Surface and Windows 10: What to expect in the first half of 2021

Surface Laptop 3
Surface Laptop 3 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • A refreshed Surface Pro and Surface Laptop are on the way.
  • Surface Duo is expected to launch in more markets soon.
  • Windows 10 21H1 and Windows 10X will launch in the spring.

Microsoft is planning to ship new Surface hardware in the first half of 2021 in the form of an updated Surface Pro and Surface Laptop with new processors and more RAM options. According to my sources, these new devices will feature the same external designs as their previous generation counterparts, with no major design changes expected.

The new Surface Pro '8' is expected to launch in January and feature Intel's new 11th Gen processors, up to 32GB RAM, and more powerful Iris Xe integrated graphics for a significant boost in GPU performance. I'm also told that Microsoft will offer the new Surface Pro with LTE in addition to Wi-Fi only models.

The new Surface Laptop '4' will launch a few months later and feature Intel 11th Gen processors and up to 32GB RAM just like the Surface Pro, as well as newer AMD Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 "Surface Edition" chips in the 15-inch model. I'm told that Microsoft will also offer AMD chips in the 13.5-inch Surface Laptop for the first time as well.

Microsoft is also planning to launch the Surface Duo in a handful of more markets in February. I'm told the list of additional markets is small, so don't expect a global rollout of the product. Microsoft is taking a measured and phased approach to Surface Duo availability, as it understandably doesn't want to risk making too many and selling too few.

Windows 10X Mock Laptop Dark

Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

So that's all the hardware that I'm hearing will make an appearance in the first half of 2021. I'm not expecting to see a new Surface Studio, even though that product line is well overdue a refresh at this point. I've also not heard any whispers about a dedicated Windows 10X device from Microsoft, even though Windows 10X is expected to launch in the spring.

I have a few theories, but I think the reason for this is because the Windows 10X launch in the spring is going to be a low-key event. Without Win32 support, the platform has significantly less appeal to mainstream markets, so a dedicated Surface PC with Windows 10X installed in the spring doesn't make much sense.

Microsoft would likely rather wait until Win32 support is ready, which I'm told will happen in the 2022 timeframe. The version of Windows 10X launching in the spring will be aimed at commercial customers in the enterprise and education sectors, and feature primarily on sub-$600 laptop PCs. It's not going to be something that's actively marketed to mainstream users at first.

I'm told Microsoft is hoping to sign-off on a final build of Windows 10X in the next few days and will begin servicing the OS with bug fixes and security updates on the leadup to launch. OEMs will soon receive the final bits to begin preloading onto hardware in time for the spring.

Windows 10 Start menu 20h2

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Microsoft is also planning a minor 21H1 release of Windows 10 desktop for launch in the spring that will include small changes and under the hood improvements. This won't be a full-blown feature update like past spring releases have been, as Microsoft is preparing a major OS update in the fall 2021 season codenamed Sun Valley instead.

Windows Insiders should begin seeing some of the significant Sun Valley specific features and changes in preview builds in early 2021, with the "cobalt" release, known as 21H2, wrapping up development in June. This means that before the second half of next year begins, we should have a good idea of what these big Sun Valley updates are going to look like.

In the meantime, what are you looking forward to from Microsoft in 2021? Let us know in the comments.

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.

