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Microsoft Surface Boss Confirms More Tablets On The Way

Geekwire reports that corporate VP of Surface Panos Panay made an appearance at Microsoft's Seattle store in University Village Monday night. He was caught playing with the Surface 2 tablet while sprawled across the floor, simulating a reclined position. For more than an hour, he and Windows hardware scientist Steven Bathiche previewed the two new Surface tablets, and answered questions about the device specs.

Towards the end of the presentation, someone asked Panay if the company was planning on releasing a smaller tablet. The latest rumor is that an 8-inch Surface Mini is making an appearance in Spring 2014 with an updated version of Windows RT 8.1, complete with a new Windows store. Naturally he took the time to choose his words wisely before making a response.

"We have a lot of great things that we are thinking about and working on, and there are multiple aspect ratios and sizes and awesome things to come from Surface," he said. "That’s the best answer I have for you."

Right now the company is reportedly burning the midnight oil to get Windows 8.1 complete and out the door for October 18, followed by the Xbox One release next month. After that, the company will supposedly focus on releasing Windows Phone 8.1 (RC3), an updated Windows 8.1, the Surface 2 LTE model, the Modern UI apps for Office 2013, and the new Windows storefront in the spring. He confirmed that there will not be an LTE version of the Surface Pro 2.

Geekwire said he spent most of the presentation talking about the improvements of the Surface 2, including new accessories and superior performance over the first-generation 2012 model. The company has dropped the "RT" badge for this Tegra 4-based tablet, presumably to distance it from the previous failed model that left Microsoft taking a $900 million charge against its earnings.

"I use the Surface 2 on a daily basis. It is lightning fast, and it comes with Office," he said. "Ultimately you have a product here that gives you the full promise of being the most productive thing you can buy."

Earlier this week Delta Air Lines announced that it was passing out Surface 2 tablets to pilots of Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 planes. These will be used to replace the traditional 38 pound paper-based flight bag that contains aircraft operating and reference manuals, and navigational charts. The company plans to roll out Surface 2 tablets to the entire fleet by the end of 2014.

Panay also reportedly talked about the Surface Pro 2 tablet, which promises a 75 percent increase in battery performance over the first-generation model. The original Surface Pro averages around 4 hours while the new model supposedly lasts between 7 to 10 hours.

  • sean1357
    More tablets that mean less PCs...Looking forward to see them sell 9 millions Surface 2 Pro in 3 days...
    Reply
  • dalethepcman
    I'm glad Microsoft got into the PC hardware business. Other PC manufacturers have gotten lazy and sat on their laurels enjoying the ride. Look at the evolution of the desktop PC over the last 20 years. Nothing, nada, zip. Sure the hardware got faster, but that's about it.

    Until apple started making a comeback and shook things up this seemed like it would never change. Now Microsoft has set the bar for windows tablets.

    Apple will take the crown for desktop PC's when they release the new Mac Pro, hopefully Microsoft (or any pc manufacturer) can counter in kind and bring a rebirth to the desktop.
    Reply
  • Osmin
    Microsoft would make more money if they concentrated on being a software company and making Office available to Android and iOS devices.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    sean1357, except the Pro is a full PC rather than a media consumption toy, naming no names of course...
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    Osmin, they would make even more money in the long term if they sold shed loads of tablets AND stuck Office on all of those, handing the keys to the Office cash-cow to the competition guarantees your tablets will fail
    Reply
  • FrankInKY
    @ back_by_demand - I'm guessing you mean the Surface RT
    Reply
  • w8gaming
    11642846 said:
    Microsoft would make more money if they concentrated on being a software company and making Office available to Android and iOS devices.

    It is already available as Office 365 on iOS and Android. If you think that's not good enough, you should realize Microsoft simply does not have an version of Office that runs in Touch optimizied mode yet. All this talk clamoring for an Office now is pointless since there is no such product in the first place. Until MS release a Metro UI Office, such an app simply does not exist in any form.
    Reply
  • godfather666
    That's nice, but I would rather to see a nice premium 13 to 15-inch laptop from MS.
    Reply
  • tokencode
    You know, if I'm at 30,000 feet and I really need see the manual for the aircraft, I think I would prefer paper over potentially having to also deal with a computer problem.
    Reply
  • rokit
    Why, why won't microsoft just give up? Noone needs their RT version, noone at all. Noone needs an overpriced Pro version. Microsoft, you're not welcome on those markets. Ultrabooks in itself is just the next spin after netbooks, they have no future(by the the time they'll make strong cpus there we'll have different tech overall and they will disappear in notebook name or whatever)
    Reply