Thinking about Surface: Where should it go next?

Microsoft's Surface line of devices has come a long way since its initial debut back in 2012 with the Surface RT and Surface Pro. At the time, Surface was bringing to the table a somewhat new form-factor, something that hadn't really been seen before. It was a 2-in-1, a tablet that was designed to replace your laptop. While not an immediate success, Microsoft's continued work and refinement of the form-factor lead us to the Surface Pro 3, where it arguably hit the nail on the head with its design. From there, we've only had iterative updates to the Surface Pro form-factor, because it's pretty much as good as a 2-in-1 can get.

Microsoft nailed the Surface 2-in-1 design with the Surface Pro 3 — and then they started to branch out and experiment.

Since then, we've seen Microsoft expand its Surface portfolio a little bit. In 2015, the company released the Surface Book. This was a different take on the 2-in-1 form factor, coming at the idea from a different angle. Instead of being a tablet first, and a laptop second, the Surface Book was arguably a laptop first, and a tablet second. This allowed Microsoft to be a little more zealous about the kind of specifications it could slip into the device, adding discrete graphics and more powerful processors.

Surface then moved into entirely different territory with the Surface Studio, Microsoft's first all-in-one desktop PC. Although not a new category itself, Microsoft did try to add its own touch of magic to the form-factor, with the Studio being both an all-in-one and digital draft-board allowing creators to ink directly onto the 28-inch display. Then, Microsoft made the Surface Laptop, a beautiful yet uninspiring Surface device that was just a laptop. It added nothing new to the table, unlike Microsoft's previous Surface products.

Along the way, Microsoft has also taken Surface to the big screen with the Surface Hub, allowing businesses to take advantage of huge collaborative displays that support ink, presentation streaming, virtual meetings, and plenty of other boring business stuff. Surface Hub is essentially just a big screen, running a custom version of Windows 10 that's adapted for it. Surface Hub 2 is the first time Microsoft is adding a touch of magic to the form-factor, allowing it to change orientation on the fly, and even connect up to other Surface Hub 2's for an even bigger screen experience.

Microsoft's most recent Surface is a smaller take on the Surface Pro form-factor. The Surface Go is the smallest Surface yet, coming in at just 10-inches in size. It's also Microsoft's first real "budget" Surface, starting at just $399 for the tablet itself. Up until the Go, Surface was always an expensive product, which meant many people couldn't afford it or were not willing to lay down so much money for one. While $399 isn't the cheapest a computer can go, it is still less expensive than Surface has typically been in the past.

So that brings us to today. Surface has found itself mingled with many device form-factors, from biggest to smallest:

  • Surface Hub
  • Surface Studio
  • Surface Book
  • Surface Laptop
  • Surface Pro
  • Surface Go

Where does Surface go from here?

The question now is where does Surface go next? Microsoft has covered all the basics with its current products, so it's time to start thinking about the future, where the industry is going, and how Surface can stay relevant in it. In my opinion, Surface needs to go smaller, because that's where computing is headed, into an all mobile world. And I'm not talking about smartphones, although that's a perfect example of an all mobile world today. I'm talking about true personal computing, and the most personal computing experiences are the ones that we can take with us, without even needing to think about it.

The immediate future of mobile computing will be devices that can replace our smartphones, tablets, and even desktops.

Today, smartphones are the closest thing to that, but smartphones aren't forever, just like how "dumb" phones weren't forever. Many have argued that over the last few years, the smartphone market has somewhat plateaued. Not many people are interested in buying new phones anymore, and the people that are, know that their new smartphone is just an iterative update over their previous one. Mobile computing is ready for something new, and Surface needs to be there when it happens.

What that something new is going to be is something for someone above my pay-grade to figure out. I think the immediate future of mobile computing will be devices that can replace our smartphones and tablets, or even desktops. For that to be possible, devices need to be both small, and big, and more powerful. It sounds impossible, but with foldable devices on the horizon, it becomes a little more plausible. A device that can fold gives us a bigger screen in our pockets, for example.

What about wearables?