  • So is 21H1 going to be a new build or another cumulative-update style release on top of 2004/20H2?
  • As it says in the article, it isn't a full blown feature update. So yes, it'll be a cumulative-update style release.
  • That's interesting, so 2004 will have been the backbone of three releases over 1.5 years.
  • It makes me feel a little bit better that it will be a quiet release for W10x, cause it will need a couple of years to become usable for sure, seeing how Microsoft is unable to implement decent touch support in their own browser for 1.5 years now. If you argue that Edge is not Windows, then try uninstalling Edge... It is an integral part of the OS and the fact that it uses different user interface and mechanics for, say, touch text selection than the OS it is a part of, says volumes about developers inability to produce consistent software as well as total lack of attention to detail.
  • Right,the user interact is so messy. In uwp apps, single tap is to select one word, double tap is to select one sentence. However, in edge based on chromium, users can only to select text by long press and drag the cursor
  • And even that tap-n-hold doesn't work consistently, the blue drops and copy context menu tend to disappear the second you let go, especially on the pages with dynamic content or videos.
  • Their own browser Edge has great touch support. It's the same touch support Google rely on in ChromeOS tablets.
  • It tends be buggy for me. Like if I try to touch select to often after each other it slows down or even once I made it crashing. Besides that I fine it adequate, uwp touch support does feel smoother to me though.
  • At the same time, I'd say the "low-key" route is what makes things so subject to poor opportunities to succeed. Microsoft went low-key with Windows 10 Mobile and it gained no traction. WMR has failed to make strides and got very little fanfare. They heavily downplayed Kinect after they overplayed their hand with it in the begging, letting it fade into obscurity before killing it off formally. They were super-low-key with their Band products and they predictably failed without basically any marketing movement. On top of that, hearing them push back Win32 support repeatedly, now to 2022, reminds me of Windows phones as well. Remember how Astoria went? We were promised Android emulation, then it was delayed, then it was just never going to happen. Win32 support is a pretty big thing to bring to the platform to make it viable. The delay on the Neo was already one bad sign for W10X. Now, they're basically turning it into a super-niche product and having it run on hopes and dreams for future improvements. If you're someone who lived through those failed projects and empty promises, you might understandably be unwilling to roll the dice on W10X when it's missing critical functionality.
  • I didn't think about it. You are right. This leaves Microsoft in a very interesting predicament - they are doomed it they do have a big launch on a wildly incomplete W10x, they are doomed if they don't... I guess we will see what happens. And I truly want them to succeed. I just don't have any trust left in that they will. After all, you provided a short list of the graves dug out by Microsoft. I looks like they have a new shovel in hand for W10x - hopefully they will use it to dig a trench for a foundation and not another grave.
  • Sadly, Microsoft is quite the king of inconsistently. Touch is being improved for new Chromium Edge, but still needs more work and considering its based of from Chromium where touch support were much of only a recent thing and also not really following the standard touch system of Windows 10, things can get messy. But I understand that the underlying hood may not be as optimized for touch, but they can still work on it. The problem is the blatant not supporting all the touch and gestures from the get go for new features. For example, the new History flyout is great, but once you use touch, that Pivot navigation don't actually use slide gestures at all. You still have to tap the words on the pivot to navigate. Why is that? Did they just forgot that Microsoft themselves implemented and almost perfected pivot navigation since Windows Phone 7, which was the core UX of it.
  • Windows RT 2.0... What makes MS think they will have the right formula this time?
  • They made it with rounded corners, duh! it will fix everything /s
  • new fluent design Icons !!!
  • Different market, different target audience (at least in the beginning). Also, Windows RT was eight years ago, many more applications can be used purely from the web nowadays.
  • Ah, the famous PWA will close the app-gap mantra... Ugh.
  • Oh no, I'm just saying that it's not quite the same as Windows RT. I wouldn't dare make any prediction that 10X is going to succeed in any way.
