Just within a couple days of wrapping up the education-themed event, where it debuted Windows 10 S and Surface laptop, Microsoft is back with a new major announcement. The Redmond-based tech giant has today revealed that it is organizing yet another event. It will be a hardware-focused one, being organized in Shanghai on May 23 this time around.
This announcement definitely comes as a surprise that hits you square in the face. We, the tech journalists or enthusiasts, were barely getting over the sleek and gorgeous design of the Surface laptop and gearing up for the Build 2017 conference next week. But, it seems Microsoft has kept itself quite pre-occupied with hardware+software development for the past few months and now plans on keeping us on the edge for the month of May.
Microsoft has refrained from providing any substantial details about the hardware event, expect for the fact that it’ll “show the world what’s next” for the company. The statement, as well as the Shanghai skyline in the press invite, do not even hint at what Redmond is exactly planning to unveil at the event.
But, we have Panos Panay, Microsoft’s corporate Vice President of Devices and Surface Computing, to thank for dropping a genuine hint about the event on Instagram. He has shared the invite on the photo-sharing app and dropped a #Surface hashtag along with the post, which only piqued our interest in the event. This is because the last time Microsoft unveiled its new hardware devices, it blew its competition out of the water with the release of the Surface Studio and Surface Book.
This means Panay will be in attendance at the Shangai event, possibly taking the veil off the Surface Pro 5. We had recently received the initial leak about Surface Pro 5, which suggests that the device may only be an iterative update to the existing Pro 4. It is expected to be similar in design, hosting essentially all the same connectors for backward compatibility. The biggest change will be under-the-hood as Surface Pro 5 plans to include Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors. No word on whether the much-awaited Surface Book 2 is going to a topic of discussion at the event or not.
Since the hardware event has been shifted away from New York to Shanghai, we should also expect several regional anecdotes being shared as well. Microsoft could also focus on its virtual or mixed reality efforts, making its way to Windows 10 devices with just RGB cameras — a normal webcam. It could unveil its first substantial virtual reality headset, developed with help from its Chinese partner and manufacturer 3Glasses. The timing parallels with the timeline announced by the company, so it can be a possible launch option.