But the future of mobile computing is about much more than devices that can fit in our pockets. Mobile computing will eventually get even smaller; likely into wearable territory. Now, wearables already exist and aren't very popular, but wearables today are also still in their infancy and rely almost entirely on having a smartphone anyway. I'm talking about wearables that operate on their own, that do not rely on smartphones to function.

I can foresee a future where our smartphones are also wearables; devices that can fold and bend around our wrists and act as smartwatches when we're not actively using them. Of course, that is just fantasy at this point, but we want our devices to do more, to be more, and the only to get there is for these devices to be more than one thing. A 2-in-1, but for mobile computing.

Right now, the only real wearables that exist are smartwatches, but that's not going to be the case forever. I think the next trend in wearable technology will be AR glasses, which is already being worked on by Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Now, whether or not AR glasses are successful will depend heavily on whether the glasses are big and bulky. Nobody in their right mind would want to use that. Stepping into sci-if territory, but I'm sure the end-goal here is to have this kind of technology in something like a contact lens.

It's all about going smaller

Regardless of what the future of mobile computing is, it's apparent that it's all about going smaller. Smaller is more personal, and if something is more personal, it needs to be able to do more for us. It's not an easy thing to figure out, but if Microsoft wants to stay relevant with Surface, it needs to be at the forefront of whatever is coming next, and I think the immediate next thing is foldable mobile devices that can also be PCs when we need them to be.

What are your thoughts on the future of computing? Where should Surface go next? 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.