  • Different times, now we have Chrome Books and especially more capable iPads that are no longer simple social/media consumption devices.
  • Is this an argument in favor or against Windows 10X?
  • According to MS they want to fill that void using through the cloud (cloudpc). Make sense actually, considering they are already one of the key players there with Azure. I suspect initially 10X will be more for companies or other organizations that already use Azure.
  • so what's the point of Windows 10X again?i thought WOA was the future,even with surface duo didn't risk releasing it with Windows 10X .
  • Surface Duo was never meant to be released with Windows OS of any kind. It's just an Android double screen device. If it was on Windows, there was no reason to release it at all, as it would have been DoA. W10x is not going to be any good for at least two more years, and by that time whatever they planned now will be outdated and useless. Microsoft is doomed to keep playing catch up to lightweight modern OS's forever, because they fumbled their mobile OS efforts by gross mismanagement and lack of coordination.
  • Duo was originally Andromeda, running W10X. After it was cancelled they decided to put Android on the completed hardware so they could release it.
  • "Surface Duo was never meant to be released with Windows OS of any kind."
    This is false.
  • OK, I was wrong. But there was never a public statement from Microsoft about it, was there? The only dual-screen phone-sized device by Surface was publicly announced with Android OS, so even if internally there were some hopes to have Windows running on it, it is irrelevant to the wide public.
  • Um Surface Duo came from the Andromeda project which runs Windows, something it based off from W10M and the early precursor to now Windows 10X. Publicly they may not going to admit it was originally planned to run Windows, because it was an internal prototype not meant to be go public. But its pretty much open secret here in Windows Central and all other tech news and forums discussing Windows.
  • Windows 10X and Windows on ARM are entirely different. The former doesn't even support ARM yet. Windows 10X is a competitor to ChromeOS. Think of it in this prism.
  • Then it becomes a question of why you need W10X vs. W10S.
  • Windows 10 S will get replaced by Windows 10X once released. The purpose of Windows 10 S was meant to be an OS to have more managed and controlled environment by only allowing apps through Microsoft Store, pretty much how the major mobile OS do such as iOS, iPadOS and Android. This means better security and less likely to have bogged down by some rouge processed from Wind32 apps. While still being a full-featured Windows 10 OS. So Windows 10 S vs 10X doesn't holds up since they won't be co-exist once 10X arrives. Or at least I don't even see the reason why 10 S will need to exist from that point, since 10X will also do the same thing 10 S does but with much leaner OS and no legacy bloat, but may lack certain features from full-blown Windows 10.
  • WOA is not the future I think, unless you'r talking within the next few years that maybe it is. It is filled with legacy stuff in contrary to 10X. It could also be there is a future for both, with 10X being the modern and clean OS and WOA the more legacy variant for Arm pc's.
  • there is no reason 10x wont be on arm too. as 10x will run lighter applications, while there is no heavy uwps now, running on arm is the most logical choice. and containered win32? i can read it as another step to make it deprecated. will it be successful? who knows. microsoft says: we will support whatever market and developers want to do.
  • What to expect in the first half of 2021?
    I guess...for lots of users...their first Macintosh .
  • I wanted to say "disappointment", for what it's worth, I'm never getting any Apple product and fully stuck with Microsoft. Battered husband style, I just take the neglect and loss of favorite features they kill on the regular, cause I don't have another option.
  • I am afraid you are right
  • Personally, I was seriously considering it, but unfortunately macOS does not support fractional scaling so I would need to get a new expensive monitor on top of a new expensive computer if I don't want to downgrade my screen (which I don't). So still on Windows, for now, but there's not awfully much keeping me there anymore.
  • Same for me, as soon as I have to replace my Surface Laptop 3 I will switch to Mac and ARM
  • "I guess...for lots of users...their first Macintosh ."
