With no updates to the Surface Book or Surface Pro line-up during 2016, many Microsoft watchers are looking at the annual spring event from Redmond to include an announcement of new Surface hardware.
While a second-generation Surface Book is unlikely, an update to the ultraportable/tablet hybrid Surface Pro family is expected. Although Microsoft’s primary focus remains on software - both at the operating system level on the desktop and across competing platforms via its cloud services - it will continue to show off the capabilities and vision through its Surface hardware division.
That said, Microsoft finds itself in the same situation as Apple with the MacBook Pro - there’s nothing fundamentally new out there for the next generation of devices.The latest rumors point to a Surface Pro 5 that will ship with Kaby Lake, Intel’s latest chip design for the desktop and the seventh generation of its Core processor family.
That detail has been confirmed by Microsoft-watcher Paul Thurrott, who also noted that his sources indicated that the Surface Pro 5 will retain the current power connector found on the Pro 4 and the Surface Book, as opposed to switching to USB-C.
That gives the Pro 5 some advanced hardware, but retains as much backwards capacity as possible. Of course it’s not just the hardware that Microsoft is promoting, but also its vision of modern computing and how it defines specific categories for its manufacturing partners.