  • I’d say, the next thing is to have your entire os, file system, apps and settings in the cloud. Where you don’t have a local os at all. This cloud os adjusts to all different form factors as you wish. Your device of choice is basically just an input/output device. Preferably made by the surface team. Let’s call it the surface service :)
  • Well we may have part of that soon, but starting with Xbox services.
  • It's called remote desktop into a VM. Been there done that. Ran an Azure based Win10 pro machine with 64GB of RAM 'on my Lumia 950XL'. To make it usable I used the display dock to connect a keyboard, mouse and monitor, but I could have as easily connected the monitor via MiraCast (no cables) and used the keyboard/touchpad virtualization on the Lumia directly. BT is also an option. Ran all of Office and Visio, just to prove I could.
  • I used to use my 950 to remote into my work PC all the time. I am an architect, and run graphically intense 3d modeling software, it surprisingly scaled well, and was a rather seamless process using MS's RDP app. A lot better than on Samsung Dex on my GS8. MS needs to fork Android, integrate Android phone apps into their own part of the MS store, cut Google out
  • Microsoft isn't going to fork android as it negates everything they've done with Windows since DOS. So not happening.
  • Same with my Galaxy S8
  • Just run Azure or AWS or other client VM tech. With most of these you can connect using just about any device OS (iOS, Android, Chrome OS, Mac OS, Linux, Windows, etc).
  • Too bad if true, because the world needs a more secure alternative to iOS than Android.
  • You can make Android as secure as you want and lock it down pretty tight. Even the US military uses a flavor of Android. You need to do some ROM work to make it happen though or buy an expensive secure phone version of it.
  • Or the SS like in sports car but a different meaning SS = Super Surface ; )
  • That thing even exists today, known as web app.
  • Great thing about that is great power saving(and hw saving) where you just need stable connection and low end mobile phone like device to run high end desktop PC(you would pay based on how much processing you use or need at the moment), that computer could be also connected to rest of the world by optic cable and on other side of earth, so even you on train and 3G network could have done something seemingly impossible.
  • AR glasses most definitely need to look like normal glasses, and they need to etch the image onto the retina directly. This tech exists (it's in prototype stages). It would be very helpful if you can use them to help people keep their eyes on the road while they drive. Can you imagine seeing the speed of the car, fuel gauge, and hologram directions? Maybe even wirelessly connect the glasses to the car so warning signs pop up when you are too close to other cars/pedestrians or if someone's seatbelts aren't on in the vehicle.
  • ... and then a random ad will pop up causing and accident and killing Sally who was playing on her yard. No thanks.
  • Certainly a risk if the developer isn't conscientious... I'm currently on the waiting list for a pair of Laforge Shimas. Laforge has made it clear that they will not accept any app on their store, that will needlessly distract or even block the forward view of the user. At high speed, only the most basic info will be allowed to display...
  • "Did you know you can get more miles per gallon if you use Microsofts Ultimate Package of Windows Auto Core Gas Gauge Service (MUPWACGGS) instead of Google Gas Gauge." pops up on your windshield as you are merging into traffic.
  • something something Andromeda
  • That's the way to go. The only other computing areas Microsoft didn't cover with Surface line is standard desktop and servers :-)
  • There's literally no reason for a standard desktop or server from surface
  • I wouldn’t mind seeing a “desktop” that would attach to the back of a monitor and feature a fanless CPU, customizable/upgradable 2 1/2” SSD and memory, bluetooth, and maybe a couple of USB-C slots. That would make a nice business desktop for many office workers.
  • Already exists, look for intel nucs or nano-itx pc's (amd variants are coming too). They can be attached at the back of most monitors. The smallest mini-itx pc's can also be attached at the back of some monitors (though that will look weird unless it is a big monitor).
  • Laptops and AiOs already existed prior to the Surface Laptop and Surface Studio. A Surface Stick seems interesting, but I'm not sure how it could be standout other than high-specs.
  • It could include a version of Windows optimized for home theaters. Also, a mounting and power system for the back of a TV/monitor.
  • Compute sticks. Dell makes a good one.
  • "Phone" or some pocketable device, for the love of all that is holy... Please!! I switched from my Lumia 950 to an Android Nokia 8 a couple months ago, and I hate it. The hoops I have to go through to "de-Google" the device in preference to the MS apps and services I already use. I've also noted that even though I'm using the same apps and features I was using on My Lumia, my monthly data usage has more than doubled. I also get WAY more spam calls, spam texts, and odd pop-ups than I ever did with my Windows Phones.
  • For that to succeed: 1. They need to turn on the Android emulation so that there is no app-gap day one.