    The PC and laptop market has been flat for years with only marginal gains due to COVID and enterprise upgrading to Win10 (with Win7 at EOL). Average consumer upgrade timeframe for a laptop is 7.8 years. Enterprise is ahead of that, especially for desktop. What you will see is the normal pattern: lots of Mac users upgrading to a new Mac. The average selling price of a laptop from 2019 was ... ~$632 ($733 in constant currency). The big seller of laptops these days is gaming-orientated. If you think a faster chip is going to impact laptop sales and shift Apple from ~14% of laptop sales (~5% of desktop) to something threatening to Windows PC, then you don't understand how the market works or who the biggest buyers of PCs are. HP alone has double the shipments (30%) of Apple. Toss in Dell and Lenovo and that's 70 percent of PC shipments in a quarter. There's two things you must remember: Apple laptops have always been perceived as excellent/impressive/high-quality/outstanding performance. The M1 chip does not shift that perception, only doubles down on it. But no one bought a Mac and though "terrible performance, poor battery life" in the past, so M1 doesn't shift too much. Windows laptops are not perceived as slow, or getting terrible battery life any longer with many laptops easily hitting 8 hours and many now pushing 10 and more
  • I think Apple has about 7%/10% of the market, maybe 14% in USA, but with M1 and its iteratios Apple will probably grab the most lucrative segment of the market just as in smartphones' market Iphone does. Apple will increase its market share in high end products at the expenses of XPS, Thinkpad, Spectre and Surface. But, above all, Apple is going to be considered as the undisputable leader in performance and power efficiency. The Windows's OEM will be left far behind and for Windows it 's not good, no matter the market's share it will retain.
  • I disagree with all that because consumers only by laptops every 5 to 7 years. It's the smartphone market that has seen growth and the ability to bleed from Android, but even that has dried up (average upgrade for smartphones went from yearly to 3 years now). How many Samsung fans switched from Android to iOS because of the new Bionic processor? I'll wait. There is no longer a lot churn in laptops and PCs, not a lot of switching because everyone already has a laptop/PC. That race mattered in the 1990s through mid 2000s when there was an open market. New Mac doesn't do anything new. It's faster than before and gets better battery life. New Intel 11th Gen also is now faster than before and gets better battery life. New AMD Ryzen 4000 Mobile is also now faster than before and gets better battery life 🤷‍♂️ There is a thing called diminishing returns. Once you hit 8+ of battery life on a laptop the benefit of going beyond that drop precipitously, because, like a smartphone, people don't mind plugging it in at a desk or when they get home. I've reviewed Windows laptops that can push well over 10 hours, but none of you really care. Having a faster processor is only relevant to the task at hand. Otherwise, you would all clamor to have a 45W i9 in a 13-inch Ultrabook instead of the 15W i7 (or Ryzen 4000) being good enough for the task. The truth is, not everyone is rendering 4K video on a laptop, which is the one thing M1 is very good at. What else can it do? Run Slack, Teams, Skype, email, a web browser ... cool. Again, before M1 Apple MB was not perceived as bad. They were always the creme of the crop. That didn't matter for HP, Dell, or Lenovo. And the idea that regular consumers even understand the M1, or what it means IRL, instead of forum nerds who drool over benchmarks and emulation discussions, is hilarious. What's the selling point? "Well, it's now faster and gets better battery life" As if that's a new angle to selling laptops in 2020.
  • Maybe you are right. But it seems to me that Apple gained a substantial competitive advantage which they did not have with Intel Machintosh. The gap with Intel/ Amd is huge and it is up to them decide how to use it. They could command even higher prices, or pursue a strategy to gain market share. I would not like to be at the helm of Dell, Lenovo or Hp. They could see reduce their margins, that are already quite thin, or lose share or a mix of the two. And Intel, Amd and Qualcomm do not seem ready at all with any new CPU able to fight against M1.
  • I think AMD will largely focused on high-performance traditional PC for a while. They have been pushing to the high-end gaming market and now gaining more traction for content creation and heavy-processing with their very competitive high performance CPUs like Ryzen and Threadripper. They just only getting into mobile segment with new Ryzen 4000 for laptops, even then we see that mostly on more of a lightweight workstation laptops. Intel is really more of a concern agains M1, not because people will flock getting Macs instead, but they just lost a partner and seems outperforming them. All while on Windows PC side, there is both AMD and Qualcomm now competing much harder than before. Still this competition is good for us since it will pressure Intel to do better. But I sense the market will balance out and will get their own focus. AMD might gain to be for the raw performance and competitive price-to-performance. Qualcomm for always connected mobile devices, mainly laptops and tablets and anything in-between. Intel will still largely flood the market for mainstream PCs and sits on the middle. But for M1, I hope they will push Qualcomm more in this regard and I think this may get the more impact. What's more interesting for me is how they will approach Apple Silicon for Mac Pro. Will we get smaller Mac Pro with no upgradability/expansion like what it is now? Or will going to support 3rd-party expansion and upgrades abeit with limited brands. Because if it will be a latter, then we might get ARM that are not just thin-clients but actually similar to regular DIY desktop machines.
