Microsoft has been mostly quiet on the in-house hardware release front of late, focusing on a costly corporate acquisition, more software bringing Android and iOS phones closer to Windows 10 PCs, as well as classroom-friendly laptops manufactured by third parties.
But at the same time, whispers of new low-cost Surface tablets, high-end wireless MR headsets developed in partnership with Samsung, a long overdue HoloLens sequel and something called “Andromeda” have slowly turned into rumbles.
Plenty of uncertainty continues to hover over all these projects and products, but several trusted insiders expect a “family of small, cheaper Surface tablets” codenamed Lex or Libra to see daylight “later this year.”
These will basically follow in the footsteps of 2015’s Surface 3 rather than last year’s Surface Pro 5, which may need to wait until mid-2019 to receive a “heavily redesigned” sequel. In the meantime, the Surface Pro 6 (Carmel) could be preceded by minor revisions of both existing Surface Pro and Surface Laptop models powered by 8th generation Intel processors.
Reportedly envisioned as a “pocketable device to create a truly personal and versatile computing experience”, the mysterious Andromeda is currently scheduled for a 2018 launch, although nothing’s set in stone just yet.
What’s pretty much guaranteed is the Surface Hub 2 and a new Surface dock are not coming this year, while that upgraded HoloLens consumer version, codenamed Sydney, should hit stores sometime during 2019’s first quarter.
The HoloLens V2 (or rather the V3) is expected to cost “significantly less” than its experimental forerunner, sporting “significantly improved” holographic displays, with a “lighter, more comfortable” design. That’s extremely exciting, but further delays and plan revisions can always come into play.