Microsoft’s Fall Surface Plans Come into Focus
As Microsoft has done for many years, the company is once again planning a fall hardware event where they will announce updates to the Surface Pro X and introduce a smaller laptop as well. But what I am not expecting are updates to existing products like the Pro and Laptop.
The Surface Pro X will be updated with a ‘new’ SQ2 processor that is built by Qualcomm but at its core is a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2. Expect to see a new color, likely Platinum, along with improved performance from the new chipset.
The smaller laptop that will have a 12.5in display will help lower the price point for a more traditional laptop in the Surface family. Think of it this way, the Surface Laptop is analogous to the Surface Pro, with the new laptop analogous to the Surface Go: keeping the price down with lower performant specs – I am also hearing Windows Hello cameras may not be included but it will include a fingerprint reader.
Windows Central is also hearing similar things about these products as well and I can confirm much of what they have written as being accurate. In addition, this fall, do not expect an updated Pro, Studio, or Laptop – at least at the time of writing this post.
Say Goodbye to Traditional PC Lifecycle Management
Traditional IT tools, including Microsoft SCCM, Ghost Solution Suite, and KACE, often require considerable custom configurations by T3 technicians (an expensive and often elusive IT resource) to enable management of a hybrid onsite + remote workforce. In many cases, even with the best resources, organizations are finding that these on-premise tools simply cannot support remote endpoints consistently and reliably due to infrastructure limitations.
You can also expect that the larger 85in Surface Hub should be released soon, possibly at Ignite.
Plans for releasing hardware right now are extremely fluid for Microsoft with COVID making it not only harder to market premium devices but also supply channels are constrained as well. One such example is the Surface Studio 3 does exist but right now does not have a targeted release date. The Pro 8 could likely be pushed out when the company feels the timing is right but apparently, the right timing is not this fall.
What this all means is that this fall we will see a slightly smaller release for the Surface lineup but considering that the Duo just hit retail shelves, it’s not like Microsoft has been holding back on pushing out new devices.
Further, since the Skylake debacle, Microsoft has been slower to refresh the internals of existing devices and is content on marching to its own beat with hardware updates. This is in contrast to some of its partners that push new products out the door as soon as new chipsets are available.