  • I partially agree on this. Also partially disagree. I don't expect some mind blowing growth. Apple's laptops are in 1000$+ territory and Apple is already strong there. While it is not like it doesn't have space to grow, that space isn't too big either as many people are locked to Windows. That's for agreeing and I guess it was your main point. However, I can't agree that M1 Macs have no selling points. The fanless laptop that almost can't get warm and works perfectly smoothly (no waiting cursor) IS something unique and is a fairly strong selling point. Other things like some more battery life isn't groundbreaking but is a nice plus.
  • Excellent post Daniel Rubino as always. People just show a lack of knowledge by claiming suddenly Apple will beat Intel. Apple have been trying to beat Windows for 30 years and it's not worked. And won't because Apple don't want to release cheaper Macs. It's really as simple as this. Money. "What you will see is the normal pattern: lots of Mac users upgrading to a new Mac." This yes!
  • Thanks. To be clear, I think M1 is outstanding and its really good news for the industry and competition. But every year we hear the same "it's faster, gets better battery" story from all laptop makers, so, fundamentally, there is nothing new here. The message is the same. And as much as laptops are super exciting these days (mostly due to variety of design and function), let's be clear: 1. Sales are mostly flat 2. Smartphones have replaced a lot of "need" for laptops 3. It's really hard to change market trends when that market is established 4. Most laptop sales are in the $700 range or lower (especially these days). I'm confident Apple will see gains in MB sales, but how much of that is bleeding from Windows vs upgrades from old Mac users, will be critical. My hunch is we'll see much more of the latter than the former. Moreover, we won't see those changes for years, and that assumes Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm don't/can't react to M1, which ... is probably a stretch.
  • Trouble is as you note, the average Windows laptop people actually buy/use is 500-700 but the cheapest MacBook Air is 999. People don't compare like for like. So their metrics aren't reliable. That and they compare Macs to crappy business laptops bogged down with images/apps bloated by IT departments who really should no better. Apple doesn't sell to enterprises for the most part and almost no one buys their Server products. Again people aren't comparing like for like.
  • Hi Daniel, I am returning to this topic just because I am looking into GS Statecounter data I realized that MacOS market share had a slow but steady increase over the last decade. In 2009 it was less than 4% worldwide and now it's about 16/18%. Over the next few years MacOS could easily reach 25% worldwide. If you think that Windows has almost 100% in business segment it means that MacOS has very market share in consumers market.
  • I see the annual year of Linux is being replaced by year of Mac.
  • lol, this seems accurate. It's funny as I've seen more "fans" of Windows proclaiming the death of Intel/Windows than Apple fans regarding M1.
  • They're not the ones being disappointed by the mediocracy that is the Wintel world.
  • Not interested in buying a new computer for the next 2 years, but when the time comes if Mac Minis stay at this price range I'll probably pick one. Never owned a Mac or Apple anything, to be honest
  • "I guess...for lots of users...their first Macintosh ." Why? Because Apple released the M1 CPUs? The battery life? The industrial design? The touch screens, never mind on that one. I don't own a particular PC based solely on the CPU that is stuffed inside of the machine. I pick the machines based on the hardware, the OS and all the services and workflows the come along from that, the application library, intermachine operability (I have more than one box and I want a consistent uniformity between them including my mobile device), and the ever intangible does it give me a transparent user experience. Some years ago, Windows PCs suffered from commodity hardware, missing or immature features like OneDrive and Outlook, and yes, battery