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Surface Pro 4 with Windows Hello May Appear in October

Rumors that new devices including a Surface Pro 4 and a major launch event by Microsoft planned for October amplified this week following a number of published reports. Though the chatter comes from unnamed sources, all along we've said it makes sense that the next wave of systems would hit at that time presuming Intel's next-generation Core 6 architecture is ready. Even without it, October is the time all the major players roll out their lineups for the critical fourth-quarter holiday buying season.

The buzz about a new Surface Pro 4 picked up earlier in the week when the Chinese site WPDang reported that the new tablet-PC will be joined by two new Lumia phones and a Microsoft Band 2 (as of midday Friday the report was not accessible, suggesting perhaps it was pulled). A subsequent report by The Verge added that Microsoft indeed is planning a launch event. The Surface Pro 4 will be similar to its predecessor, meaning it will support the same peripherals and docking station but it's believed it will have Intel's new RealSense camera and will support the new Windows Hello capability. Windows Hello is the new sensor technology designed to let users replace passwords with facial recognition or fingerprint readers to log into the OS.

It is unclear whether the new device will include the new Intel Core 6 processor, code-named Skylake, but Intel is set to release the chipset in two weeks, according to several reports including this Zacks research note. Skylake, like all new CPUs, is faster and more power-efficient but will "drive multiple 4K displays, feature novel instructions to accelerate security operations, and hardened memory defenses [and] has enhanced Iris Pro integrated graphics which can drive up to three 4K monitors at 60Hz." The site Softpedia published a breakdown of SkyLake this week.

At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) this week in San Francisco, the company announced a broadening of the RealSense camera sensor interface technology for Windows, Android and MacOS. Intel also released its RealSense SDK for Windows, which includes a tool for developers to access the sensor-based capabilities of its Unity platform.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 08/21/2015 at 11:53 AM


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