Microsoft’s not-yet-announced-but-probably-happening October 2019 event is just a couple of months away. So it’s time to start looking at the rumor mill and collect up everything we’re expecting (and not expecting) to see at Microsoft’s next hardware event. While Microsoft is yet to announce this event formally, many Microsoft watchers -including myself- have heard from reliable sources that Microsoft is indeed planning an event for October, where new hardware and software is expected to be announced.
Likely to be announced
Surface Laptop 3
We’re expecting Microsoft to refresh the Surface Laptop line-up this year with a spec bump and the inclusion of USB-C. This change won’t be a massive refresh for the product, with the exterior design remaining much the same. Rumor has it that Microsoft may launch an AMD variant of the Laptop 3. Also, we have heard that USB-C outright replaces the Surface Connect port, meaning there should still be a USB-A port available for those who need it.
Surface Pro 7
Alongside a new Surface Laptop, we’re also expecting similar treatment to the Surface Pro line, with a new Pro 7 featuring a similar design with updated internals and USB-C in place of the Surface Connect port. One big difference with the Pro 7, however, is the possibility of an LTE variant that’s powered by a Snapdragon 8cx processor. This device is codenamed Excalibur and could very well show up in October. The ARM LTE variant will sit alongside your traditional Intel 10th-generation options. Thunderbolt 3 is not expected to be part of the move to USB-C, however.
Surface Book 3
Just like the Laptop and Pro lines, we’re not expecting any substantial design changes with the Surface Book 3. We only suspect that there will be internal specification updates to 10th-generation processors. It’s unclear if the USB-C port already found on the Surface Book 2 will be updated with Thunderbolt 3 support. Considering rumors say the Laptop and Pro lines won’t be getting Thunderbolt 3, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Book 3 doesn’t get it either.
Accessories and Software
We’re also expecting new accessories, including a new pair of Surface earbuds, codenamed Morrison. And rumors suggest there will be new keyboards with a dedicated Office button in place of the right-hand Windows key. Also, rumors suggest Microsoft is planning to announce a new version of Microsoft Teams for consumers called Teams For Life.
What we’re unsure about
Centaurus is the codename for Microsoft’s dual-screen, foldable tablet/laptop. This is a device that we’re expecting to run Windows Lite when it’s ready, but we’re not expecting Windows Lite to be ready for prime time until sometime in 2020. So if Microsoft is to announce Centautus this year, it’ll have to do it alongside an announcement of Windows Lite, or briefly tease it at the end of the show with a more specific launch event in the spring of next year.
Microsoft showcased this device to multiple employees at an internal all-hands meeting earlier this year, which is very unusual for the company. The Surface team is notorious for keeping projects secret, even from others within Microsoft. Centaurus being shown off on stage internally to employees makes me think Microsoft wants this device to be announced sooner rather than later. Of course, this will depend on whether or not the device, along with the software, is ready in time for an October unveiling.
Surface Go 2
The original Surface Go is now over a year old and will be even older by the time a new Surface hardware event is due. It wouldn’t be too shocking to see a new Surface Go unveiled in October. The reason we’re unsure about it is that we’ve not heard anything on the rumor mill about when a second-generation Surface Go could show up.
If a Surface Go 2 were to be announced, we’d love to see smaller bezels and a switch from Intel to ARM for the processor. The Surface Go makes so much more sense as an ARM device.
Definitely not happening
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but we’re not expecting any pocketable phone form-factors from Microsoft in October. Andromeda simply isn’t happening anytime soon, and that’s probably for the best.
Surface Studio 3
The Surface Studio is a product line that Microsoft has never updated on a yearly cadence. As such, we’re not expecting any updates to the Surface Studio in October.
What do you think?
So that’s everything we’re expecting, and not expecting, to be announced at a hardware event later this year. It’s fair to say that for the most part, this year will be a relatively minor refresh for the existing line of Surface products. Whether or not Microsoft can get an announcement out for Centaurus is the big question that will flip this event from being minor to major. In the meantime, what are you hoping to see announced? Let us know in the comments.