All posts in “Surface”

How to watch the Microsoft Build keynotes

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Image: lili sams / mashable

Microsoft will soon kick off the beginning of developer conference season with its event: Build. In addition to annual updates on the performance of Windows, Office and the Surface devices, Microsoft is expected to comment on a new Windows design language, codenamed “Project Neon” and share updates to the company’s AI research

The keynotes will feature CEO Satya Nadella, EVP Scott Guthrie, EVP Harry Shum and EVP Terry Myerson across two events on Wednesday and Thursday.

The keynotes will kick off at 8 a.m. PT Wednesday and 8:30am PT Thursday when the company’s execs will take the stage at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. Here’s how to follow along: 

You can watch Microsoft’s official livestream here.

  • Mashable‘s Lance Ulanoff and Karissa Bell will be sharing updates live before, after and during the event.

  • You can follow them on our Twitter account @MashableTech and our Facebook Pages at Mashable and Mashable Tech.

We’re also expecting to hear more about Hololens, Bing bots and Cortana and hopefully some fun surprise hardware announcements. Stay tuned!

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Microsoft won’t launch new Surface Pro until there are ‘meaningful’ upgrades

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06 2015: Microsoft Corporate Vice President Panos Panay introduces a new tablet titled the Microsoft Surface Pro 4
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 06 2015: Microsoft Corporate Vice President Panos Panay introduces a new tablet titled the Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Image: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Don’t hold your breath for a Surface Pro 5.

Panos Panay, Microsoft’s energetic Surface devices chief, says, “There’s no such thing as a Pro 5.”

Speaking with CNET, Panay essentially admits the company’s letting the nearly two-year-old Surface Pro 4 languish. He believes the Surface Pro 4, outdated as it is in terms of specs, will still be solid for another five years. “If people don’t want to buy our Pro 4 at this time, that’s OK.”

Rather than follow the usual PC cycle with minor refreshes to the internals, Panos says Microsoft will put out a new Surface Pro when there are enough “meaningful” changes such as significantly improved battery life or serious weight reduction.

“Meaningful change isn’t necessarily a hardware change, which is what a lot of people look for. They’re like, ‘Where’s the latest processor?’ I’m looking for an experiential change that makes a huge difference in product line,” Panos says.

Panos’ logic mirrors another tech giant’s hardware philosophy: Apple’s. Though Apple used to update its Macs frequently to accommodate new chipsets, it has now basically moved to a “whenever” schedule. Before the new MacBook Pros were released last October, the MacBook Pros went un-updated for over a year. The iMac was last updated in October 2015 and the Mac Mini in October 2014.

The Surface Pro is more of an aspiration reference design for PC makers.

In a way, it kind of makes sense for Microsoft to hold off on releasing a new Surface Pro. People just don’t replace their PCs very often. In fact, people are hanging onto their PCs even longer than ever before.

“[The] replacement cycle for the PC has extended,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said last year. “Four years was the average, now it has moved to about five to six years.”

Moreover, the Surface Pro (and the rest of the Surface lineup, for that matter) was never meant to be the flagship of the PC world. The Surface Pro is more of an aspiration reference design for which other PC makers could model their own devices after. And model they have — there are now tons of respectable Surface clones available from the likes of Samsung, Lenovo, Acer and more. If you want a new Surface Pro-like device with the latest chips and features, there are plenty to pick from that aren’t from Microsoft.

Rumors have suggested Microsoft might announce the Surface Pro 5 at Microsoft Build this week or at its event in Shanghai on May 23, but it’s looking more likely that’s not going to happen. But if not a new Surface Pro, then what new hardware will Microsoft unveil? And would you be happy if it just trots out an updated Surface Pro 4 with new guts?

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Microsoft to announce another Surface-related thing on May 23

Just weeks after it announced its first-ever Surface-based laptop, the (d’oh!) Surface Laptop, Microsoft will host another Surface-related announcement. 

The event is scheduled for May 23 in Shanghai, but there’s absolutely no details beyond the #surface hashtag in a tweet by Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Devices, Panos Panay. 

