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.
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