Microsoft Surface
Corporate VP for Surface products Panos Panay says that Microsoft is not planning on releasing the Surface Pro 5 anytime soon. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Although there’s been numerous speculations regarding the Surface Pro 5, Microsoft’s devices chief Panos Panay has said that “there’s no such thing.” Panay noted that Microsoft will only launch a Surface Pro 5 when it is able to deliver a “meaningful change.”

“When it’s meaningful and the change is right, we’ll put it on market,” Panay told CNET last week when asked about the Surface Pro 5. “Meaningful change isn't necessarily a hardware change, which is what a lot of people look for. 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.”

Panay said that “meaningful change” includes improving battery life or reducing the device’s weight significantly. Upgraded processing power isn’t enough. “You’ll see that same meaningful impact when Pro 5, or Pro next hits the market,” Panay said. This is also the part of the interview where he is quoted in saying that, “there’s no such thing as a Pro 5.”

The Surface Pro 4 has been on the market since October 2015. It has received much praise from critics and customers alike. Since it has been on the market for around 18 months, many are now wondering if a successor is arriving anytime soon. Most tech companies have committed to a 12-month product cycle, but Microsoft is now straying away from that.

Instead of a Surface Pro 5, Microsoft unveiled last week the Surface Laptop, a lightweight and traditional laptop running Windows 10 S. Panay said that instead of jumping to creating a successor to the Surface Pro 4, they used their knowledge in making a hybrid devices to build a better laptop with the new Surface Laptop.

Panay also expressed confidence in the Surface Pro 4 saying that it will continue to be a competitive product moving forward. “If people don’t want to buy our Pro 4 at this time, That’s OK,” Panay said. “What I’m super, super sure is that the people using a Pro 4 have a product that’s going to be competitive for five years.”

Although the Microsoft Surface chief has already said that the Surface Pro 5 isn’t arriving anytime soon, there have been reports suggesting otherwise. One of the most talked about rumors that circulated last month was that the Surface Pro 5 will have a Kaby Lake processor, according to tehc journalist Paul Thurrott. At the time, he also said that there’s “nothing dramatic” with the Surface Pro 5 suggesting that it was merely a refresh of the Pro 4.

Microsoft will be holding a special event in Shanghai on May 23. The company has already confirmed that it will announce a new hardware at the event. Panay confirmed via Twitter that he will be at the event. His tweet curiously also included the hashtag #surface.

Seeing that Microsoft usually launches major products in New York, it’s possible that the company will unveil a refresh of an already existing Surface product at its upcoming May 23 event in Shanghai, as speculated by The Verge. Previous rumors of the Surface Pro 5 might simply have been inaccurate, and may possibly be hinting at a simple refresh/upgrade for the Surface Pro 4. Another possibility is that Microsoft might unveil new products, possibly accessories, for the Surface line.