Ask Windows Central: What Surface devices could we see show up this fall?

Windows 11 Storenew Dark Surfacebook
Windows 11 Storenew Dark Surfacebook (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Welcome to the sixth episode of Ask Windows Central, a show where we answer our communities most asked questions around Microsoft, Windows, Surface, Xbox, and the general tech industry. In today's episode, we answer questions about the Intel App Bridge, this fall's possible Surface lineup, Windows 11 compatibility, and more.

This week's episode features the following questions:

  • What will happen in October 2021 to the Windows Insiders who are currently running the Windows 11 beta and do not meet the minimum system requirements?
  • Will Intel Bridge technology be available for Windows 10, or will it be for Windows 11 only?
  • Is Microsoft planning to update the Microsoft Launcher with visuals that are closer to Windows 11, or are they likely to keep it looking more similar to a typical Android Launcher?
  • What Surface devices are we expecting for the fall?

If you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show, be sure to submit them in the comments below, or email with "Ask Windows Central" in the subject line! You can also join the Windows Central Discord and ask questions in the dedicated #ask-wc channel.

If you're on Twitter, you can tweet your question with the #AskWindowsCentral tag included, and make sure you tag either @daniel_rubino or @zacbowden so we can see it.

If you have any feedback about the show format, please let us know. We're building this show around you, so if there's something you don't like or think we should change, we're all ears. We hope you enjoy the episode, and look forward to getting back to your questions in the next one.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Surface Duo 2, that's the only reason I'm here.
  • 100% agree. New laptops are cool and all, but the Duo is the thing that's building hype
  • If Microsoft would go with an AMD-powered Surface Pro (or Book), I would be after that as well. Since everything but the Laptop (which uses year-old AMD hardware and is generally a form factor I want no part of) sticks solely to Intel, I'm with you on only caring about the Duo. Microsoft's internals and port selection definitely could stand to get with the times, but the Duo is the most exciting/interesting device they have regardless.
  • Thanks Daniel and Zac, much appreciate your insight into all things MS!
  • No surface watch or band?
  • Anything is possible, but we have not heard from our sources, nor seen anything to lend credibility to the idea. Of course, Microsoft is good at holding secrets. Most, if not all, of the Microsoft Health stuff, has been dismantled.
  • Can we safely assume that Neo is a never?
    I guess it could run Win11, but it appears they tossed Win 10X and the Neo in one sweep.
  • I don't believe it's gone. For one, Intel was/is behind the push for dual/folding displays for PC, and Panos is really keen on the design. Plus, the company spent a LOT of money developing it.
  • Thanks for answering.
    It's the perfect device for me (based on what we know) so this is great info.
  • I mean, I standby that editorial. But, unfortunately, it doesn't seem at this time Microsoft is going to answer the call.
  • Surface Watch hmm. Let's get Surface Duo right first before using Android more.
  • Can you ask Microsoft to make a movies app so that I can watch my movies on my Surface Duo, thanks... Also feature parity for MS launcher on Duo with the app available for other phones would be good too... And finally could we have the option for To Do tasks with due dates to automatically get added to Outlook calendar in a similar way to that which happens on the Samsung Calendar app... :-)
  • VLC Media Player
  • Movies Anywhere linked to your Movies and TV account works.
  • Not in the UK and not all movies in the Microsoft store are supported by movies anywhere even if this did become available outside of the US... :-(
  • Your best bet is moving to a different streaming service. Getting that from Microsoft is/was a really bad idea.
  • Nonsense: Movies & TV is part of Movies Anywhere guaranteeing that will never be a problem, even if MS leaves the market.
  • See above response from Grungi, re: UK.
  • I'd like to see a Surface Book 4 but modernised into a traditional 2-in-1 laptop. Would be less whizzy but the current design has gone as far as it can go. Me? I'm happy with my Surface Pro X. Waiting on 64-Bit apps and faster x86 support.
  • I'm honestly curious. What do you get out of the Surface Pro X you wouldn't get out of a Surface Pro 7. Anything you think you miss?
  • Microsoft Launcher neds updating. I used it on my Galaxy but it's looking stale. And crucially I don't use it for the Microsoft stuff, they remove Timeline is a shame.
  • Surface Neo with Windows 11X would be sweet, but Windows 11X isn't a thing so won't be seeing that. Hopefully it won't see the light of day with Windows 11. Would be terrible.
  • Surface Phone then?
  • OMG Surface Phone would be epic! 😏
  • As bad as those who still bang on about Google not supporting Android tablets enough, despite clearly not wanting to. Yawn.
  • Already exists, it's called Surface Duo.
  • Missed the joke
  • I am convinced that the Surface Neo will be presented, for two reasons: 1) Windows 11 is basically a Windows 10 X complete with the entire legacy component; 2) in addition, Microsoft's next operating system has been designed even more, compared to Windows 10, to be used with touch. So, delivering, the Neo would not have the limitations of Windows 10 X and would benefit from the same interface. What do you think about Windows Central?
