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Microsoft Reportedly Readying Next Generation of Surface Tablets

Microsoft is hoping those in the market for a hybrid tablet PC will find the second wave of Surface devices more appealing than the first. We'll get a better sense of that later this month when Microsoft likely unveils new Surface RT and Surface Pro devices.

The company is expected to disclose more details at an event in New York. An invitation to the event only indicated Microsoft will discuss "Surface growth and expansion, specifically pertaining to the commercial and business enterprise sector" and "Microsoft's ongoing commitment to Surface and its business customers."

Microsoft declined to elaborate but several press leaks about both devices appeared this week suggesting a new Surface Pro equipped with Intel's long-awaited Haswell processor is in the works (Intel said yesterday those processors are coming shortly, though it didn't specify when).

A Surface Pro with a Haswell chip, which I've long presumed would be in version 2 of the higher-end unit, will address a key objection to the first Surface Pro with regard to power use. An upgraded Surface Pro unit would support 8 hours of battery life, noted Paul Thurrott at Supersite for Windows, rather than the meager four hours that its predecessor offered.

Also reportedly in development is a new Surface RT 2, according to Neowin.net. The upgrade will have the more-powerful Tegra 4 processor, a 1080p display, a two-step kickstand and potentially support up to 8 GB of RAM (the current device maxes out at 4 GB). The site earlier this year reported that a Surface Mini is also in the works.

It will run on a "variant" of the Windows 8.1 RT operating system, sources tell All About Microsoft's Mary Jo Foley.

It's unclear when the new devices will actually ship but presumably the company will want to make them available in the critical fourth quarter holiday shopping season. Do the upgrades sound more appealing to you than the first versions?

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 09/11/2013 at 1:01 PM


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