Microsoft plans October 12 event to address its very out-of-date Surface lineup

Microsoft's event teaser image is a colorful riff on the Windows 11 desktop wallpaper bloom, with handwritten "save the date" text that evokes the Surface Pen.
Enlarge / Microsoft’s event teaser image is a colorful riff on the Windows 11 desktop wallpaper bloom, with handwritten “save the date” text that evokes the Surface Pen.


Microsoft is planning a product event for 10am EST on October 12. The announcement page doesn’t give much away—it’s a multi-colored version of the Windows 11 desktop wallpaper swirl, which could mean a lot of things. But the handwritten “save the date” text (and also rumors reported by The Verge and other outlets) suggest that it will be focused on Microsoft’s Surface hardware lineup.

The rumor mill suggests that the flagship Surface Pro and the Surface Laptop are the most likely to get updates, though truth be told, there’s not a single device in the entire lineup right now that’s using a current-generation processor. The Surface Laptop Go 2 gets a pass because it’s a budget device that was just updated a few months ago, but the Surface Pro, Surface Go 3, Surface Laptop, and Surface Laptop Studio are all using one- or two-generation-old CPUs. And the Surface Studio 2 all-in-one—not currently in stock but still listed as a current product—is so old that Microsoft had to change Windows 11’s system requirements to include it.

Rumors about specific specifications and other details have so far been pretty sketchy, but updates with 12th-generation Intel CPUs for the Surface Pro and Laptop would be a safe bet. A German-language report from WinFuture suggests that the Surface Pro 9 will get U-series 12th-generation chips as well as a separate Arm-based version with a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 SoC. That report also claims that there will be no follow-up to the AMD Ryzen version of the Surface Laptop 4, though I sincerely hope that isn’t true—we’ve been much more impressed by the performance and battery life of the Ryzen 6000 laptops we’ve tested this year than we have been with the 12th-generation Intel products.

The Surface event is part of a larger push that Microsoft is making around Windows 11’s 2022 Update (aka 22H2), which it released to the public yesterday after months of testing. A smaller package of follow-up updates, including tabs for File explorer and an updated Photos app, will be released to PCs running the 2022 Update starting in October, and Microsoft could use the Surface event to announce the availability of that update.

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