In the last few years Microsoft has released some very exciting hardware. Items like Surface Pro have been straight hits with consumers and enterprises alike. Their recent devices have becomes quite famous for being integration friendly with current workflows. The mixture of great hardware and closely integrated cloud services like Office365 have paid off. Microsoft is reaping dividends on the back of this strategy.
Recent leaks suggest Microsoft may have an ace up their sleeves. This is in form of new hardware which have surfaced (pun intended) in recent leaks.
First off, three Surface devices with names Andromeda, Libra and Carmel are in the wings. Carmel is possibly the most important of these as it is the successor to the much vaunted Surface Pro. It will feature the next generation of mobile processors from Intel, the Amber Lake and Whiskey Lake. Amber Lake has power consumption of only 4.5W whereas Whiskey Lake starts at 15W. These SKUs will be the part of Intel’s “8th generation” architecture. Based on the release date, businesses should not expect Carmel to hit the market anytime before the end of this year. However consumers and enterprises take note, release dates have a nasty habit of shifting abruptly in Silicon Valley.
Libra: Lawyer’s flexibility
Libra on the other hand is a cheap Surface table first reported by Bloomberg in May. Unlike previous few years when Microsoft has primarily focussed on the more expensive Surface Pro,Microsoft has decided to divert attention on this segment due to its strong potential in the education market. With Google’s ChromeBooks steadily making inroads in the education sector we at Aspioneer think this is Microsoft’s belated but much welcomed response. Libra is expected to become available at the end of this year.
In a galaxy far far away….
Next up is Microsoft almost mythical two screen hand held device Andromeda. We think Microsoft has another hit on their hands. Andromeda might create a completely new market segment just like the original Surface did. If this happens, this very exciting news for consumers since the documents say Microsoft will allow OEMs to manufacture compatible products. A win-win for all. Andromeda’s design suggest this device will be initially useful for students and artists, thanks to its form factor and input support.
In 2019, the next version of HoloLens, named Sydney is expected to be released. Leaked documents suggest it will be much cheaper, lighter and more comfortable than the current HoloLens. It will have better display and will be packed with a new sensor package based on Project Kinect for Azure. It will also feature Microsoft’s next generation HPU as its main processor.
Last but not the least is Microsoft’s new Xbox which due for release in 2020. Codenamed Scarlett, the documents suggest it might be a collection of Xbox devices rather than the single piece of hardware device of previous years. It is also possible that Scarlett family of devices will complement Microsoft’s upcoming game streaming service.
If all this information is indeed true, then it is time for celebration for businesses and consumers alike. This new hardware will refresh consumer portfolios in case of the Surface while Andromeda and Scarlett might open completely new segments. Going forward, we will keep a close on eye these projects.