We are now a few hours from whatever new devices the Surface team have been cooking up in Studio B. As we get closer and closer to the event (which will be live streamed), rumors are still coming in. The latest from CITE World citing sources are saying the Mini will not be part of the event.
However its unclear how valid the story is because the sources the author does have public comments on were consulted not on the Surface Mini per se but the Surface Pro and the possibility that a larger, thinner Pro 3 model will also be shown.
Speaking of today’s news it was all about speculation. Ed Bott did a review of the Surface family so far and on the well worn myth that Microsoft gets it on its third try. Paul Thurrott did a preview of tomorrow and of course discussed the Surface Pro 3 and why it might be the bigger story. Lastly Vlad Dudau did an interesting story on Windows tablet market share (surprise there is a place where the Surface tablets running Windows RT does well).
So what are my predictions, my hopes for the Surface event?
One is I hope we get to see a Surface Mini and it runs Windows RT. I mean I like the various Windows small tablet that have come out, but every review or video I check out only talks about the desktop. I mean damn I know the Windows Store is not the App store but its not empty. Also its time for Microsoft to push Windows as a tablet option. The last few months has been about holding the hands and calming down users about the Metro side. Its time for them to make the case Windows can be a capable mobile OS.
Beyond that I would love to see some new apps that sell the Mini. Given the rumors it will have a stylus let’s have new programs that make use of it. Be it a new drawing app or new reader aimed at students. Given its small style I hope we also see new reading apps. Earlier in the year rumors and video surfaced (no puns meant) of an e-Reading service made by the Xbox. In addition to an Xbox reader a new “reader” from the Office team was seen at Microsoft’s MGX event. So yeah reading apps (or at least the Marvel comics app).
Now onto the Pro 3. Personally I’d love to see Redmond drop the other shoe and introduce an Ultrabook. Barring that a slimmer, larger Surface will make a serious splash. The big thing with the Pro will be pricing and battery life. That’s it I’m sorry I’m a tablet person.
Supposedly new CEO Satya Nadella will be on hand for the festivities. Hopefully we will get an idea about the future of the Surface line. As much as the Surface is seen as hobby and an extravagance, but at this point its PC partners are splitting themselves between Windows, Chrome, and Android. I think at this point the partner model is broken and if Microsoft wants to stay somewhat competitive, it needs compelling hardware. The Surface provides that hardware.
Tomorrow will either be a major event or a letdown either way it will be interesting.
Usually I put up links to various live blogs but since the event itself has limited the number of attendees no one has said they’re doing one; I’m linking the live stream on this post. The event starts at 11 AM eastern, 8 AM pacific.