  • Would be awful with all that legacy stuff though. WIMP apps will work even less well on Foldables than they do on Windows tablets. WIMP = Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers. How most Win32 apps are still designed.
  • I don't think it will happen, nor should it. The fall event is likely to be a Windows 11 launch point and quite packed with new devices. IMO, the Neo would get somewhat forgotten amongst all of the other, established offerings. Their initial event, where it wasn't as busy and they focused a lot on the Neo and Duo at the end, made more sense. I'm not sure if they would do a second fall event to give that a proper setup, nor do we know if the Neo is in a state to be ready for then just yet (as far as W11 software on a dual-screen device). Maybe a Spring event that focuses on the Neo and some of the other, less-important devices (Go/Laptop Go, maybe Laptop, and possibly even a 1H22 W11 update for Neo features) would be much better for another shot at launching a Neo.
  • Nah. I have Win 11 on a 10.5" Dell tablet/convertible. No better than Win 10 for touch use. Worse actually with the lack of tablet mode. The UI isn't especially touch friendly, beyond a gesture or two, and the apps are the same apps...with rounded corners. I do like Win 11. I have it on a Surface pro 7 and a 15" Dell laptop. It's clean looking and easy to navigate, but it is no gift to tablet/touch usability. Win 8 wasn't bad, but MS shouldn't have shoved it down everyone's throat. If Win 8 was tablet mode on Win 10, they might have had something.
  • I know Duo is hot topic here... But it is Neo I put lots of expectation on. I know, I know.. Windows 10X was axed, and so was Neo, probably. But who knows, Microsoft may have surprise with Neo still.
  • Hoping for it too. Since Daniel indicated it might not be completely after all it would be a great device to show off Win11.
    Not sure where it might go, though after Intel azed the Lakefield series.
    If it comes out, though, I'll almost certainly buy.
  • When has Microsoft showed up with a GOOD surprise though? With Neo and Duo, they showed up with "we'll see you in a year," only for the Duo to be a major disappointment and the Neo to be pushed into a closet, along with W10X. HoloLens was clunky and really an enterprise-only beta device of sorts. With their game studio acquisitions, it's been a bunch of companies and no realized content after 3 years. For the suggestion by Dan that Microsoft has surprised us before, I don't think they've ever done it WELL, in terms of getting people something exciting and ready at that announcement time.
  • Let's provide some facts - Windows is running on 90+ % of all computers since 1987.
    - Next generation Duo is due in 2 months like any other Surface device MS will go for the long run
    - MS Office is the de-facto global gold standard for office software since 1990
    - Hololens2 is used throughout the (process) industry as the technical standard.
    - Surface (pro) has created an entire new standard in the industry even Apple had to start shipping --keyboards and pens with their iPads to catch-up
    - At this pace Azure and cloud services will become number 1 in 4 years from now
    - 2.26 trillion dollar Market cap (August 26th 2021) they must be doing something........ well right?
  • I really am hoping for somekind of version of Surface Neo. I think it will be a surprise at the event. At least I am hoping.
  • Just setting yourself up for disappointment.
  • The "we haven't seen a fanless AMD solution" point doesn't mean much, IMO. There isn't a large number of fanless devices on the market in the first place, and OEMs have been slow to adopt AMD into their higher-end stuff. That issue seems more to be one of opportunity than a technical hurdle for AMD. The i3 and i5 chips in the SP7 are in the 15W family. AMD's had chips in that thermal target for a while, with even the 8C/16T 5800U able to target that same 12W minimum that the Comet Lake i3 and i5s in the Surface Pro can hit (IDK The target TDP in those devices, but Intel rates their minimum TDP As 12W). I don't think getting an AMD chip to do that job is an issue, rather a matter of commitment. I agree that a 360-degree hinge DOES leave Microsoft to prove a point against existing, competing devices with that form factor. MS was willing to do that with the Surface Laptop, but would they reposition the Book in that manner as well? That said, is the Studio-like hinge solution at all better/helpful? It's unique, but so is the Book, and Microsoft hasn't seemed to want to keep that form factor around. "Different to be different" doesn't mean much when driver issues are constant and the market doesn't take to the device. Personally, my ideal CONCEPT for that class of product is a 360-degree hinge with the detachable tablet. I like the idea of ditching the base for portability. I don't think the recent patent shows anything that would improve the weight situation/concern with a 360-degree device. With the hollow upper portion comes the complex hinge, which I think would negate any theoretical benefits in weight. It doesn't seem like MS is satisfied with the sales or stability of the existing Book form factor though, so change is likely justified and going to happen.
  • I agree. The uniqueness of the Surface Book comes from the detachable 'screen'. Makes it almost mobile. Once you fix the two halves together, whether as a structural engineering project or a 2-1, you just have yet another heavy device that can be used as a tablet as long as you have a way to support its weight. I think they could just as easily 2-1ify a Surface Laptop if that's where they want to go.
  • With the recent announcement that a) Android Office will no longer work on ChromeOS, and b) Win 11 will be using the Amazon app store, what do you suppose are the chances DUO 2 will come with the Amazon store instead of Play Store? ;)