    2. They MUST get UWP development working cross platform on iOS and Android and "just working" with no need to own a Mac to compile and test. (i.e. all in the cloud for free for anyone with VS.NET including emulators) Xamarin is a disaster and until MS has a coherent development plan that provides the very best cross platform excellent development devs won't come back, and without Android apps to fill the gap right now, it would be DOA.
  • The audience that wants to run Android apps non-natively isn't as large as you think either.
  • Imagine picking up a Windows phone and trying to use Google services. You are much better off switching services. Microsoft's kinda suck anyways.
  • It's time to make the Surface Book into a convertible desktop for engineers. I.e. the top of the Surface Book should detach from the keyboard base, and then connect into a super powered desktop base with a PCIe or 2 or 4 in it and a few thunderbolt and USB-C ports. (and legacy USB A ports and 10 gig network jack(s)). Obviously at least 32 GB of memory too. It should force air through the Surface Book which should have an I9 processor in it. Then developers and engineers could have a single computer that works in both laptop and desktop mode. It would be the killer application for it. Sell it blank or with graphics card pre-installed. This is the ultimate frontier and you'd get a massive wave of purchasing for devs because we're tired of having to config a desktop and a laptop and kep them up-to-date all of the time. This would solve that problem once and for all.
  • Have you seen the Surface doc? We have had that for years. You don't even have to remove the display from the keyboard and it is magnetic. You just put your Surface Book down next to the connector and it jumps in. You don't even have to touch it. An external GPU would be nice though.
  • I think a new Surface book 2 "with performance base" is in order that includes a max-q, 1060 for the 13' model and a 15' 1070 for the 15' model along with ether thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.2. Other than that a Surface AC (Always connected) with Snapdragon 850 would go a long way too
  • Into my pocket.
  • Surface Blimp for advertisements at NFL games
  • Only if it turns into a helicraft like in avengers
  • Good questions and view points Zac.
    Tech can always get smaller. Practical use and of course entertainment are key factors. So tech is only half of the equation. Microsoft needs to keep ramping up their Software and services into the future. They need to think big and precise. So far they are on the right track in my opinion...except for the canning of W10 mobile and Windows phones..
  • An Andromeda type device feels like the logical next step as other options are further from where we're at now. For all intents and purposes, the technology needed to do it is basically here. After Andromeda though, wearables are the obvious option. While for mass adoption and all day use, something like smart glasses would need to be very slim, I don't think it needs to start there. It just needs to have a use case that will tolerate less than optimal fit and finish and potentially a large price tag. HoloLens, Surface Hub, and Surface Studio aren't mass market devices in their application nor are they cheap. But there are use cases and the use cases justify the price tag for some. The beauty of these sorts of technology is that the Surface team can refine the tech and as they approach mass market price/size/use case, it feels less like a v1 product. I mention smart glasses because 1. Microsoft already tried a smartwatch and it's kinda already being done. Companies like Fitbit already do a wonderful job and there's not a lot of room for improvement. 2. Between WMR and HoloLens, Microsoft is already on that path. So some sort of smart glasses are already on the path that they're on.
  • Andromeda is the next obvious place to go. As a business device I could see it being very useful. Phone/small tablet for notes, phone calls and casual stuff. Plug it into a desktop adapter for more demanding windowed use. Way out there they could offer a Windows subscription app that lets you have a virtual Windows machine and call it surface anywhere. Maybe allow it to provide mouse and keyboard support through the app. Not sure of the logistics, but ...
  • Can we say Band 3? (but with better reliability and perhaps Windows IoT on board). Maybe the folding screen wrapped around your wrist is the Band 3? I don't know that I want to where glasses all of the time, and what would they cost if you needed prescription lenses (Wow!). How about a numeric pad on the 15" Surface Book base.
  • I want it to be an 8" tablet with pen and GPS receiver. Very much like the Nvidia Shield tablet, but with Windows 10 and a bigger battery.
  • Small tablets are dead. That would have been good in 2013, when they were popular, but we are over them in 2018. Large phones are easier to use and we always have them. Even Apple hasn't touched the iPad Mini in quite a while.
  • I know it's almost cliche to say this, but Microsoft should make a smartphone. Andromeda would be nice too, but the perception has changed in the market I think. When Microsoft first sold phones they had the Windows 8 debacle to overcome. The Microsoft Store is decent and an easy way to sell the phone. PWAs are becoming more and more popular. CShell will hopefully be really good. XBox integration and Office will make a smartphone from Microsoft really appealing.
  • a W10 phone
    a W10 phone with Continuum
    a W10 phone with foldable display a W10 phone that can function without displaying ads when you pay for Office 365
