Microsoft's all-in-one Surface PCs could debut next month

Surface phones are also reported to be in the works but coming much later

Microsoft's all-in-one Surface PCs could debut next month
REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel

A few months back I reported on rumors of new Surface-branded all-in-one PCs from Microsoft that could target both other all-in-ones as well as Apple's languishing iMac line. Now new information says they are coming soon.

Citing her usual deep bench of sources, Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet says there will be a hardware launch event in late October, one year after a New York City event at which Microsoft unveiled the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Lumia 950 and 950 XL.

 Among the new gear being announced is the all-in-ones, developed under the codename "Cardinal." Instead of generic PCs, the Cardinal design is reported to be more along the lines of a consumer-focused version of Microsoft's Surface Hub, its 55" and 84" touchscreen PC designed for workplace collaboration.

 Foley's sources tell her that Cardinal "can turn your desk into 'a studio'." What kind of studio is not elaborated upon, so I'm not sure what to make of that claim.

 The Surface Hub is meant to be mounted on a wall or laid flat on a table, given its large size. It has no keyboard and mouse since everything is touch-driven. AIOs are, by design, PCs with a keyboard and mouse. So the big question is how is this intended to be used?

 Foley did confirm the screen sizes – 21", 24" and 27" – but not the reported resolutions. Rumor put the 21-inch device at full HD (1920x1080) resolution and the 24- and 27-inch models with 4K (3860x2140) resolution.

 In addition to the Cardinal news, Foley said there would be refreshes of existing Surface devices, like faster processors and a few other bells and whistles. The current rumor is that Surface Book 2 and Surface Pro 5 will be introduced in spring 2017 when the Windows 10 Redstone 2 is expected to be released.

 Foley reported in July that the Surface phone may not arrive until later in 2017, and she didn't change her schedule on that.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10