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Microsoft Already Working on Surface RT/Pro 2, Surface Book?

By - Source: Neowin | B 20 comments

Rumor has it that Microsoft is currently working on the Surface RT and Surface Pro sequels along with a Surface "Book" form factor.

Just one day after Microsoft revealed the pricing and release date of its Surface Pro (Surface with Windows 8 Pro) tablets, talk of Microsoft working on the sequel device has already appeared. The news arrives by way of well-known Microsoft leaker MS_nerd who claims that the Redmond company is currently working on an updated Surface RT 2, an updated Surface Pro 2, and a new device called the Surface Book.

According to the source, Microsoft's sequel to the ARM-based Surface RT tablet will sport an 8.9-inch display and a Qualcomm SoC instead of Nvidia's Tegra chip. Meanwhile, the Surface Pro, which doesn't even go on sale until January, will be upgraded to an 11.6-inch display. Instead of using the Intel Core i5 CPU, it will instead feature the upcoming AMD "Temash" APU.

As for the third device in question, the supposed Surface Book, very little information was provided. MS_nerd claims that it will feature a 14.6-inch display and an Intel 22-nm "Haswell" chip. Using the next-generation Intel Haswell processor isn't surprising given that it's the successor to the current Ivy Bridge line, but a 14.6-inch tablet? Microsoft could be shooting for its own Surface-branded ultra-thin notebook instead.

But what of the Surface Pro successor? Microsoft may be aiming to use an AMD APU in order to keep the cost from skyrocketing after upgrading the screen to 11.6-inches. Neowin points out that Temash is the successor to AMD's current Hondo range of tablet-specific APUs, but the latter Hondo chips have only just started to saturate the market. That said, it may be a while before the Temash APUs will be ready for production. Even more, using an AMD APU would seemingly disrupt Microsoft's "Wintel" relationship with Intel.

Both the Intel Haswell and the AMD Temash aren't expected to be ready for mass production until mid-2013. Consumers likely won't see final products until this time next year, staying in tune with Apple's own yearly release schedule with its iPad and other iOS gadgets. Heck for all we know, Microsoft may be gearing up for one huge Windows 8 release in 3Q13 including Surface RT 2, Surface Pro 2, Surface Book, Xbox Infinity (with Kinect 2), and the Foxconn-manufactured Surface smartphone, all sporting the next build of Windows 8 or Windows RT, depending on the processor.


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  • -1 Hide
    Maxx_Power , December 3, 2012 1:14 PM
    No comment ? I guess no one wants a Surface...
  • 2 Hide
    fantasticles , December 3, 2012 2:13 PM
    I'm actually interested in getting the next upgraded surface if it comes with better specs + price. I'm a desktop guy all the way with neither a laptop or tablet, which I'm hoping the next iteration will fill both those gaps together.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 3, 2012 2:23 PM
    as far as I know many of the "leaks" from MS_nerd have been proved to be deceits
  • 0 Hide
    thecolorblue , December 3, 2012 2:29 PM
    wannabeproMost of the people on this site are Gamers. This doesn't interest them.

    actually not... surf metro just aint all that interesting
  • 0 Hide
    bllue , December 3, 2012 2:51 PM
    It would be interesting to see them improve on all the issues the Surface has right now
  • 1 Hide
    DRosencraft , December 3, 2012 3:03 PM
    No, it's just that this is all a bunch of rumor with no real sign of an authentic source.

    That being said, it would not be surprising to find out that they are working on the next thing. Every company works on the next thing pretty much as soon as they finish with the first thing. That's how the product cycles works. Rarely do companies make something that is a one-off with no plans for it to continue.

    All in all, this isn't much in the way of news.
  • 0 Hide
    boiler1990 , December 3, 2012 3:04 PM
    I would love to see an updated Surface RT - it desperately need something better than a Tegra 3, since that is really the only thing holding back the existing RT OS.

