Reports: Major Microsoft Hardware Launches Coming October

Multiple media reports this week suggest Microsoft is planning a major hardware launch event in October that will include the debut of the Surface Pro 4.

On Thursday, Chinese site WPDang reported (in an article that now appears to have been pulled) that the new Surface Pro 4 device will be joined by two new Lumia phones and a Microsoft Band 2. A subsequent report by The Verge added that Microsoft is, indeed, planning a launch event.

Though the reports cite unnamed sources, it makes sense for Microsoft to launch its next wave of systems at the same time that Intel's next-generation Core 6 architecture is expected to become ready. October is also the general timeframe when all major hardware players roll out their lineups for the critical fourth-quarter holiday buying season.

According to the reports, the Surface Pro 4 will be similar to its predecessor, supporting the same peripherals and docking station. However, it's believed it will have Intel's new RealSense camera and will support Windows 10's new Windows Hello biometric security capability.

It is unclear whether the Surface Pro 4 will include the new Intel Core 6 processor, code-named "Skylake." Intel is set to release the chipset in two weeks, according to several reports, including this Zacks research note. Skylake, like all new CPUs, is faster and more power-efficient but will "drive multiple 4K displays, feature novel instructions to accelerate security operations, and hardened memory defenses [and] has enhanced Iris Pro integrated graphics which can drive up to three 4K monitors at 60Hz," according to Zacks.

This breakdown of Skylake was published on Wednesday by Softpedia.

At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) this week in San Francisco, Intel announced a broadening of the RealSense camera sensor interface technology for Windows, Android and Mac OS X. Intel also released its RealSense SDK for Windows, which includes a tool for developers to access the sensor-based capabilities of its Unity platform.

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.