Now that Microsoft’s education-themed event is behind us, all eyes are focused on the company’s next press event on May 23 in Shanghai. As usual, Microsoft isn’t providing any hints about what it plans to reveal during the show, but instead is providing a skyline view of the city from a wooden rooftop deck. The shiny surfaces tease a possible Surface Pro 5 reveal, but if the latest comments from Panos Panay are any indication, that’s likely not going to happen anytime soon.
“There’s no such thing as a Pro 5,” Microsoft’s VP of Devices said. “When it’s meaningful and the change is right, we’ll put it on market.”
Microsoft released the Surface Pro 4 2-in-1 device on October 26, 2015. It built upon the Surface Pro 3’s foundation by incorporating a thinner bezel to enable a larger viewing area. It’s also thinner and lighter overall, and is powered by sixth-generation Intel Core processors clocked up to 2.20GHz (3.40GHz turbo).
That said, with the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft seemingly hit its design sweet spot with the overall Surface Pro product, and the firm sees the device as a competitive product for at least five years starting from its retail release. Thus, consumers who were holding off on the next Surface Pro launch may be waiting for some time, as Microsoft won’t produce a fifth-generation model until it’s “meaningful” and when “the change is right.”
“Meaningful change isn’t necessarily a hardware change, which is what a lot of people look for,” he said. “They’re like, ‘Where’s the latest processor?’ That’s not what I mean. I’m looking for an experiential change that makes a huge difference in product line.”
He gave a few examples, such as a significant drop in the weight or/and a huge advance in battery power. On the weight level, consider that Microsoft has managed to increase the screen size of its Surface Pro device while reducing the overall weight since the introduction of the original Surface Pro in February of 2013.
Take a look:
|Surface Pro||Surface Pro 2||Surface Pro 3||Surface Pro 4|
|Release date:||February 2013||October 2013||June 2014||October 2015|
|Processor:||Intel Core i3
1,920 x 1,080
1,920 x 1,080
2,160 x 1,440
2,736 x 1,824
|Size (inches):||10.81 (W)
|Weight:||2 pounds||1.984 pounds||1.76 pounds||1.689 pounds (M3)
1.733 pounds (i5/i7)
As the chart shows, Microsoft hasn’t released a new Surface Pro device since October of 2015. Since then, Microsoft has seemingly focused on its Surface Book line along with Surface Hub and the just-announced Surface Laptop. And as Panay pointed out, Microsoft may not extend the Surface Pro line until it can make a radical change in design just like it did between the Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3.
However, one last thing we’d like to point out is another comment made by Panay. He used the term “Surface Pro Next,” which seemingly backed up his claim that “there’s no such thing as a Pro 5.” That seemingly points to another Surface Pro overhaul. But when?
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