    The move to an 11.6" Surface with AMD may not necessarily be a great move. 11.6" screens tend to be overly wide (when in a 16:9 or 16:10 aspect ratio, as is the case with almost all 11.6" screens these days) and not very moveable. Samsung has one out right now that I played with, and overall it doesn't seem to be the right form factor for documents/note-taking, as it's not wide enough when in portrait orientation. Additionally, AMD processors are nowhere near as power efficient as Intel CPUs (stems from the architecture, circuit design, and even the materials used in the chips). Most people expect about ~8 hours from a laptop/tablet these days, and I don't think AMD is going to get them there.

    I'm not saying my opinion is an end-all-be-all, but in my eyes the Pro 2 moves this article outlines don't sound very logical.
  • -3 Hide
    besterino , December 3, 2012 3:20 PM
    I call BS with respect to all comments whining that the tegra 3 is such a poor choice.

    What the heck do you intend do with an ARM based tablet? I have heard of no app available for win RT, much less found one myself, which runs particular badly on the current surface. Sure, some things could be faster (i.e. starting some apps or switching between them) but I still need to see proof that this will work significantly better just by putting in a faster "cpu/gpu". Overall system repsone feels actually quite good.

    I for one would trade in peak performance for run time without one thought lost on how fast something could have been in actually the rare occasion where I do need such computing power, if I can do what I usually want with a tablet e.g. for 1 hour longer.
  • 2 Hide
    Cazalan , December 3, 2012 3:20 PM
    No Tegra4 version?
  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , December 3, 2012 3:38 PM
    Interesting. My dad played with my Surface and liked it but wanted the real x86 deal, so I showed him what was out there. The HP ENVY x2 looked the best but still with too many compromises. Conclusion: gen1 is nifty, but gen2 should be much better.
  • 0 Hide
    jojesa , December 3, 2012 4:24 PM
    Hey Microsoft, this time around make sure the Surface does not lag when a user opens one program... yes your own program. I had Netbooks with an Atom and 1GB that did not lag when opening Word, Excel or Powerpoint. Come on.
  • 0 Hide
    bigdragon , December 3, 2012 5:03 PM
    I know more about the Surface Pro 2 now than I know about the Surface Pro's stylus. This is very frustrating. The product is coming out next month and this information is still being withheld.
  • 0 Hide
    therogerwilco , December 3, 2012 9:21 PM
    I will buy 1 of each JUST to support the effort. Oh ya, and Apple flamers, once Surface 3 comes out, you can compare it to the Ipad 3, but not until then. I don't even have to look, and I would bet even the BRAND NEW OS version (because Windows started on x86) RT, beats the Ipad 1
  • 0 Hide
    falchard , December 3, 2012 10:03 PM
    I would be very nervous about the future of Surface Tablets if Microsoft was not working on the next one.
    I am very interested in this Surface Book idea. If its like the Microsoft Courier idea, then its something I am very interested in especially if it has an APU instead of an Intel.
    From the sounds that Temash is making, its supposed to get a pretty low wattage compared to the current low power APU without a performance cost.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , December 3, 2012 10:58 PM
    Surface Pro 2 is under development the same as Kinect 2, Xbox 720, iPad 4, Android "Lemon Drop" and Samsung Galaxy S5 - it is the nature of the tech business to have the next generation in the R&D lab when the previous generation is going out for sale
  • 0 Hide
    notsleep , December 4, 2012 1:40 AM
    i'm just fine with my asus ep121 and windows 8 pro, thank you. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    richarduk , December 4, 2012 6:55 PM
    Windows 8 is broken. I have had to use it for the last two months for WinRT development. Can't wait to get back to Windows 7.
    Wait till the next version, they may have finished it by .then()
    Release("Windows X");
  • 0 Hide
    therogerwilco , December 4, 2012 9:54 PM
    Windows 8 is broken. I have had to use it for the last two months for WinRT development. Can't wait to get back to Windows 7.
    Wait till the next version, they may have finished it by .then()
    Release("Windows X");

    I don't think Windows 8 is "broken"... but I have an odd feeling that Microshaft is going to go the way of the Windows 8 store app API... which kinda frightens me and saddens my heart. :( 
  • 0 Hide
    randomizer , December 7, 2012 6:56 AM
    Who didn't think that they'd be working on the next one already? I doubt the R&D department sit around twiddling their thumbs every day. There would be years between releases if new products only got started after the release of the previous version.