Microsoft has teased a new event on May 23 in Shanghai where it promises to “show the world what’s next”.
Microsoft’s newly launched event page doesn’t reveal anything more than the date, location and its bet that the tech industry will be following its lead.
However, it seems likely that Microsoft will unveil new Surface hardware, possibly a new Surface, presumed to be called the Surface Pro 5.
Windows Central confirmed that Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Devices, Panos Panay, who heads up Redmond’s expanding Surface lineup, will unveil new hardware at the event. Exactly what hardware remains a mystery, but Panay tweeted the hashtag #Surface announcing the event. Microsoft will also announce global and regional news at the event.
In an interview with Bloomberg today, Microsoft vice president Yusuf Mehdi said, “You might expect to see an update to Surface Pro 4 coming soon.”
Windows watcher Paul Thurrott recently revealed the Surface Pro 5 will have Intel’s Kaby Lake processor, but noted that was “nothing dramatic”. There will also be no change to the Surface Connector power connector.
The choice of Shanghai is curious given Microsoft’s historical preference for New York where it launched the Surface Pro 4 in October 2015, Surface Laptop and Surface Studio all-in-one.
Despite Microsoft’s larger than expected 26 percent decline in Surface revenue revealed last week, Microsoft is on somewhat of a roll with its Surface hardware, which comes amid perceived missteps by Apple, such as the MacBook Pro, and a perception it’s abandoned creatives by not updating the Mac Pro.
Meanwhile, the new Windows 10 S-powered Surface Laptop, though lacking major innovation, looks every bit as polished as a notebook that Apple might make, and its high-end Surface Studio is sufficiently differentiated from Apple’s iMac via a touchscreen, stylus input, and the new Surface Dial.
Both showcase unique Windows 10 capabilities and push Microsoft’s ambition to expand offerings by Windows hardware makers.
As Mehdi pointed out, Microsoft’s aim with Surface is to “grow the overall Windows ecosystem with HP, Dell, Lenovo”, and in that sense the decline in revenues is a sign that it’s achieving that goal in the form of increased price competition from Windows OEMs.