While a few consumers have landed the Microsoft’s second-generation Surface Studio following its release weeks ago, the company may be planning for a design much more exciting come 2020. Brad Sams’ new book – Beneath A Surface – claims that Microsoft will launch a Surface Studio monitor in 2020. The book, which detailed the history of Microsoft’s Surface efforts, disclosed that the stand-alone Surface Studio monitor would not be a regular PC monitor. It will feature modular functionality that consumers could leverage for easy at-home upgrade options. Surface chief Panos Panay recently confirmed this design in an interview with The Verge.
It is difficult to mention the components Microsoft could upgrade in the upcoming monitor design considering how long we may have to wait before the launch. Of course, we don’t expect the company to have settled for a configuration considering chip availability. However, the concept of space-saving modular PCs has been available for some time now. Intel first demonstrated its vision of modular PC by showing off Compute Stick in CES 2015 and has recently introduced Compute Card.
Considering that Microsoft’s first and second generation Surface Studio computers are based on all-in-one desktop design, users would have just a little to upgrade. Microsoft built the Surface Studio more like other of its mobile Surface PC lineup; they all have a slim design. Hence, introducing a modular design will interest users who may want a better performance as their investment ages down the road.
Sams’ book also revealed that Microsoft’s Surface foldable phone – Andromeda has changed into something much bigger. This could be as a result of challenges in justifying the device internally. Though Microsoft is allegedly delaying the device release to find its use cases, Andromeda could debut late 2019.
The report also claims that Microsoft is planning to launch a “Surface-branded ambient computing device,” according to The Verge. The hardware could bring more of Microsoft’s virtual assistant – Cortana into our homes or office environment. Earlier this year, the company demonstrated a high-end futuristic meeting room using prototype hardware that automates meetings. Microsoft could use a new Surface hardware to ease a move into audio with its Surface Headphones.
Microsoft is being frustrated with its partnership with Intel over delays of Intel processors, Sams hinted. Like other PC manufacturers, Microsoft is anticipating the shipment of Intel’s 10nm processors. The new chips are due for launch in 2019, though there are rumors that Intel has canceled the plan. The situation could force Microsoft into using AMD as an alternative, as Sams speculated that an AMD-based Surface Laptop could debut in 2019. Microsoft could use AMD Picasso chips.
Intel could lose much more if Microsoft makes a switch to AMD chips. The chip maker reportedly convinced Microsoft not to use ARM for its Surface Go. Now Intel’s chip delays mean its facing competition from AMD for laptops and desktops.