The past few days have been filled with Surface news, from the Surface 3 hitting the end of the road to a new Surface device being rumored that would represent an entirely new device from Microsoft. The Surface brand, despite a rough start, has done well for the company with the Surface Book and Pro 4 being well received once the initial bugs were eventually worked out.
The Surface AIO (All-in-One), which was first noted by DigiTimes and Windows Central says they can confirm the information, is a brand new device that is destined for the living room. The device is said to arrive, at the earliest, in Q3 of 2016 and that’s about all we know right now about the device. While Digitimes does have a mixed track record, Windows Central reporting the same thing independently does add some weight to the rumor.
Microsoft’s Surface line has been about ‘category defining’ devices with the Surface Pro design now being utilized by many OEMs and the Surface Book form factor proving to follow the same path as the original Pro device. So for an AIO to carry the Surface brand, it can’t simply be what is currently offered by other vendors as that goes against what the Surface brand has come to represent.
A patent received by Microsoft earlier this year gives us the image at the top of this post. While we do not know if that’s where Microsoft is headed with this type of device, it’s fair to say that they have at least explored the idea at some point; the patent is for a modular computing device that makes it easy to upgrade components.
The two obvious missing pieces from Microsoft’s PC strategy are a phone and a desktop. While the desktop market is contracting, if they are able to take any percentage of the PC market then it would be a net positive for the bottom line. Of course, their OEM partners will not be happy about the company venturing deeper into this arena but there really isn’t too much that they can do at this point.
A Surface AIO would clearly be compared to Apple’s iMac as that device is typically used as the benchmark for this type of a machine. How and what Microsoft will do (touch input seems to be a given) to separate itself from the Apple computer will be interesting to watch as the company is not afraid to explore new computing arraignments (Surface design) with its hardware.
Tagged with Surface AIO