Some Quick Thoughts About the Surface Laptop Leaks

Posted on May 2, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface, Windows 10 with 48 Comments

Some Quick Thoughts About the Surface Laptop Leaks

As Brad noted last night, Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop unfortunately leaked just hours ahead of the event at which it will be formally announced. Let’s recap how this device confirms previous rumors. And a name change for Windows 10 Cloud.

First and most obviously, [the Surface Laptop is very clearly the “Surface Book 2” clamshell (read: laptop) that Digitimes reported about back in March](Surface Book reportedly entered mass production recently.). Details included:

  • Surface [Laptop] reportedly entered mass production recently.
  • Microsoft is likely to announce Surface [Laptop] at the end of March or April. Early April was indeed the original schedule.
  • Surface [Laptop] would adopt a clamshell design instead of the Surface Book 2-in-1 design.
  • Surface [Laptop] will feature a lower starting price than that of its predecessors, with a starting price of just $1,000. This makes sense given that we now know this is a premium device in the education sector, and prices in this market are lower than elsewhere.
  • These changes are being made because of a “significantly limited demand” for Surface Book and a “conflict” with Surface Book competing too closely with Surface Pro “in terms of product position[ing].” This clearly makes sense.

Random aside: 6:18 and June 18 appear on the lock screen images. We’ve seen that date elsewhere. Is June 18 the release date? Is there a Surface Pro refresh coming on that date too? Not sure.

The original Digitimes report didn’t mention Windows 10 Cloud (or education). But the leaks do, and that OS is now called Windows 10 S. You may recall that, in all the news about Microsoft going after Chromebook and Chrome OS, I wrote the following.

  • Windows 10 S is not tied to ARM. Surface Laptop is, of course, an Intel device. But Windows 10 S will be on both Intel and ARM.
  • It’s not about a subscription version of Windows 10. This is why the name “changed” though it’s clear everywhere knew Windows 10 Cloud was a terrible name.
  • It’s Windows RT “done right” in that, yes, it will only run Windows Store apps out of the box, but it will be upgradeable to Windows 10 Pro, with Win32 app support.
  • It’s not just for low-cost/education PCs. Surface Laptop is a premium device. “Microsoft … expects there is a market of customers who will simply prefer the reliability, security, and performance of a PC that is not dragged down by legacy code,” I noted. This is their new device.

Anyway, it’s too bad that the revelations about this device ruined a few fun surprises for today.


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Comments (51)

51 responses to “Some Quick Thoughts About the Surface Laptop Leaks”

  1. madthinus

    I don't understand how Microsoft cannot get this right. The list of staging pages ruining product launches is endless. Apple's taking down the store during the event to bring the pages online by comparison looks organized and professional. Seriously guys, this stuff is not difficult.

  2. euskalzabe

    This looks great, but I'm not one to spend more than $750 on my laptop, which is why Surfaces are not for me. Give me a lower version of this Surface laptop for $500 and I'm game.

  3. Bart

    Paul 6-18 was the date at which the first Surface was announced. June 18 2012. So it is a sort of place holder. No particular meaning

  4. chaad_losan

    Still too much. Cut that in half and maybe you have something. But then that really would complete with the OEMS.

  5. Daekar

    Seems some people are quite grumpy considering that they haven't actually announced anything yet. Save the pitchforks for later today, folks, Paul, MJ, and Brad will get the real story for us I have no doubt.

  6. davidblouin

    I could see a premium Surface Laptop with a special sku for education with some Celeron processor and eMMC storage and other low tech component to make the price chromebook-like

  7. JimP

    I don't get it. Microsoft is releasing a premium device to compete with Chromebooks in education?

  8. halap3n0

    Proprietary power and no USB-C? This is outdated even before release.

  9. Wolf

    In what universe is a $1000 starting price going to fly in the education sector? As high as my hopes were, this is an unfortunate non-starter in that market. Hopefully it will gain some traction in the consumer market ... but $1000 !?!?

    • Breaker119

      In reply to Wolf:

      I don't think it is intended to fly in the education sector. The OEM will target the EDU sector with devices starting at $189.

      Surface Laptop is for the college student (maybe highschool student) that needs a machine which will last at least through 4 years. Surface Laptop is intended for the executive who wants a slick machine and can't get the MacBook they want b/c their org can't support Mac.

