The year is coming to an end and it is very unlikely that Microsoft will announce another major product. We must, of course, expect 2019 and beyond. Thurrot's Brad Sams has a lot of delectable rumors in his new book Under a surface. Some of his claims about the Microsoft product roadmap reinforce what we've heard before, while others are entirely new.
Microsoft declined to comment on Sams's book and the author himself warned us that a roadmap is never a totally accurate picture of what a company will publish. But if he's right, we have a lot of fun things to expect.
New Xbox One budget
Why buy a used Xbox One S when you can have a new cheap Xbox One? Sams says that Microsoft will launch not one, but two different Xbox One consoles in 2019.
Both devices will be revisions of the 4K compatible Xbox One S. The first will cut the optical drive that will allow you to play games and Blu-ray UHD. The other will be similar to the current Xbox One S, but starts at a lower price. The Xbox One S, when it launched in 2016, started at $ 300.
Surface Studio … Display
The display of Surface Studio and its successor, Surface Studio 2, is beautiful. The hinge that fixes the display to its support and allows you to adjust it with a single finger is a marvel of engineering consumer electronics.
But as Sams notes, the price of this screen alone has always been too high to justify that Microsoft filters and sells it without a computer.
Surface Studio had a starting price of 2999 dollars and when I asked Microsoft, after the announcement, how much it would cost just to sell the screen, they quoted a figure of $ 2999. about $ 2,000. Knowing this, you can understand why Microsoft has not yet proposed a standalone Surface screen: the price would be too high.
Sams claims that this will change in 2020 when Microsoft launches a third Surface Studio highly informed by the Surface Hub smart display currently on the market. Essentially, the Studio would become more modular, with different parts that users can upgrade independently and even use without the other components.
A double-screen surface
We've heard about Microsoft's plans for a dual-screen Surface device, and the company has been working on different versions of dual-screen devices for more than 10 years. The latest version is codenamed Andromeda and was launched this year. Sams now claims that its launch will take place in late 2019, which is not surprising. Microsoft introduced a big show this year to support Windows 10 screens in Computex, Taiwan.
Sams notes that the original version of Andromeda was an LTE-compatible device that could fit in your pocket, but Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reported that Microsoft had killed the project this year. According to Sams, the new device will be bigger.
Surface Pro redesigned with USB-C
Mark this one as virtually guaranteed. We've heard rumors of a Surface Pro refresh all year round. The device will have thinner goggles and soft curves like the Surface Go. It will also feature USB-C, which was clearly missing from this year's update.
It is interesting to note that Panos Panay, Product Manager Microsoft, is personally responsible for his absence on current Surface devices.
"With both previous versions of Surface, including USB-C, it was amazing that the new Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Pro 6 did not do it. This was all the more true as it was the two Surface products that had sold the highest volume of the previous years.
And there was a reason: Panay did not want it. This was not a technical limitation. Instead, Panay would have made the decision itself and its engineers therefore did not include the ports when updating the internal components of the devices for the updated Intel chips. "
A Surface Laptop Powered by AMD
Microsoft may delay the next batch of Surface devices due to delays in the production of the next Intel x86 chipset, Ice Lake. Nevertheless, Sams suggests that Microsoft could experiment again with other processor manufacturers.
The very first Surface of Microsoft, Surface RT, had an ARM processor. But according to Sams, the relationship between Intel has pushed Microsoft to stick mainly to Intel chips. Sams claims that this year's excellent Surface Go incorporates a Pentium processor instead of a Qualcomm chip because of the importance of maintaining this relationship.
This does not preclude, however, later claiming that Microsoft could appeal to AMD for a newer Surface Laptop, which would appear in the fourth quarter of 2019.