Microsoft is expected to hold a Spring 2017 Hardware event that will see new Surface devices announced. While most reports suggest a new Surface Book 2 and/or the Surface Book 5 will make their debuts, that may not be the case. ZDNet is reporting that Microsoft may well launch an entirely new category of Surface product.
It is now officially spring north of the equator, which means Microsoft's Spring Hardware event is coming soon. It is worth mentioning before continuing that the company has not officially announced such an event.
So, we are firmly in the land of speculation here as there is at least a possibility that Microsoft will not launch any Surface product this spring. This hardware launch has been long rumored, however, and where there's smoke…
Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet has plugged into her sources and understands the Surface Book 2 will not be at the event. I also share her doubt that the Surface Pro 5 will make an appearance. It seems much more likely sequels to the company's successful hybrids will drop later in the year. In fact, I am betting the launch will coincide with Windows Redstone 3.
The real question is remaining, if not those products, which? HoloLens we know is out of the question as Microsoft recently updated its plans. The company's mixed reality headset will not reach consumers until 2019.
Foley says her sources tell her there will be a Spring 2017 Hardware launch. We have heard rumors of Microsoft creating a small clamshell 13.5-inch laptop that will wear the Surface branding.
It is important to remember that Microsoft prides the Surface division on creating product categories. The company makes reference devices that it hopes OEMs will take inspiration from to expand the Windows ecosystem.
With that in mind, it becomes guesswork when trying to figure out what the company may launch this spring. We already have the tablet/laptop hybrid (Surface Pro 5), the laptop competitor (Surface Book) the tablet (Surface 3), the work conferencing tool (Surface Hub), and the all-in-one PC (Surface Studio).
Yes, there is one obvious category that is almost conspicuous by its absence … mobile. The idea of a Surface Phone has been with us for years. Indeed, I recently wrote if it does not arrive this year then I will start to doubt its existence.
If Microsoft is expanding into new categories at the Spring 2017 Hardware event, then a Surface Phone fits the bill. However, it is my understanding that the company will not be announcing the handset at the event.
That does not rule out mobile entirely, however. We have recently seen reports that Microsoft could rejuvenate the Lumia brand this year. Perhaps the event will be used to kick-start that ambition.
As I said, pure speculation. Let us know in the comments what you think Microsoft will announce.