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

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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