    a W10 phone that Microsoft will stand behind, support and grow
    a W10 phone that has all the above and will work across compatible cell phone carriers.
  • Must run Android apps to fill the gaps and UWP must be seamlessly cross platform not the mess than Xamarin is, and be better and far more elegant than any other cross platform development for any form of Phone to succeed. Oh and Nadella needs to hire someone for consumer to run the show since he's completely incompetent at consumer goods.
  • Why would someone buy a Microsoft phone to run the crappy subsection of Android apps that do not require Play Services? That doesn't work. Ask Amazon or Blackberry how that worked out for them.
  • E-Ink Surface Laptop. Pleeeeeeeaaaaaassssseeeeee!
  • Surface Studio Display -- just the display, hinge, etc. from the Surface Studio, with a Surface Connect port (or USB-C) to connect to my existing computer/surface Pro.
  • They could even sell a separate "Surface Studio Base" that has the rest of the components, like a MINI-PC. Then you could upgrade the CPU/GPU and hot have to touch the monitor.
  • And make it rotate like the Surface Hub 2. I would trade my second monitor for one in a heart beat!
  • I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone mention a Surface Band or Surface watch. Andromeda should be here next year, and after that, the only other product that hasn't yet been addressed in the lineup is a smartwatch or a fitness band.
  • Samsungs actual folding screen phone is being launched this year. Andromeda is dead, no way Microsoft continues with a dual screen device. It will look dated and low rent next to Samsungs.
  • I totally agree! The Microsoft Band was actually a very cool device (just suffered terribly in the reliability department). Bring that back with full Windows Core OS. Needs replaceable straps and better batteries or make them replaceable to.
  • By the way, Microsoft needs to update their devices page with this article photo. The devices page still doesn't have the Surface Go on it.
  • The way to obvious answer is phone. However, a new studio monitor would be awesome.
  • I would buy a Microsoft android phone (non-forked) if it offered something truly unique or forward thinking like the SBook was.
  • An android phone is not happening lol... Come on guys, think about it. Android is faaaar tooo saturated and they will be under Google's thumb as to compete Microsoft will have to include the Google Mobile Suite as without it no OEM gets access to the play store. So they will have to create their own App store... which would have ZERO leverage points. So android phone by Microsoft not happening.
  • If it's an Android phone by Ms, why would you mention oems not doing it bc lack of access to Google's store. Ms would be the OEM and they have their own store already. I do agree that a ms Android phone isn't coming. What I don't agree with is your stupid reasoning; completely nonsensical
  • But that would be the same situation as windows phone, maybe a bit less buggy than wp10 but the main problem was lack of apps for the masses. Windows store still has that problem. And would still be somewhat dependent on Google because many things wouldn't work without Google's APIs etc (e.g a good Maps app, and probably even some os features).
  • Yeah Microsoft have a really good store, is the only good thing they have. What are you talking about?
  • When I stated phone, I meant a windows OS based phone. Not an android phone.
  • They need to go smaller. Probably their best bet is to make a 'Surface Play', which is basically a clone of the Nintendo Switch before trying a phone size device.
  • Smaller is not always better. No matter what form factor you need, the software needs to follow you. This has more to do with applications being able to adapt to the form factor in ways that utilize the most productive interface. As the form factor shrinks, keyboards become useless. Inking would work better on an 8-inch device. Below 6 inches, voice becomes more important. Hey Cortana, text my wife, etc. Wearables would almost have to be fully voice (how many times do you want to touch your watch to type out a text message or read a text message. I wear hearing aids. Sure would be nice if my Windows Phone would link directly to the hearing aids. I drive an old '97 E150 Econoline van. I installed a new Bluetooth radio. My 950 links effortlessly. I get in the Van, head out. If I get a text Cortana reads me the text. But it would be much better if Cortana talked in my ear. Which drives me to this observation. We have five senses: smell, touch, hearing, sight, taste. We use touch to generate info using a keyboard, a pen, the dial, and touching the screen. Cortana allows us input information by talking to the device or having the device talk to us. For me, speech and hearing are underutilized by software. While microphones are becoming better are detecting voices, is the software capable of utilizing our voice productively? So wearables need the software to be more productive in interpreting our voice and performing functions. I have no problem wearing a non-screen "smartphone" that carries the power and connection to connect hearing aids and a microphone that allows me to interact in the world productively. Then I can pull out my Surface Go, Surface Pro, or Andromeda if I have to be more productive (using a pen to take notes, draw a sketch or a keyboard to compose an email or letter).
