Year 2016 saw no updates to the Surface Book or Surface Pro line-up and so Microsoft fans are looking at the annual spring event from Redmond to include an announcement of new Surface hardware specially about the Surface Pro 5.
While a second-generation Surface Book is unlikely, an update to the ultraportable/tablet hybrid Surface Pro family is expected.
Forbes rightly pointed out that Microsoft finds itself in the same situation as Apple with the MacBook Pro - there’s nothing fundamentally new out there for the next generation of devices.
The latest rumors about Microsoft Surface Pro 5 specs, design and release date suggest Kaby Lake, Intel’s latest chip design for the desktop and the seventh generation of its Core processor family.
That detail has been confirmed by Microsoft-watcher Paul Thurrott, who also noted that his sources indicated that the Surface Pro 5 will retain the current power connector found on the Pro 4 and the Surface Book, as opposed to switching to USB-C.
Here's what Forbes has to say:
"Microsoft is laying the emphasis on its cloud-based services and the Windows 10 operating system. Its partners can sell far more systems than Microsoft ever could on its own. That gives Redmond a significant advantage in numbers and market share. It also means the Surface team has less need to focus on innovation just to provide its hardware with something new to sell. This approach is unlike Apple, where the vast majority of its cloud-based revenue can only come from users with Apple hardware. It has to be able to sell its macOS (and iOS) powered devices on its own with no back-up from third-party manufacturers.
"A minor update to the Surface range from Pro 4 to Pro 5 should be seen in the same light as the update from the 2015 MacBook Pro to the 2016 MacBook Pro as well the differing approaches to computing in 2017. Apple’s focus on hardware means that it has to continue redefining what a laptop can do - hence innovations like the Touch Bar. Microsoft’s goal with the Surface Pro 5 is to show what current hardware can do with the software-based innovations in Windows 10 and its cloud services."