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If accurate, Microsoft is planning an ambitious upgrade for its colorful hardware

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer boasted about how his company was going to set a "new standard" for first-party hardware.  That certainly appears to be the case if its rumored Surface tablet hardware upgrade proves true.

According regular Microsoft leaker MS_Nerd, whose Twitter post was picked up by NeoWin, Microsoft is planning to upgrade the Surface family as follows:

Surface RT 2:
+ 8.6-inch display
+ Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) SoC/chipset (likely Snapdragon 5)

Surface Pro
+11.6-inch display
+ Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMDTemash chip (reportedly a 28 nm successor to Hondo)

Surface Book
+14.6-inch display
+Intel Corp. (INTC) 22 nm Haswell chip

Surface RT (gen. 1)

Both Haswell and Temash are slated to launch around mid-2013.  Given that and the fact that the Surface Pro (first-generation) still hasn't launched, it sounds like Microsoft is not planning to roll out this upgrade for at least another year.  However, if it does embrace this ambitious upgrade, it could definitely live up to its lofty self-set goals hardware wise.

Sources: MS Nerd on Twitter, NeoWin

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Surface Pro V2
By Kyuu on 11/30/2012 3:49:24 PM , Rating: 3
Specs for the Surface Pro v2 sound great, assuming that screen is 1600x900 or better.

Not sure about downgrading the screen size on the Surface RT though. I guess that's in response to the success of the 7" tablets.

RE: Surface Pro V2
By spread on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: Surface Pro V2
By Varun on 11/30/2012 4:45:49 PM , Rating: 5
Well the current Pro is 1920x1080. Why would they go lower res on a bigger screen?

RE: Surface Pro V2
By Kyuu on 11/30/2012 6:36:27 PM , Rating: 2
To reach a lower price point. It's obvious they're not making the Surface RT and Surface Pro v2's with the same philosophies as the two current ones. The RT v2 is getting a smaller screen (which means they can't do the Touch cover thing unless they make a really cramped keyboard), and the Surface Pro v2 is getting an ultra low-voltage tablet SoC (as opposed to higher-wattage ultrabook-targeted chip like the ULV i5 in the soon-to-be-released one). The Surfacebook looks to targed to those attracted to the current Surface Pro's specs.

I'm not saying I think they *will* lower the res for the Surface Pro v2. But with the change in philosophies and addition of a third form-factor, it's not necessarily a given that the resolution won't be downgraded.

RE: Surface Pro V2
By ElConquistador on 12/1/2012 1:41:22 PM , Rating: 1
You're probably right. But the Surface RT v2 (if it ships without the option for a keyboard) would have to be cheaper than the iPad mini to have any chance of success

RE: Surface Pro V2
By laviathan05 on 12/1/2012 8:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm curious about the form-factor of the Surfacebook. Wonder if it will be a larger surface tablet with a more substantial keyboard/dock or if it will be more like a Yoga.

RE: Surface Pro V2
By safcman84 on 12/3/2012 6:05:49 AM , Rating: 4
I suspect this leak is missing some details.

I would be willing to bet on 2 versions of the Surface RT

Upgraded version of the current one, and a Surface RT "mini".

I doubt they would drop the current form factor of surface because the keyboard is one of the "killer" features.

I also suspect the V2 of Surface RT will also support the digital pen of the Pro version. so the mini will have a pen even if it doesnt support the keyboard.

good stuff
By Nortel on 11/30/2012 3:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
If the Surface Book is touch screen, it will be a cool device. I've been thinking that a larger mobile tablet would be nice if they can keep the weight down.

It is a little unnerving for a Surface Pro v2 to be getting buzz when the v1 hasn't even been released. What's going through the minds of potential Surface Pro buyers right now...

RE: good stuff
By othercents on 11/30/2012 3:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
What's going through the minds of potential Surface Pro buyers right now...

AMD or i5?
Now or Later?
Battery Life?

While during the NVidia and 3dfx video wars NVidia started doing the 6 month release cycle. Microsoft could be working on doing this update cycle to get the latest hardware to market quickly. However I would suspect they are actually look at 1 year turn around.

