (so a good bit more in that option than with the mobile gpu option), since, well, it would be my ultimate desktop work station and a quite reasonable expense for that then.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>but paying such a high price as the surface studio costs for something with mobile grade hardware but is stationary so none of the benefits of a mobile grade hardware form factor?</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>That just doesn't make much sense to me, no matter how much i love the screen and hinge, if it is a stationary device i want it to be the ultimate powerhouse which is the only use case i have for stationary desktops/all in ones these days.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>For every other use case on the more mobile/portable computing i already have phones, tablets, laptops etc.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>I just don't get the sense at all in paying a premium for a desktop work station which has weaker hardware internals than the less than 1.5k desktop tower box i put together myself, nor can the surface studio be used as external display, so then i can't use it with my more powerful desktop rig either.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>MS has to decide what they want with this thing.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>Do they want to achieve to offer the ultimate desktop work station which most creative pros would really buy then or doesn't MS want to achieve that.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>If yes, then it better offers options with desktop grade high end hardware internals and also the option to use it as external display.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>If not, then it better should not be priced in the regions of the ultimate desktop work stations.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>I find it a shame, because besides the weak mobile internals and not being usable as external display this has all the form factor hype potential of really becoming the ultimate desktop work station for all creative pros.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>(not just ones who somehow require high res screen and art creation focus but somehow at the same time no proper desktop graphics card)</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>And yet again i again can't buy the V2 and have to hope for them maybe finally addressing things properly fully next iteration, sadly probably at best in a year.</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>(I'd be so happy if they would even in mid cycle offer higher end config options)</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>Come on MS, you can do it.</em></blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><em>Don't get stuck on "but no, we have to offer this with this slimmest thinnest shortest base! We just can't fit in desktop internals in there!"</em></blockquote><p>Offer a model with base or thickness /volume where one put really current standard high end desktop hardware in it.</p><p>Allow using it as external display, too.</p><p><br></p><p>The biggest market for a device like this would be the professionals who would lovingly hand out that money if you offer them what they want.</p>

  • FalseAgent

    29 November, 2018 - 8:08 pm

    <p>a modular surface studio might actually be revolutionary.</p>

    • SupaPete

      29 November, 2018 - 9:42 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#375105"><em>In reply to FalseAgent:</em></a><em> nah, that would be a downgrade. Somehow people now think a less user (part by part) upgrade is an advancment over one being able to just swap/upgrade cpu, ram, graphics card one by one as one wants. Not cool.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

      • curtisspendlove

        29 November, 2018 - 11:44 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#375134">In reply to SupaPete:</a></em></blockquote><p>But. Wouldn’t being able to swap the computer core out be better than the current iteration? I believe the current Studio really isn’t user-serviceable at all. </p><p><br></p><p>So, I’d vote somewhere between “revolutionary” and “downgrade”. </p>

  • bluesman57

    30 November, 2018 - 12:31 am

    <p>I am an unabashed massive Surface Pro fan. (Could care less about the "book" or "laptop") I have every Surface Pro except the Surface Pro "5". (Yes I bought a Go and I love it for an around the house reader- and I have left it in S mode!) I was going to wait for a Surface Pro with USB C but the battery on my 3 year old SP4 has degraded to the point where it's good for about 30 minutes at best. So I went for the Cyber Monday deal and ordered a black core i7 SP6 bundle. Got about $350 off, supposedly. Love these things, but the battery needs to be replaceable. At least all the accessories are compatible (dock, keyboard, pen etc.) Will get it Monday.</p><p>I own a few restaurants and the SP1 and SP2 are in use as of now for various things. They are connected to power because the batteries on them are toast, of course.</p>

  • digiguy

    Premium Member
    30 November, 2018 - 4:04 am

    <p>I am looking forward to 2 surface devices that have not been rumored. A 360° surface laptop and and surface go with a new Qualcomm chip. <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Given that reports of the SN850 say it's faster that the surface go even with x86 in emulation, this could be a killer device for mobility if it gets an even more powerful chip… </span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Personally I think the future of mobility if between ipads and WIndows on Arm. If IOS 13 comes with a proper file system that can also take external storage, with mouse support and a destktop safari, this will hurt PCs (and Macs) badly… I have already replaced my surface 3 LTE with an ipad pro LTE (instead of a surface go) because of great stand-by (and I connect remotely when I need a windows software). Only WOA could prevent ipads from taking over if Apple decides to make them really "pro".</span></p>

  • colmob

    Premium Member
    01 December, 2018 - 12:25 am

    <p>Perhaps a minor point, but it's making me hesitate about a Surface Go; any sign of a black one coming out soon?</p>

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC