All eyes might have been on Apple today San Francisco, but Microsoft is having a party of its own. The company yesterday sent out invitations to an event later this month where it plans to announce the next generation of Surface.
Though it hasn't yet been a year since the original Surface, Microsoft is preparing to announce the new Surface and Surface Pro on September 23. With Windows 8.1 due in October and the current generation of Surface Pro on permanent discount, the invitations are no surprise to anyone. While full specs are not yet known, the Surface is rumored to pack Intel's Haswell (Core i5), Windows 8.1, 8 GB of RAM, and an improved kickstand. The company is also expected to announce a brand new 'Power Cover' that will include both a keyboard and an external battery.
Interestingly, Microsoft is said to be ditching the 'RT' branding for the budget Surface. Instead, the version running Windows RT will simply be called "Surface 2." Windows RT hasn't exactly taken off the way Microsoft had hoped. While the company isn't quite ready to give up on the ARM-powered version of Windows 8, the decision to drop the 'RT' from the name is pretty telling.
No word on pricing just yet, but we'll keep you posted!
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I have high hopes for the surface 2. TBH, the only real reason I use an android tablet is because I don't like iOS. If MS can produce a competent tablet that isn't laggy due to the crappy tegra3, and is of comparable form-factor, weight, and battery life, I'd probably ditch my nexus 7. Maybe...depends...
I was playing with the Pro in the store and it was absolutely gorgeous (bit heavier but it's ok) and extremely responsive!
I want something that plays flash (it's important to me) without having to download things and use other applications and it was perfect for me.
This is a Haswell based Surface (Pro 2) so the battery life will probably jump a lot since that was one f the biggest things Intel worked on. Some laptops were showing 9 hours of average use, the new Haswell MacBook Air is about 13 hours of average use. Its about the same as a Tablet in most other areas.
Depending on which chip it is as well, it will have decent graphics. I am assuming its a BGA based chip so it will have the Iris Pro on higher end CPU models which is roughly equivalent to a GT640/GTX650 in some cases (HD5200).
Now all they need is a 1080p OLED screen.
Instead, it's going to be another epic fail. I don't understand how releasing the exact same product with a slightly faster chip is going to change that. Save Windows RT for something like 8" tablets or merge it with windows phone for everything under 10" and use all the arm chips you like. It's not like legacy Windows apps would really be usable at those screen sizes anyway.
The only way I see Surface 2 (RT model, not Pro) will ever fly is to priced it below $200 and lower. Now almost after a year, the app situation in Windows Store is still disappointing. Sure, they now have some social networking app now. But still, one of the most popular app in Android, Whatsapp is only made for Windows Phone, not RT. Most likely due to lack of 3G/4G support. Even video players are few in selection and unable to playback many formats. The app situation is bad beyond descriptions. But still, HP managed to sell out their tablets with a price tag of $100 and no future upgrade and support. So that proves low price does sell. And Surface RT can run Office at least.
As for legacy app not usable at 8" screen size, actually the first netbook had an 8" screen, way underpowered CPU, and sold like hot cakes. Some people might find use for it. But it will never be mainstream though.