This v2 leak is not going to stop people from getting the v1 since most people I know are already wishing it was released sooner.

RE: good stuff
By Roffles on 12/6/2012 1:04:13 PM , Rating: 2
"What's going through the minds of potential Surface Pro buyers right now..."

That I should wait for reviews of the generation 1 Surface Pro and then decide if I should hold out based on a muddled internet rumor.

By MadMan007 on 11/30/2012 8:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
If Temash can keep the same performance as dual core Brazos it will make a nice low-power x86 tablet chip.

RE: Temash
By Alexvrb on 12/2/2012 3:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
It will actually significantly improve performance over Hondo, so yes it might bring it up to the performance level of higher-clocked Brazos chips. For example, a 1.1Ghz Temash matching the speed of a 1.4/1.5Ghz Brazos. It's being built on the 28nm node, while Brazos/Hondo is 40nm. They're improving on their older designs in just about every aspect. For starters, Jaguar will have slightly higher clocks than Bobcat, and higher IPC. It has 4 times the L2 cache, a bunch of new instructions, better power gating, an integrated FCH (better overall power), and improved FPU.

More than likely it will also be updated to VLIW4 graphics. GCN won't come to the low power chips (like Temash and Kabini) yet. The first APUs with GCN will be the higher-performance Trinity replacement Kaveri. But in the generation after that GCN designs should trickle down in a more power-optimized form. However, the shift to VLIW4 will have the same kind of impact on graphics as we saw in the higher-power APUs going from Llano to Trinity.

So if they can meet power targets on their 2-core Temash tablet chip, it will be a vast improvement over the current Hondo-based Z-series chips. In fact, on the graphics side it may actually beat even the fastest Brazos 2.0 chips, despite the GPU clock increases Brazos 2.0 saw (in particular turbo clocks). Let alone slower clocked Hondo graphics.

For larger devices like an Ultrathin, I'd be very curious to see what a low-priced quad-core Kabini can do in comparison to current 17W/25W Trinity models. Not all Kabini chips will be 4 cores, of course. Some will be 2 core like their lower-power tablet Temash brethren.

By chmilz on 11/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: Doh
By Kyuu on 11/30/2012 6:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well this was a "leak", so they didn't really tell us. Granted, it is a bit of a fail to let the specs leak this soon, assuming this is legit.

By ET on 12/2/2012 6:32:37 AM , Rating: 2
8.6" is a good size, and hopefully it will also mean a cheaper tablet. The AMD move might mean that as well. At least I hope so. I think it will mean more Touch devices sold.

... and
By Argon18 on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By Valrandir on 11/30/2012 2:58:59 PM , Rating: 1
And another paid Internet shill, on a mission to bash Microsoft Surface all over.

Go away.

RE: ... and
By Argon18 on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By Akrovah on 11/30/2012 4:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
You need to check your information. First, it is not called Windows Mobile anymore. That product line ended with 6. Windows PHONE 7 has more in common with Zune, hence it not being compatible with apps designed for Windows Mobile. Not to mention the vastly different input paradigms between stylus and finger touch screens. One has much smalleR hit targets than the other.

Also, Windows Phone 7 apps (mostly) work just fine in Windows Phone 8. Unfortunately Windows Phone 8 itself seems to be having issues.

RE: ... and
By Argon18 on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By kleinma on 11/30/2012 6:08:02 PM , Rating: 5
So you used Windows Mobile for a decade despite your claims of it sucking so horribly bad and there being other options?? Interesting.

Windows Phone 8 is based off of the Windows desktop kernel. WinMo was based off of WinCE. They are not the same thing, not even close, not even comparable.

I also like your points about how no one wants the product because everyone who wants that type of product already has one. Every gamer had a nintendo or a playstation hooked up to their PC when this thing called the xbox came out. How did that go for Microsoft?

If you don't like a given product fine, but I am sure you never have used surface, and certainly you have never used x86 surface, so your points can't be taken seriously anyway. You aren't a shill, you are just a biased idiot.

