Microsoft is set to retake the position it lost to both Apple and Google with its upcoming new beast, the Surface Pro 4. Armed with Windows 10, the Surface Pro 4 is aimed at the enterprise where iOS and Android devices struggle to penetrate. The Surface Pro 3 has largely been successful that it’s been cloned by Lenovo, Dell and others. The Success of the Surface line has resulted in anticipation building up for the Surface Pro 4. It seems that the “evil empire” of Microsoft is back once more.
It’s October, the month where Microsoft is expected to release the Surface Pro 4 and other products it has in its sleeve. Unlike before, Microsoft now knows the value of secrecy and only discloses very little about its future products in order to build up the anticipation. It’s just like when they released Windows 95. Everyone was surprised at how elegant it looked and how it operated so differently from Windows 3.11. And more recently, when they disclosed their own VR product, the Hololens. No one knew that Microsoft was deep into VR as well, and is actually doing something far different from everyone else. We may see another iteration of the Hololens this October. But now, the attention is in its upcoming Surface Pro 4 which is shrouded in secrecy that has every tech publication guessing at what it looks like and what it can do.
It can only be deduced that it will have Intel’s new 6th generation Skylake Processors for brains. Otherwise, everyone’s going to be really disappointed. Rumors say that the Pro 4 will come in two sizes, standard twelve-inch and an upsized fourteen. Microsoft further recognized the product’s potential for business use and as a laptop killer. One very important aspect to that is screen size so a fourteen-inch Surface Pro may be in the works. Speaking of business and screen size, the 84-inch Surface Hub has been available since July. The Surface Pro form factor may not be much different since Microsoft has promised compatibility with existing Surface peripherals such as docks and touch covers.
Another rumor is that the new Surface might sport 256GB SDDs as a standard. Higher capacities will be available for more expensive models. The Surface 4 could also come fanless meaning no more noise thus cementing its place in the tablet world. Without fans, it will have holes or vents to dissipate heat, and putting the machine through its paces will literally make it a hot product. Lastly, instead of putting pressure on the screen like the iPad Pro, Microsoft will be putting pressure on the Surface Pro’s stylus. The new stylus, with N-trig’s (a company recently purchased by Microsoft) pressure-sensitive technology, should give the iPad Pro a run for its money. Business apps, as well as the new Windows 10 Edge browser could really use it.
But all of the improvements Surface Pro 4 hardware-wise could be hampered if Microsoft doesn’t make a major update to Windows 10’s tablet mode before the October launch. Tablet mode still feels sluggish compared to Windows 8.1. Microsoft may have gone overboard with its desktop mode compromise. People who put their faith in Microsoft’s Surface line, including Surface RT, stand by their devices; especially the Surface Pro 3 and Windows 8.1.
As for the competition, it’s still very early to say anything about iPad Pro sales since it’s just been introduced. Despite its bigger screen, higher specs, pencil and iOS 9, reaction has been short of amazing. As a business tablet, people were not looking forward to the restrictive iOS nor to its starting 32GB of storage. Not much news about any enterprise-grade offering for Android either since the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2. The closest right now is the Jide Remix Surface clone cooked up by former Google engineers. Its Remix OS is reminiscent of Windows 8.1. Equipped with Microsoft’s Office apps, it might do the trick. The Remix serves as a testament to Surface’s success. Right now, its Microsoft’s ball game and Samsung might just be on a wait-and-see mode.
At present, the current Surface Pro 4 specs are just rumors or intelligent speculation. Microsoft has really taken secrecy very seriously. Hopefully, they’ll surprise us as well as they did when they introduced the Hololens. The ever-energetic Steve Ballmer might even present the device. Innovation is often a difficult road. Microsoft innovated with the Surface form factor. In this tablet-saturated world, innovation was what everybody needed and though late in the game, Microsoft managed to deliver.