Microsoft today begun sending out invitations for an event it plans to host in New York, clearly related to its line of Surface tablets in some capacity. According to PC World's Mike Hachman, this event is "almost certainly a next-generation Surface launch, most likely what is being called the Surface 2." Mark September 23 down on your calendar, folks - something big is on the way.
It is somewhat curious that Microsoft is hosting the event in New York, rather than Richmond or Silicon Valley as would be the norm for something like this - perhaps the organization hopes to garner more attention from the business community; attention which it might otherwise not receive closer to home. Manhattan is, after all, a critical center for western enterprise consumers, in addition to being one of the most thriving, connected metropolises in North America.
Speculation aside, PC World reports that Microsoft won't be unveiling a small-form-factor Surface Tablet on the 23, and that likely as not, the Surface 2 will be part of Microsoft's Surface Pro line. Given the specs we've available to us so far, that makes a fair bit of sense: assuming this is indeed what Microsoft intends to showcase, it'll feature an Intel "Haswell" core i5 processor and 8 GB of RAM; a significant upgrade over current models. Oh, and it'll have a kickstand with two positions instead of one. Progress, right?
Additional rumors reported by PC world include the addition of a Power Cover - a keyboard cover that includes an integrated battery - in addition to a separate Surface docking station slated for release.
Microsoft hasn't been having much luck with either the Surface Pro or Surface RT, neither of which has been selling particularly well; gaining Microsoft only $863 million in revenue during the previous fiscal year. Since release, Microsoft has cut the price of the Pro by $100 and the RT by $150, respectively; it has also reduced the cost of its standalone Touch Cover accessories by $40. It remains to be seen whether the price cuts on the Surface tablets will have any lasting impact on their sales or success, nor is it entirely certain whether or not the Surface 2 will enjoy better sales.