Microsoft is expected to unveil some new devices later this spring, although it's not yet clear whether those will include the anticipated Surface Pro 5. However, new details emerged this week about some features that might appear on the successor to Microsoft's well-received Surface Pro 4 2-in-1.
The Surface Pro 5 will retain the same proprietary Surface Connect power connector rather than switching to a USB-C connector, according to a tweet yesterday by technology writer Paul Thurrott, who said the information came from someone who has had a first-hand look at the coming Surface Pro 5.
The source also said the Surface Pro 5 will come with new processors: the Kaby Lake processors from Intel. Other than those changes, the Surface refresh isn't expected to feature any "dramatic" changes, according to Thurrott.
Build Conference Coming in May
Launched in late 2012, Microsoft's current Surface lineup includes the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 4 (pictured above) 2-in-1s, along with the Surface Book laptop. The Surface Hub, a wall-mounted touchscreen device for workplace presentations and video-conferencing, was also launched last year.
More details about the Surface 5 and other new devices are likely to come out during Microsoft's next Build developer conference, scheduled to be held from May 10 to 12 in Seattle.
In the meantime, Microsoft is gearing up for its next big update to the Windows 10 operating system. The so-called "Creators Update" is set to be released starting Tuesday. Upon announcing the release date last week, Windows and Devices Group corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi also revealed that Microsoft will be launching its current Surface Book and Surface Studio in more markets around the globe.
The Surface Book will be available starting April 20 in Austria, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. The Surface Studio and Surface Dial are also expanding to new markets, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Creators Update Improvements for Surface Hub
Ahead of the general release of the Creators Update, Microsoft has rolling out successive preview versions for developers. The most recent feature a number of updates for the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, including a Surface driver fix for an issue affecting screen brightness after a device comes out of sleep, and improved stability for the Surface's Intel Precise Touch Device.
Last week, Microsoft said the Creators Update would also be rolling out a number of improvements for the enterprise-focused Surface Hub. "The update delivers some of the top requested features to make Surface Hub an even more powerful collaboration device," Mehdi said in a blog post at that time.
Among the operating system improvements coming to the Surface Hub is a new start screen that allows users to sign on with their credentials and access their Office 365 apps and OneDrive content. The Creators Update will also add new management tools to make it easier for businesses to handle large-scale deployments, as well as improvements in Skype for Business and the Whiteboard app.