life too for the laptops. Then there is the mobile debacle. We are not some years ago anymore, that ended about a half decade ago, maybe more. Today Windows 10 is fabulous (there I said it out loud in spite of all the moaning that goes on; I am like really?). A few examples. For the most part my well specified desktop/server hasn’t been shut off for years except for updates and it is a breeze to add in new hardware such as SSDs as the need arises; I manipulate 1 gigabyte image files without it breaking into much of a sweat all the time. Then there is my Surface Pro 7, it is a killer piece of kit, and because of OneDrive, Outlook, and Your Phone it is constantly in sync with my desktop and phone. I never think about the CPU, I think about what that great industrial design makes possible, what that dead reliable OS and services support, and what my key applications allow me to create. Then there is the rather seamless integration with my multi-terabyte NAS, media library, and so on. It all just works and works reliably. Is it a perfect hardware/software stack – no, nothing is perfect but it is pretty close given the current state of the technology. I would like more battery life out of my Surface Pro 7 but it has never left me high and dry. Has Windows 10 updates been challenging, oh yeah, this one is the one that gets me thinking about Apple, a lot. Would I like to have better touch interfaces, say more like you get on Android, sure, why not, but the fact is I don’t find myself suffering the way things are right now. Has Intel been sucking wind for years – yep – but at the same time I am able to do everything I want. There are some challenges ahead such as Windows 10X; sometimes watching the sausage being made is ill advised. Apple has a unique ability, it’s in their corporate culture, to drive change be it products, industrial design, and now silicon. But so does Microsoft and it is ludicrous that all this gets dismissed out of hand in these comments at times. The modern Microsoft is a stunning company that covers the entire computing universe from the enterprise, the cloud, hardware including a pretty sweet gaming stack. The next decade is shaping up to be significant with the transition to ARM (please Qualcomm catch up with Apple) expressed by the Surface Duo and Surface Pro X supported by a great OS and one of the best Cloud/AI infrastructures on the planet. What else do you want? If you find yourself that dissatisfied with Microsoft, Apple is there to take your money by the boatload and if you like to torment yourself there is always Linux - knock yourself out. As for me I will be enjoying the most excellent computing experience I have ever had over my now close to 40 years of computing experience, both professional and personal. In the short term I am looking forward to the Surface Pro 8 with the 11th gen improvements; they are going to be meaningful. Now if we can just get Microsoft to stuff a SQ1 into Surface Go. In the long term the next decade should be one of the greatest since the PC revolution took place and I fully expect Microsoft will be right there driving and defining that future.
  • Try again. I don't see an exodus to Mac just because of a processor. There are far more variables to consider and a processor alone doesn't move the needle enough. Do people upgrade to a Ferrari just because it's faster? No, because their are far more important variables to consider than just 0-60 times. They would need to have a processor that can do things no other processor could. I'm not talking render in less than 5 minutes while others render in 7. I'm talking render vs can't render at all. Other things people would have to reckon with to justify the huge hurdle of changing would require things like: learning a new operating system.
    For some it means giving up touch ability.
    Transferring files, hoping their compatible, and completely setting up new file structures.
    Creating new accounts = more logins and passwords unless they completely abandon all things Windows.
    Install old programs to a new computer, if they are compatible to install at all.
    and, if they don't install, it means buying new software which only adds to the existing price hurdle. These are just some of the hurdles people would have to overcome to switch. These are enough for the majority of people to stick with what they are familiar. This goes both ways of course. So as it has already been mentioned, Mac users will likely upgrade their Macs, Windows users will upgrade their Windows machines.
  • I return to this topic just because I am looking into GS Statecounter data I realized that MacOS market share had a slow but steady increase over the last decade. In 2009 it was less than 4% worldwide and now it's about 16/18%. Over the next few years MacOS could easily reach 25% worldwide. If you think that Windows has almost 100% in business segment it means that MacOs has very market share in consumers market.
