) will be holding an event this morning at 10:30 a.m. ET in New
York to unveil the Surface 2. Here's what to expect.
Back in April, the
Wall Street Journal
that Microsoft was planning to adjust the Windows 8 specifications
for tablets to allow for a smaller e-reader-sized 7-inch Surface.
Then in June, at the Microsoft Build developer conference, the
company hinted at some anticipated screen sizes for Windows 8.1
tablets, including a 10.6-inch screen with much higher resolution
than the current 10.6-inch Surface. It also hinted at a number of
handheld tablet sizes at higher resolutions. This would make sense
) has jumped onto the multiple tablet-size bandwagon, following
) Nexus line and
) family of Kindle Fires.
(TPE:2353) has already debuted an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, so this
is probable and possible.
So far, Microsoft has released two computers, the Surface Pro and
Surface RT. The RT, like an iPad or most smartphones, packs a
) chip, and the Pro has an
(INTC) Core i5. The only real reason for releasing two Windows 8
operating systems was to offer a computer with good battery life.
The RT, however has suffered from poor sales, and even forced the
company to book a $900 million writedown last quarter. Even at
lowered price points, the RT isn't moving. After the April price
cut, according to AdDuplex, the RT gained significant share of all
Windows 8 devices, reaching a share of 9.5% in August. At $350,
people will buy it, even if it can't run legacy Windows software.
The RT might be more redundant if the Pro is outfitted with the
latest Intel chips, the Haswell that powers the newest ultrabooks
and MacBook Air laptops. If the rumor mill is correct and the
processor in the Pro is upgraded to a fourth-generation Haswell,
the heat management and battery life on the clunky Pro will be much
Back in June, Bloomberg reported that the next version of the RT
will come with a
(QCOM) Snapdragon 3 processor, but Microsoft will still ship
Surface RTs with the current
(NVDA) Tegra 3 chips. The Snapdragons have built-in 4G LTE
connectivity, which opens up the possibility of a mobile-data ready
The most important feature of the surface, if you believe
Microsoft's ads, is that it has a clicky-sounding kickstand. The
kickstand on the current generation of Surface only gives a user
one viewing angle, and makes it impossible to use as a laptop on an
uneven surface, such as a human lap. Multiple media outlets have
reported that an adjustable kickstand is in the works.
The Touch Cover keyboard/cover could possible act as a separate
battery, as the Surface team said in a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything
We can only guess. Rumors had the original surface as cheap as $200
last summer, but that turned out to be a dream. With the retail
price of the first RT at $350, going back to the original price
point of $500 will be a hard sell.
While Microsoft is still in a transition from a software company to
a "devices and services" company, headlining products like the
Surface, its first homemade computer, will grow in importance.
Microsoft is still divided, and there is no clear leader just yet
in the CEO field. It is obvious that the turn toward hardware is
not over, especially now that Microsoft owns a class-A hardware
design team at