Several of Microsoft’s official Twitter accounts posted similar tweets, but with even fewer details. Microsoft’s official page for the event just says that May 23, the company will “show the world what’s next.”

So what’s this about? We don’t know. 

We’ve seen chatter that the company could launch the Surface Pro 5 (which, according to a recent report, will be a minor (read: boring) refresh, but from what we’ve heard, this will not be the case. 

Instead, Microsoft is more likely to launch the Pro 5 at its Build developer conference next week — yep, Microsoft’s having three major events in one month.

As for the Shanghai event May 23, the location might mean the announcement is somehow related to the Chinese market. And, given Panay’s involvement, it’s possible that Microsoft will show off some sort of gadget. Perhaps an augmented/mixed reality device is in order, and we definitely wouldn’t mind seeing a new version of HoloLens. 

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How to watch Microsoft’s #MicrosoftEDU event live

Image: CJ GUNTHER/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Microsoft is about to unveil new products — both hardware and software — Tuesday, and you can join the fun and follow the event live over the internet. 

The education-centered #MicrosoftEDU event starts at 9:30 AM ET in New York City, and will likely bring two key new products. On the software side, the company is rumored to launch a new, web-centric version of Windows 10. On the hardware front, Microsoft will likely unveil a Surface-based laptop that runs on this new version of Windows. 

Of course, there may be other announcements from the company; perhaps a consumer-ready version of HoloLens or a new mixed-reality headset will appear? And given the event’s theme, a few more announcements related to education wouldn’t surprise us. 

Image: Microsoft

We don’t know for sure yet, but we will soon; Mashable‘s Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff and Senior Product Analyst Raymond Wong are on the ground and will be reporting from the event live. Click on their names to see their updates on Twitter; there will also be updates on Mashable‘s Tech Twitter channel. 

Microsoft will also be having a live stream of the event, starting at 9:30 AM ET; you can follow it here

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Microsoft Surface Pro 5 might not be the big upgrade you’re expecting

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06 2015: Microsoft Corporate Vice President Panos Panay introduces a new tablet titled the Microsoft Surface Pro 4
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 06 2015: Microsoft Corporate Vice President Panos Panay introduces a new tablet titled the Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Image: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Microsoft won hearts far and wide last fall with its all-in-one Surface Studio touchscreen desktop PC. The beefier Surface Book, not so much.

What people really wanted was a new Surface Pro, but Microsoft wasn’t ready to announce anything. It’s now spring and technology blogger Paul Thurrott has revealed what could be the first details for the Surface Pro 5. 

Citing an insider source who’s reportedly seen the Surface Pro 5, Thurrott says the the new device might not be a major revamp and could be more like a “Surface Pro 4.5”. 

That could mean any number of things, from a design that looks the same (or very similar) to the Surface Pro 4, to minor upgrades in performance.

In addition to seventh-generation Intel “Kaby Lake” processors, the next-gen Surface Pro will reportedly use the same Surface Connect power connector.

Beyond those little nuggets, we don’t really know much else. It’ll be disappointing if Microsoft releases a new Surface Pro that’s little more than just a spec bump.

At the very least, the next Surface Pro needs to have USB-C, if only because everything’s moving towards USB-C being the one port to rule them all. We also wouldn’t mind seeing better battery life and a more sensitive Surface Pen stylus. 

Though Microsoft has yet to announce any upcoming product events, ZDNet says the company’s planning a spring event to possibly introduce the new Surface Pro and other new hardware. A Surface Book 2 and new HoloLens, however, won’t be announced at the event.

Foley also says she believes Microsoft could use the new hardware to highlight features (like Paint 3D!) from Windows 10 Creators Update, which drops on April 11.

Fingers crossed Microsoft can continue to wow with its Surface Pro, now that it’s raced by the iPad for U.S. tablet satisfaction, according to J.D. Power.

WATCH: Your behind-the-scenes look at the Microsoft Surface Pro 4