  • I don't really need to look at my phone to read a text and reply if I am wearing hearing aids that connect to the device. The batteries in my hearing aids last 4 or 5 days. What if the brick (holding a battery, modem and processor) could last 5 days without recharging and constantly feeding info to my hearing aids and allowing me to generate info with only using my voice? Can the software recognize that hey it is 6:30, time to get up, play my favorite radio show, give me the weather update, etc... Recognize I always check the 10-year bond rate in the morning, the Euro Dollar exchange rate, etc. and let me know any "significant" changes. If I am constantly interacting with info, can the software recognize the patterns and deliver the info when I am driving my van down the highway and "get me up to speed" by talking to me. Can software brief me on my progress on tasks during the day? Oh, you are approaching a new location, don't forget you have the following tasks to perform at this location.
  • We have more than 5 senses. You must be old
  • No we don't. We have 5
  • The younger generation has evolved more senses.
  • Zac, it's not above your pay grade or anyone's to figure out what's next. Anyone can have an idea, we just all may not be in a position to execute it. At least you have influence and some attention from key folks at Microsoft. Don't undersell your position.
  • #facts
  • Zac has influence on key folks at Microsoft? Are you serious? XD
  • HAha! These people are not on radars from Microsoft. Their job is to judge their products. If they want to critique, they have many employees from their senior execs.
  • Good article. I totally agree that foldable mobile is the next big thing and that MS needs to be at the forefront to stay relevant. Unfortunately, Samsung has already said that they will have their foldable phone out by year-end. Andromeda is 2019 at the earliest (aka, "not at the forefront"). MS really dropped the ball by failing to get Andromeda ready for primetime this year.
  • Announce in October.. drop 2019, just like Samsung's announcement in November, launch in 2019
  • How does Microsoft release a dual screen device next to Samsungs folding screen? They don't. Andromeda is dead, it will be a couple years before they get a folding screen.
  • I would love to see a surface studio based docking system with a gpu for the surface pro and book lines
  • um...i'd like a phone please. yes a mobile phone. Not kidding. No really.
  • I pretty much agree with you Zac. Things have to go smaller. The next thing is a 3-in-1 (e.g. phone, tablet, and desktop). From everything I've heard about Andromeda and the upcoming changes to Continuum, Andromeda should be this 3-in-1 device. Ways to connect the Andromeda to larger form factors will become important. Hopefully, Andromeda will have USB-C or Thunderbolt with DisplayPort output so a monitor can easily be hooked up to it. Something like a "Lapdock" like what HP did for their Windows 10 phone would also be cool if you don't quite need a full workstation like set up, but a more laptop like set up. The shrinking of computing is the obvious pattern in the last 40 years. Computers have been getting more powerful and smaller every year. The "Pocket PC" as Jason Ward has been talking about for some time, is inevitable. Microsoft is the closest at seeing this vision of a "Pocket PC" with the years of long range planning and work they have put into Windows. Their long range vision is for a single OS to adapt to many form factors. Also a single type of app for many form factors. This is a very awesome vision that Microsoft has. Google is trying to catch up with Fuchsia, but they have a long ways to go. Apple is basically clueless about this. They are investing heavily into iOS, thinking it will serve all computing needs in the long range future, all the while neglecting Mac OS. iOS cannot do mouse, and Mac OS cannot do touch. They are way behind in making a uniform OS and I think they are not interested in making such an OS. Their hopes that they can ride into the future with just iOS is a complete fantasy.
  • Google and iOS aren't way behind Ms if you're judging by the criteria you set forth
  • Been working for ten, almost eleven years now. Very successfully, I might add. iOS brought apple out of obscurity.
  • Continue pushing PWAs in the app store.
    Bring better tablet functionality into W10.
    Bring better standards and specifications to app store.
    Bring Andromeda to market.
    AR/VR with Hololens
    Surface Mini-PC for people who have a montior, keyboard and mouse. Make it user-configurable.
  • Google has the Cromebook Microsoft could have something like that. It could be much safer like virus safe, unhackable. Like Chrome Book is only safer.
  • Already done, surface go in s mode. Safe as a chrome book.
  • Garbage. Windows 10 in S Mode or whatever dumb name it has is a bandaid at best. They need a new platform, new branding, and new experiences.
  • A mobile device or some glasses. Or maybe a laptop that can use the Nvidia 1060 without losing charge would be revolutionary for a MS product 😂
  • I'd like to see a gaming PC that will run Xbox games... Or an Xbox that will run Windows 10... Xbox Pro? 🤔 Would have to be several steps up from Xbox One X in performance.
  • Surfacebox :> , that would be interesting idd although Steam & GOG do already have a lot of controller supported games which can run on e.g. a 1050ti/1060/rx570 gpu (so not to expensive to build, especially since you only need an entry processor for gaming). But something more compact than mini-itx would be nice. Would especially be cool it would be upgrade-able (/not glued together).
