Microsoft's upcoming Fall hardware launch will see the company announce a Surface all-in-one PC (Codename Cardinal). That's according to report from ZDNet, which says the event will also focus on Windows 10 partner devices. The Fall hardware launch will be held in late October.
Mary Jo Foley says her sources say Microsoft will take the wrappers off Cardinal at the event. This is very likely to be a codename as Microsoft will launch the all-in-one PC as a Surface product. The device is actually a surprising play by Microsoft. PC sales are in terminal decline, so why would the company develop a desktop?
Microsoft could be aiming the device at those who still require the computing power of a desktop PC. Editors, and those in need of a studio suite capable PC, for example. That means the Surface Cardinal is going to be expensive. That's hardly a surprise considering Microsoft's current Surface range is priced at a premium.
At the moment, Cardinal is expected to arrive in three screen sizes (21, 24, and 27 inches). However, we would say the 24-inch is unlikely, so expect just a 21-inch and 27-inch version. While we are dubious about the need of a Surface desktop, it is a logical hardware progression. Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 bridges the gap between tablet and laptop, while the Surface Book covers the notebook market.
Other Hardware Launches
Speaking of those other Surface devices, Microsoft is unlikely to bring sweeping changes to the range. The need to incrementally update a notebook and tablet/hybrid is not as important as for a smartphone. Indeed, we don't expect to see the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 until deep into 2017.
Aside from Cardinal, there should be plenty of focus on OEM devices. Microsoft has been emphasizing partners in recent months, trying to push Windows 10 as much as possible. Expect a bunch of various computing products from Windows OEMs.
Windows 10 Mobile presents the most intrigue. Microsoft dropped out of the hardware business earlier in the year, at least as far as Lumia goes. The company may not have a big smartphone reveal to show off at the Fall hardware launch. If you are hoping for the Surface Phone, we think you will be left wanting.