Microsoft to announce a successor to the Surface 2 very soon (details here)

microsoft-surface-2-vp-panos-panayMicrosoft has been quiet about the successor to the Surface 2 and many have speculated that the software giant will most likely focus on the successful Surface Pro series in the meantime. However, a report by WinBeta claims that Microsoft has plans to release a Surface device aimed at a lower price point but one that is much more than a successor to the Surface 2, while not being  in the same league as the Surface Pro 3.

The reason why it would be much more than a successor to the Surface 2 which ran Windows RT, is that this time it’ll run a full-blown version of Windows 8.1, which will be upgradable to Windows 10 as it’s released to the market. It’ll be fanless but will have lower spec’d CPU than the Surface Pro 3, which will either be an Intel Atom or the Intel Core M (the latter is used in the new MacBook revealed at Apple’s Spring Forward event and is starting to become a popular choice for ultra-portables.)

WinBeta reports that Microsoft is expected to announce this new Surface device sometime before or at their annual Build developer conference in late April and the company will not be labeling it as a Pro device.

Surface Pro 3 has been a very successful product for Microsoft, both with businesses and consumers, and has single-handily changed the perception of Microsoft as a hardware company. It’s also earned Microsoft a lot of of respect in the industry with such a feat of engineering, and we’ve seen many hardware vendors trying to duplicate the Surface Pro 3’s success.

However, the Surface Pro 3 is a very expensive device, and this limits it to a niche audience. If Microsoft comes in with a cheaper Surface device – presumably with a 10-12 inch screen, and one that runs a full-blown version of Windows 8.1, they’ll automatically open themselves up to a much wider audience. This new lower spec’d Surface can be a hit amongst students and people not willing to drop $1,000 on a laptop, while retaining the iconic design and build quality associated with the Surface line of devices.

This will be a tremendous year for Microsoft in both the hardware and software space, with Windows 10, a slew of Windows Phones, new Surface models (both Pro and non-pro), the new Surface Hub and HoloLens, this makes it the biggest product year in the history of the company.

Source: WinBeta

Microsoft Build 2015 event sells out in an hour, 24X faster than last year's event

build 2015Microsoft’s annual developers conference takes place this April 29th in San Francisco, and tickets were sold out in just an hour after going on sale.  This event holds quite a bit of people, and tickets cost $2095 to attend and a limited number of academic tickets go for $995, so it looks like the Windows 10 announcement played a big role in the fast sell-out.  When tickets went on sale for last year’s Build event, it took 24 hours to sell out the event.

Last year’s event was heavily focused on Windows and Windows Phone 8.1, it’s also when Cortana was first unveiled.  For those of you that remember, Microsoft also announced a flagship Widows Phone – the Lumia 930 (still the last flagship Windows Phone released).

This year is expected to be a much bigger event, obviously focusing on Windows 10 for  PCs, tablets, phones and a unified app store for all Windows devices.  Microsoft is expected to focus on their new augmented reality device HoloLens, and hopefully by then they’ll show off some more capabilities.  Timing would be perfect to learn more what effect Windows 10 will have on the Xbox One, and how the unified app store will be applied to it.

Build 2015 will likely light up the stage for what is to come, as Microsoft is set for its biggest year of software and hardware related releases.

Source: Build 2015