  • Why when it is not a day night difference vs Ryzen 4800u? (which is a cheaper cpu to produce by the way, with M1 stuff like storage etc needs to be on the SOC which also means no repairable/upgradable SSD/storage)
  • I have been reading posts like yours for many, MANY years. Same old, same old. Gets boring after the first 4 years.
  • Seing AMD options on the 13.5" model is great, these AMD CPUs are as strong if not stronger in heavy multi-core productivity as the H-series Intel CPUs. The Surface Laptop 4 will actually be unique, it will be the only high end laptop with an AMD CPU that alot of people want, last gen AMD on laptops was objectively worse, but now it's better in alot of ways.
  • AMD isn't the savior we were hoping for. They've been holding back in lack of any real competition from Intel. Hope this new turn of events gives them a kick.
  • Yeah they aren't a savior in laptops mainly because of 2 reasons, first OEMs don't want to use them and second there's problems with the supply of the Renoir CPUs.
  • I would add pushing Vega when RDNA 1/2 GPUs offer better performance. Also, these ain't cheap, adding a bit of faster video dedicated memory wouldn't hurt.
  • Trouble is seeing is believing, and even then they bring new products that seem to fade in to extinction, like windows mobile and other projects, there ambition doesn't stick long enough for people to catch up, New features are welcomed though, let's hope, 2021 brings new exciting stuff from Microsoft
  • Windows Mobile didn't fade... it was destroyed from many, many corners. Heck, if you walked into a phone retailer the sales staff would divert the customer AWAY from WinMob. It was doomed.
  • I expect more ignoring of Tablet Mode and the Touch Experience. Strange they market the Surface as a 2 in 1 but almost completely ignore half of the 2
  • They market it as a 2-in-1, not as a Tablet. As shown by how on life support Tablet Mode is. Microsoft don't market Surface Pros as tablet anymore. Touch got some love in the last couple of Feature Updates.
  • "I expect more ignoring of Tablet Mode"
    Question: how relevant are tablets in 2020 and 2021? I get Apple own that market, but it's increasingly a niche one as things like iPhone 12 Max Pro become available and people have a laptop. The truth is, tablet sales peaked in 2014 at 230M units. In 2020, it was 150m. It's projected to continue to decline to 122.7M by 2024. Why double down on that segment? What's the argument? Microsoft was right to shift Surface Pro from "a tablet that's a PC" to just a PC that adjusts to what you need to do. Anecdote alert: I love 2-in-1s, it's my preferred form factor. I don't care or use any tablet functions and personally find them dumb. MS could kill Tablet Mode and I wouldn't even miss it.
  • Daniel, I would argue it's because people discovered that Tablets don't do all the things that people need. An iPad is too limited as a computer (iPad Pro is getting better but still not a real PC), and the Surface is a bad consumption tablet. Feels like if they continued to develop W10 tablet mode instead of taking away features and making it glitchy and laggy then it had a much better chance of succeeding.
  • Tablet mode on W10 is horrible, I agree and I turned it off. But I still use my SP4 with touch, and after getting a proper desktop, I now ONLY use SP4 with touch. And it is painfully bad, especially in Edge.
  • I'm with you Daniel; 2in1's are great computers. I love my HP Elite X2. I bought some for my kids and they love them as well. The old laptop doesn't get used anymore unless there is no other option available. 2in1's are so much better in my opinion than having an ipad for consumption and a mac pro for work. My X2 can do basic consumption tasks and I can boot up Autocad at home and on the jobsite. The 360 rotate keyboard 2in1's don't make much sense to me, but detachable's make total sense to me. I tried to like tablet mode, but it's just not fluid and intuitive. I finally gave up after forcing myself for a few months to learn it's tricks.
  • I think most people who use 2-in-1s do so for the digital writing and drawing experience, not necessarily for the tablet mode. Tablet experience just happens to be a welcome bonus as you can tell by how many people love their iPads. As a Spectre x360 14 and Galaxy Tab S6 user, I'd personally love to see Windows 10's desktop and Android's touch functionality combined. Hell if Apple decides to mix MacOS and IOS in the future using their ARM chips (not that that will ever happen), I would actually consider jumping ship. I believe it's only a matter of time before either Microsoft or Apple do this and make desktop and laptop hardware that will allow people to improve upon their experience of using All-in-1 PCs.
