Rumors suggested an April 2017 unveiling of Microsoft's Surface Book 2, but that proved too optimistic. Despite reports of mass production in March, sources suggest a 2018 release.
The information comes via ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, a widely respected Microsoft reporter. “I've been hearing from my contacts lately that Microsoft might not start shipping new Surface Books until early 2018. And the company's second-generation Surface Hub also is sounding (from sources) like an early 2018 thing,” she said.
Understandably, customers are disappointed. If correct, the release will put the time between devices at two and a half years, not counting a minor refresh. The Surface Book is running Intel's 6th Gen Skylake processor, and fans are eagerly awaiting an upgrade.
In a recent Intel video, a black Surface Book appeared alongside promotion for its 8th gen processors. It touted features like 4K, gaming abilities, and longer battery life. Such a device may very well be worth waiting for, but Microsoft needs something to fill the gap in the meantime.
Future Decoded Event and Surface Pro
Foley suggests that may come in the form of the Surface Pro with built-in LTE. It's expected in late October as part of the Future Decoded event in London but is far from revolutionary.
Of course, there are things happening on other fronts. A major release is also coming in the form of the Xbox One X, which will release on November 7th. Microsoft is also planning a Mixed Reality event on October 3rd, where it will offer more detail on its partner headsets. The Lenovo Explorer and Dell Visor are both coming, as is more information on the long-term vision.
Ultimately, however, the delay would spell a slightly disappointing year for Microsoft hardware. Though the Surface Laptop came as something of a surprise, it's primarily for the education market.
With hope, the company has something else up its sleeve. Recent rumors suggest an imminent reveal of Windows 10 ARM laptops, and we've yet to hear anything solid about the Surface Phone.