      • Wolf

        In reply to Breaker119:

        I get that, and agree with you, but Paul's fourth bullet says "$1,000. This makes sense given that we now know this is a premium device in the education sector". Some college students will get it, for sure, but it's not going to gain much traction in the education sector as a whole.

        • Breaker119

          In reply to Wolf:

          That comment is from info garnered in the DigiTimes leak. We're in agreement - not going to fly in lower education and isn't intended to either. The only reason it came up in this presser is b/c it is running 10 S by default. (making it $1049 if you want to run Chrome)

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to Breaker119:

        Re college students, one piece of advice: NEVER buy a laptop which needs to be shipped to the OEM to have a battery replaced. That may mean no ultrabooks. If Surface laptops have glued together keyboards making it impossible for buyers/users to replace batteries, it's problematic for college students.

  10. illuminated

    I see a lot of negative comments about rumor. I have to join. So here it is.

    This laptop has no grill marks! It is a total disaster and it would not work in grill environment! Fail!

  11. harmjr

    This is sad. Its Microsoft iPad Mini.

  12. RobertJasiek

    Windows would have the greatest success if there was only one version. Offering yet another version, Windows 10 S, is done to enable cheaper low storage devices, regardless of whether the Surface Laptops will be it. Presuming Windows 10 S devices at all, it is then at least nice to have a choice of upgrading to Windows 10 Home or Pro. In principle.

    In practice, upgrading sucks because it is designed as a rip off. If Home or Pro are preinstalled, they amount to ca. €50 or €100 premium. If, however, Home shall be upgraded to Pro by Anytime Upgrade, the difference is NOT €50 but ca. €100, that is, €50 too much. We must expect similar price policies for upgrades from Windows 10 S to Home or Pro.

    To avoid Windows 10 S to be DOA, Microsoft must redesign its upgrade price structure from its current rip off to fair. Otherwise, the upgrade myth is a fake and Windows 10 S devices will only be purchased by those never considering upgrades. Few, because many still rely on Win32, x86, x64.

  13. Lewk

    Rudy Huyn pointed out on twitter that the 6:18 June 18 has been on all previous Surface devices too as that was the original Surface's announcement date back in 2012.

  14. dnation70

    i wonder if windows surface will show up in the properties page as windows surface or maybe satellite ??

  15. mjw149

    So an ultrabook that doesn't include a full version of windows. I actually like that strategy, but positioning this $1k laptop for education and against chromebooks seems odd. I'm sure with the poor showing of Windows RT (imo they could have supported it better) they're lacking confidence, but ultimately this is the right consumer strategy. As long as it can be unlocked like Macs - and it's clear this one can - this is the right thing to do.

  16. dstrauss

    A fuzzy keyboard - seriously?

  17. Darmok N Jalad

    I'm confused already. Other places think this is for education, but that's impossible if the price starts at $1,000. Others suggest it's a SB replacement? I guess the press event will clear it up for me.

  18. Narg

    The picture does not appear to me to be a "Surface Book 2" clamshell. The display appears too thin, and there are ports on the lower section leading to believe it's very old-school laptop design.

  19. tboggs13

    I have a hard time believing this device would last more than a month in a school environment other than a college.

  20. iantrem

    $1,000 for an educational device is a big gamble. Yes, it'll make OEMs up their game but when sales figures are released it'll be called a "Microsoft Failure" ignoring sales of similar devices from Dell, HP, Acer et al which is what Microsoft is really trying to push with the Surface line.

    • wright_is

      In reply to iantrem:

      That was my firtst thought as well. The price is way too high for the educational market. Looking at the market here, I think schools moan when they have to buy PCs at all, let alone over $1000 per unit. Here it is often down to the parents to supply the hardware. Currently they have to provide a specific model of scientific calculator, that costs around 70€! Most parents baulk at paying that.

    • navarac

      In reply to iantrem:
      Converting $ to £ which is usually 1=1 these days, £1000 is way, way too much for the UK Education market.

  21. RealMadRooster

    I don't see any cooling vents makes me believe it will contain an Intel Kaby Lake-Y processor. That's going to be a big turnoff for power users.

  22. dfeifer

    hmm, comes in i5 or i7 and looking at the left side appears to have 1 usb 1 video and a headphone jack?

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