Microsoft Surface event 2018: 5 things to expect

Microsoft Surface event 2018: 5 things to expect

October 1, 2018 0 By Nazmul Khan

Microsoft is holding a media event on Tuesday in New York City. Described only as a “moment of your time,” the event is likely to focus on Surface hardware, Windows 10 features, and Microsoft’s new productivity push to win back consumers. Microsoft’s Surface chief, Panos Panay, will be attending the event and it will be the company’s first big Surface / Windows press event since former Windows chief Terry Myerson departed over the summer. It’s a chance for Microsoft to show where Windows is heading, unveil the latest Surface hardware, and perhaps surprise us with something new.

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is due a refresh, and we’re expecting to see a new model tomorrow. Microsoft will likely refresh the hardware inside with Intel’s latest processors and hopefully bump the RAM on the base model. We’re also hoping to see support for USB-C peripherals and charging, but recent rumors suggest that neither the Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6 will include the newer USB-C jacks. There are also rumors that the Surface Laptop 2 may debut in a black variant, which would mark a switch away from the silver color that Microsoft typically uses for Surface devices.

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Microsoft’s Surface Pro is also due a refresh, and it will likely be very similar to the Surface Laptop 2 changes. We’re expecting to see a new model with Intel’s latest processors and a black color variant. Microsoft has not typically offered color variations with the Surface Pro (like it does with the whole of the Surface Laptop) so we may also see additional colors too. Microsoft is reportedly overhauling the Surface Pro design in 2019, so this latest model will likely be a refresh of the current Surface Pro with not many design changes.

It’s been two years since Microsoft first unveiled the Surface Studio at a press event in New York City. The software maker might be ready to unveil a successor, as stocks of the current model are sold out at Microsoft’s online store. If Microsoft does have a new Studio ready, we’re hoping to see much better specifications than the original model. Microsoft could use Intel’s latest processors alongside an updated graphics chip from Nvidia.

Microsoft will likely unveil an exact date for the Windows 10 October 2018 Update release to consumers. Microsoft has finished testing this update internally, and should be ready to make it available imminently as long as there are no last minute bugs.

Windows 10 review photos

Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Microsoft is currently testing its next major Windows 10 update, codenamed 19H1. We’ve not seen any big new features for this update yet, so this press event would be a good time to detail what’s in store for Windows 10 in 2019. We’re expecting Microsoft to focus on productivity features for Windows 10, including aligning its to-do app across many of the company’s apps and services. Microsoft Launcher is also a key part of the company’s mobile plans for Android, so expect to see more features geared towards Windows and Android integration.

Microsoft may unveil a Surface-branded headset at its event tomorrow. ZDNet previously reported the headset is similar to the Jabra Evolve, and would be marketed for business headset use in apps like Microsoft Teams.

Microsoft could also unveil more details about its Surface Hub 2 tomorrow. The hardware has a modular processor cartridge, and the new software features aren’t arriving until 2020. Microsoft still has plenty more to demonstrate with the Surface Hub 2, which the company only teased at the recent Ignite conference.

Microsoft could even reveal the future of HoloLens during its media event tomorrow. We’ve been waiting to hear more solid details about HoloLens 2, and Microsoft has slowly been detailing some of its hardware changes. The HoloLens 2 will include Microsoft’s latest generation of the Kinect sensor, and a custom AI chip to improve performance. Microsoft is expected to switch to an ARM processor for the device, currently codenamed Sydney, and improve the field of view while making the headset lighter and more comfortable to wear.

Microsoft’s press event will start at 4PM ET tomorrow. Stay tuned to The Verge as we’ll be covering the latest news as soon as it happens.

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