  • "The truth is, tablet sales peaked in 2014 at 230M units. In 2020, it was 150m. It's projected to continue to decline to 122.7M by 2024." So what you are saying is the sales peaked in 2014 with Windows 8.1 and has been declining since the release of Windows 10? Newsflash: People will use less of a product that is broken.
  • The only thing that I really need is to be able to disable the keyboard when the 2-in-1 is folded with the keyboard facing the lower side. Often even in tablet mode the keyboard and the trackpad are still enabled and it is very annoying. The way Tablet Mode in Windows handles the windows is frustrating and almost useless. I would like to have a radically new Tablet Mode in which it is easier to move and resize windows with a lot of flexibility, not just the screen divided in two and windows occupying the whole screen.
  • I just can't understand why the Intel based Surface Pro can't have thinner bezels. I accept it maybe can't be slimmer like the Surface Pro X but MS could increase the screen size. For everyone who claims Windows on ARM and Surface Pro X are duds. These are why that's simply false.
  • I don't disagree on that. Would have loved to see the display go from 12.3 to 12.7. I'm sure there are engineering and manufacturing/cost challenges that we are not aware of, but it'd be nice to see.
  • Increasing the size would require some retooling on both MS's (or whoever makes these for MS) and display supplier sides. Just not worth it for such a niche device.
  • Is Surface Neo still in the works, even in the distance future? It's not dead is it, just delayed a lot, right?
  • With Windows 10X being premiered on single screen devices, I'd say holding the breath for Neo is not a smart thing to do. That being said, we could still see it, but I doubt it. The recent turn of events is sure to make them rethink their strategy as well as part selection.
  • So...what's the app/program situation going to be for 10X at launch?
  • You'll be able to change wallpapers.
  • Microsoft's inability to leave behind legacy stuff is the primary reason they are slow in getting new ideas like windows 10x to the masses.....they keep worrying about lack of win32 reality people don't care ....look at chrome books .... online tech community kept saying that it's just a browser OS but look where it is now. For Windows 10x to succeed few things needs to happen
    1. Leave behind the windows name.....Just name it 10x or some thing else... just don't have "windows" in the name. Let it thrive as a separate OS on devices like Surface Neo and Laptops.
    2. Get all first party apps like Office, Edge. Teams, VS Code, UWP, .NET working on 10x on launch.
    3. Make it available for download and let it evolve on it's own.
    4. Support both x86 and ARM...
    5. Market it as a new and lightweight OS with no relation to windows 10 Looking at the past debacles of windows RT, windows 10 S ....I feel with the above approach 10x will have chance to succeed .... hopefully msft thinks something out of the box for 10x
  • AGREE,
    and most Important Thing; DON'T GIVE UP ON IT.
    Oi took Years for Windows to succeed , don't repeat that **** of excuse "World no need for 3rd mobile phone ecosystem " wtf.
  • The new Surface Laptop will be pretty interesting. The first spotted benchmarks show competitive scores compared to the M1 (M1 is probably still slightly more efficient, but the SL has a replaceable SSD which is much more valuable I think).
  • AGREE,
    and most Important Thing; DON'T GIVE UP ON IT.
    Oi took Years for Windows to succeed , don't repeat that **** of excuse "World no need for 3rd mobile phone ecosystem " wtf.
  • I'm planning to upgrade my SB2. I don't use inking very much, but would like to have the possibility. I don't like the SB2 way to release the screen and turn it around. So... what I'm looking for:
    * I prefer 13" over 12", and am disappointed that the SPro "8" does not use the SProX design
    * My next PC should have a minimum of 32 GB RAM
    * I'd prefer 5G connectivity, but LTE is probably fast enough for most uses.
    * Battery life... I've used the SB2 for 3 hours on battery now; 30% remaining. I seem to recall it was better when it was new, but I've done some extensive numeric computations, so maybe that is why.
    * Battery II: the SPro4 gave me 2-5 hours of battery (mainly word processing; no heavy computations). I would need at least 8-10 hours for normal, word processor use.
    * Keyboard... the one on the SB2 is better than that of the SPro4, but thet keyboard on the SBPro4 was "ok". Perhaps the Surface Laptop would be ok wrt. simple inking, but I've seen no rumors of LTE/5G for that model...
  • what about the possible Surface Go refresh in black that was mentioned previously?
  • We're stuck on 1909. The 2004 version hosed up accessing mapped drives. I've tried the fixes mentioned online but those haven't worked. I wonder if these new versions have fixed that.