  • - Surface Laptop full metal body
    - Surface Display (for designers with Windows Ink)
    - Surface Go, Laptop and Book LTE
    - Surface Phone (for business and productivity)
    - Surface Home (Home system control - lights, security, temp and cameras. Integration into family's O365 Calendar etc. Whole new ecosystem around MS's tools and soft)
  • Something like this that they were working on
  • Like most of us regular readers, I'd love to see Andromeda. However, if Microsoft launched Andromeda and HoloLens 2.0 next year, and both were in the £1000-1500 price range, I'd spring for HoloLens.
  • Here's Nadella's hypocrisy writ large. We have a form that exists with other manufacturers but we will make one ourselves because we think we can do better .... and .... MS did make a better one called Surf. However, Nutty Nadella also had another platform, mobile, and what did he do? Killed it. Therein lies MS' biggest weakness, a CEO who acts on spite and whims. Logic and consistency are apparently foreign concepts to him.
  • Would it be too obvious to say... MS mobile device. Surface 📱
  • When I'm on break, or on the road, I have my Lumia 950 XL and iPad Mini. I'll use the Lumia as a hotspot, and make hotel reservations while traveling. I use Instagram and other apps on both. My phone has a better weather and news app. Basically I'm switching back and forth based on my needs, and the size of screen I want to deal with. I'm frequently aggravated because I'd like to run some real Windows software. I've put off adding another tablet to my collection, or jumping to a new phone ecosystem. I've used all that other stuff. For the life of me I can't figure out how iOS or Android ever made it. That's not to say Windows Phone is perfection, and I do miss some of the elegant older features of version 7, but Andromeda could only be like having my cake and eating it too. One device to rule them all. Time for the next communications transformation. Andromeda please.
  • Andromeda has died. They didn't have the next communication device, just more of the same. They won't bother with another mediocre platform.
  • You've trolled this same pronouncement up and down this discussion. Tiresome.
  • I want to see Surface Studio 2 and the next Surface Pro. Already have a Go and love it...its become my go to device, but that doesn't mean that Surface can't continue to refine more specific case uses with the brand. Studio is very interesting for me being an artist and into production work.
  • In the near future I see surface as Andromeda like foldable with different power/price/size factors, with pen, dial, mouse,... support. Introduction of new kind of input(like was pen, dial) would be welcome, so would 4K screen, flagship grade back/selfie cameras,... For the farther, but no so far future is hololens with 5G and virtual computer per pay obvious. I would welcome though clip on/glasses like from Snapchat right away, so I would watch, band, 360cameras and other new hw for fun, work and health.
  • Maybe its not the immediate next step, but I'd like to see a private cloud on your wrist. Imagine not relying solely on internet to get your data. It's always on you. You can log into various form factor devices with said watch and your data is immediately available along with your profile. The computing power can be done on the external devices so you're not limited by the power you can fit in your watch. The watch can have all the core features (maybe even make calls like Michael and KITT in Knight Rider). Because you can always forget your phone in another room. But you can have your watch on you all the time. Enough biometric sensors and it could compete with any wearable on the market because any app would be possible. This is far down the line, but I feel like *you* should be the hub, not some other computer in the cloud.
  • Why? Internet access is becoming more ubiquitious, not less. The need to have your data local is decreasing, not increasing.
  • They need to bring back the Zune and call it Surface Z with hifi audio and all the features with Windows 10 but as a pocket OS. So not a phone but with phone capabilities. They also need to bring Groove music pass back. This would set the consumer market on fire 🔥
  • Would set the consumer market on fire just about as well as a dried dog **** at this point. Apple has pretty well cancelled the iPod, why would a new zune destroy the market? Get real.
  • You would count those sales in the thousands at best.
  • I actually thought this was a Jason Ward article all through. Was surprised when I saw Zac Bowden at the bottom :)
  • Surface Cortana - installable chip in your head
  • I think the point that Surfaces are expensive and that's discouraging towards a purchase is relative. Apple products are still expensive and people buy them all the time. Most middle class people don't mind paying for premium products. All we're really talking about is branding.
  • Personally I think the incremental upgrades of the surface lineup has been the right model all along. I've enjoyed the 5 year cycle of upgrading my surface device. A worthwhile value and investment over time. Where I see the the surface line failing is the half baked experiences with windows 10. By now an incomplete windows 10 experience is, for me, still the limiting factor of where
    Microsoft should go next. The hardware experience for me has mainly been amazing.