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Reports: Microsoft To Unveil Next-Gen Surface Tablets this Month

Microsoft is widely expected to unveil new Surface RT and Surface Pro devices at an event in New York on Sept. 23.

An invitation to the event indicated only that Microsoft will discuss "Surface growth and expansion, specifically pertaining to the commercial and business enterprise sector" and "Microsoft's ongoing commitment to Surface and its business customers."

Microsoft declined to elaborate further, but several press leaks about both devices appeared this week suggesting a new Surface Pro equipped with Intel's long-awaited Haswell processor is in the works. Intel said on Tuesday that those processors are coming shortly, though it didn't specify when.

A Surface Pro with a Haswell processor -- which presumably would be in the second version of the higher-end unit -- would address a key objection to the first Surface Pro. The upgraded unit will support eight hours of battery life, noted SuperSite for Windows' Paul Thurrott, rather than the meager four hours its predecessor offered, making it unsuitable for all-day use.

Also reportedly in development is a new Surface RT 2, according to Neowin.net. The upgrade will have the more-powerful Tegra 4 processor, a 1080p display and a two-step kickstand, and will potentially support up to 8 GB of RAM (the current device maxes out at 4 GB). The site earlier this year reported that a Surface Mini is also in the works. It will run on a "variant" of the Windows 8.1 RT operating system, sources have told ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

It's unclear when the new Surface devices will actually ship, but presumably Microsoft will want to make them available in the critical fourth-quarter holiday shopping season.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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