RE: ... and
By kleinma on 11/30/2012 6:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
*PC = TV

RE: ... and
By geekman1024 on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By inighthawki on 11/30/2012 9:58:04 PM , Rating: 2
That was a typo, he meant replace "PC" in his original post with "TV."


RE: ... and
By geekman1024 on 12/1/12, Rating: 0
RE: ... and
By inighthawki on 12/1/2012 2:15:56 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I wasn't really trying to insult you, it was more of a joking manner, but I guess that's hard to infer from text (and also not that hard to read a comment on the internet through the mouth of some troll whose sole purpose is to make everyone rage for a quick laugh :) ). Apologies for that.

RE: ... and
By melgross on 11/30/2012 10:06:39 PM , Rating: 2
A fair number of people used Win Mobile for a long time despite not liking it. Those were different days remember.

RE: ... and
By Argon18 on 12/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By elderwilson on 11/30/2012 2:58:56 PM , Rating: 2
It’s going to be fun to watch all the skeptics go silent as windows tablets take off.

RE: ... and
By Argon18 on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By Roffles on 12/6/2012 3:16:22 PM , Rating: 2
Unless Microsoft missed something big and it gets poor reviews, the Surface Pro will be mine. I get pretty excited just thinking about having a portable, powerful touchscreen all-purpose operating system to carry around with me.

RE: ... and
By Florinator on 11/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: ... and
By jnemesh on 11/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: ... and
By othercents on 11/30/2012 3:12:03 PM , Rating: 3
Android activates that many tablets in a week! (and Apple probably sells that many in 2 days!)

What??? Please provide the links to the sales reports.

Anyways people seam to forget that many potential Surface RT users are waiting for the Surface Pro. To them the extra money is well worth the performance increase. However those people who are activating Android devices are mostly purchasing the 7" devices since they are relatively cheap compared to the 10" ones.

This very well could be Microsoft coming too late to the party and those who have tablets are not looking for upgrades. If they continue to keep up their release cycle and their app store starts to fill up then they could be a viable solution for upgraders. The App Store is going to be very important especially for Tablet users.


RE: ... and
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: ... and
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/30/12, Rating: 0
RE: ... and
By hf2046 on 11/30/2012 3:43:54 PM , Rating: 3
From Engadget (

Q3 iPad sales - 17 million (roughly 1.3 million per week).

From IGN (

"In only two and a half years, Apple has sold over 100 million iPads."

From GigaOm (

"Schmidt said nearly 1.3 million Android devices were activated daily, and of those, 70,000 were tablets."

So that's about 490,000 Android tablets per week.

Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do.

RE: ... and
By Argon18 on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By inighthawki on 11/30/2012 3:44:36 PM , Rating: 1
and Apple probably sells that many in 2 days!

Lol, if they sold at that rate (730 million a year) I would not only be incredibly impressed with production rate, but I probably wouldn't be able to turn around without seeing one. (hint: not even remotely true)

RE: ... and
By XZerg on 11/30/2012 4:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
just saying....
your math is wrong, even on his exaggerated numbers (2M/2days), not 2M/1day

RE: ... and
By inighthawki on 11/30/2012 5:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
Whoops! You're right, my mistake, I misread that. My point still stands, though: 365 million in one year is a whole lot :)

RE: ... and
By flubaluba on 12/2/2012 3:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well Microsoft sold 375 million copies of windows8 in 48 hours and all of that money is full profit. So if they are doing that well and the xbox is still selling millions a year I think Microsoft is way way ahead of apple in profits this year, as I have said previously Microsoft is testing the waters with the surface, depending on the sales figures they will do either a massive release of the pro or release a small amount then go for the tablet killer in there next device, remember they have time on there side only having entered the game and from what they did with the xbox turnaround I suspect they know exactly what they are doing now. And if you think apple sells even near a million of anything in a month you do not know anything about the marketplace.

RE: ... and
By JCheng on 12/2/2012 8:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
Your windows 8 sales are off by two orders of magnitude:

And Apple sells millions of lots of stuff:

RE: ... and
By Florinator on 11/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: ... and
By ClownPuncher on 11/30/2012 3:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
Replying to a -1 post automatically deducts 1 point.

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