Reports of a new “all-in-one” Microsoft Surface device gained steam on Thursday as company sources told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that such a device may launch as early as next month. The debut is expected to come alongside a larger preview of Windows 10 devices ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season.
Microsoft has used the late October event in the past to launch other Surface devices, including the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book last year. With refreshes for either device likely delayed until the spring of next year due to delays with Intel’s Kaby Lake CPUs, the company still plans to at least get its all-in-one device, code named “Cardinal,” out the door in 2016.
It does appear, based on multiple reports, that Microsoft will at least give current Surface and Surface Book models a minor refresh, including faster processors, while the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 remain in development.
News of an all-in-one device is not new: in late June, DigiTimes reported that Microsoft planned to launch such a device in the “third quarter of 2016.” Details remain a bit scant, but Foley says she expects the device to be a consumer version of the Surface Hub, possibly coming in sizes of 21″ in full HD, and 24″ and 27″ with 4K support.
Microsoft itself is staying tight-lipped, declining to comment on the reports. Digital Trends was also unable to confirm or deny Cardinal’s existence through a source close to Microsoft, who refused to comment on whether this is indeed the hotly anticipated consumer version of the Surface Hub.
As for a potential date for the event, Foley believes it will be October 26 and likely again in New York City. Microsoft is apparently taking the event seriously, reportedly giving it the code name “Project Rio.” If that code name sounds familiar, it’s because Microsoft has used it before — in 2013, it referred to a game-streaming service that Microsoft demoed internally but never released publicly. It was later renamed “Arcadia,” but the service never materialized
Whether the resurfacing of the “Rio” code name is just a coincidence, or a signal of a potential surprise announcement at this year’s event is not yet known.