Microsoft’s Surface sits at a slightly awkward crossroads. Not quite a tablet, not quite a laptop. However, the company sees potential for the 2-in-1 form factor and is apparently developing a new Surface Pro 4 for an October launch.
A report from DigiTimes says that despite waning enthusiasm from consumers for tablets, the 2-in-1 holds promise for the enterprise sector. Microsoft’s development of a new Surface Pro is part of a strategy to capture this market.
The report states that the new tablet will keep the same form factor as the Surface Pro 3, while adding in a new Intel Skylake processor and the now-finalized Windows 10. The company kept the same form factor for the Surface Pro 2 and original Surface Pro, so this is not without precedent. Microsoft has also placed a large order for Samsung 256GB solid state drives.
In the first quarter, Microsoft’s tablet shipments were around 250,000 per month, rising to 300,000 at the end of the quarter with the release of the Surface 3. With Microsoft’s aim to capture more consumers with the Surface Pro 4, the DigiTimes source says the company could reach 600,000 units shipped per month.
Mass shipment of components is slated to begin in September. The launch could be crucial for Microsoft, as the report states that the company has been “aggressively developing” new tablets. With the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft will have a software platform that switches seamlessly between tablet and laptop modes, ideal for a form factor like the Surface Pro. The new 2-in-1, with Windows 10 installed, will be a key test of the software’s capabilities.