Why isn't the new Surface Pro named 'Surface Pro 5?'

Surface Pro
Surface Pro (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft is dropping the numbering system from the names of the Surface Pro lineup. Instead of an anticipated Surface Pro 5 the company is going for just "Surface Pro" this time around.

We spoke with Microsoft about the shift in nomenclature and why it matters.

Surface Pro reaches maturity

In 2012, Microsoft announced the Surface RT and Surface Pro – its first foray into making its own computers. The company took a lot of heat from partners and the media for the new direction and the actual hardware. Part of that was due to criticism with Windows 8 not resonating with customers, as well as the (in hindsight) disastrous Surface RT.

Through Surface Pro 2, the company continued to face a backlash. Media outlets frequently called for Microsoft to abandon the project altogether. Apple's CEO Tim Cook infamously said: "You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but you know those things are not going to probably be pleasing to the user."

Then something happened in 2014: Surface Pro 3. For the first time, the vision of Surface Pro became apparent. Sure, there were still some minor issues with the keyboard and battery life, but it was evident that Microsoft finally figured out the overall formula. It started registering with consumers, too, with Microsoft poised to hit a billion dollars in revenue for the first time.

The Surface Pro went from niche to mainstream.

In 2015, Microsoft announced the Surface Pro 4 – an iterative update to the Pro 3. While early Intel "Skylake" processor bugs nearly sank the launch, by January 2016 the company was back on track. The Surface Pro 4 went on to be a massive hit with more markets and higher public visibility, thanks to deals with the NFL (which initially backfired in a few ways).

How the Surface changed Microsoft forever

All of this brings us to the fifth generation of Surface Pro. There are over a half dozen major improvements including optional 4G LTE, but the general look and spirit of Surface Pro remain. And, why shouldn't they? The Surface Pro design is spot-on for a 2 in 1. Microsoft can make it thinner, more power efficient, and keep making the Surface Pen better. But the Surface Pro is here to stay.

No, this is not the end

None of this is to say Microsoft is done with the Surface Pro line. Far from it. From here on out, Microsoft is likely to refer to "Surface Pro 6" as "the all-new Surface Pro" again whenever it sees fit for a refresh.

Vice President of Devices at Microsoft Panos Panay has stated that the company doesn't just put in a new processor for product upgrades, but it ensures that a new iteration brings significant advancements like longer battery life and an improved display.

Regarding design limits and form factors, Microsoft clearly has no issue with creating whole new Surface product lines. The Surface Laptop even demonstrates the company's willingness to improve existing form factors. Therefore, any boundary-pushing changes or extreme revamps won't be necessary for Surface Pro and what it is meant to represent. Microsoft can save that for other product lines if it feels that is necessary.

Surface Pro is now a "classic"

All of this brings us to the fifth generation of Surface Pro. Microsoft finally achieved many of the project's original goals with this latest iteration. For instance:

  • Battery life is now at 13.5 hours.
  • Optional 4G LTE option for universal data connectivity.
  • Fanless Core i5.
  • Windows 10 Creators Update advancements and feature set.
  • Refined Surface Pen and Type Cover.
  • New co-processor for touch and inking.
  • Improved thermals and "whisper quiet" fan with reduced radial vent.

Previous criticism around Surface Pro was mostly about its less-than-stellar battery life and a loud hissing fan under CPU load. All of that should be a thing of the past with Surface Pro for 2017.

Although Microsoft could have added an LTE modem to the Surface Pro 4, only with today's engineering technology could the Surface team make it the way it wanted. The new Surface Pro has no antenna lines or "windows" for the radio. The LTE version is also not thicker, and the engineers did not have to make the display bezels larger to accommodate the components. Power usage and standby is also reportedly negligible. As Panay told me in our conversation, now is the time for the company to bring a Surface Pro with no compromises.

When you combine advances with the new Surface Pen and the new co-processor, inking on the Surface Pro is about as perfect as you can get.

A convincing argument can be made that this iteration of Surface Pro represents the culmination of five years of work on the product line. That is how Microsoft sees it and why it is calling this just the Surface Pro. While Surface Pro 3 will go down as the game-changer, the all-new Surface Pro may very well become a classic in PC history.

Preorder the Surface Pro at the Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • So they don't have to buy new boxes or new advertising stuff when they change it to the next number.  Cost Cutting.  And oh yeah, #FireNadella
  • Yeah, great idea. Fire the one person that has turned Microsoft into an innovative, trend setting and leading edge company. Nadella is exactly what Microsoft needed.
  • Well if you truly believe that I'll cut you a great deal on a slightly used Lumia 950.
  • That makes no sense. 1) I already have a 950. 2) why would I want one now... Nadella killed it.
  • You can blame Nadella for the Windows Phone not gaining market share. Or you can blame the consumers who did not buy one and allow the market share to grow, that would make the developers want to develop for Windows 10.
  • I'm not blaming him for anything. I'm just saying Nadella has moved on... Windows Phone wasn't gaining traction so you have to move on... good move in my opinion.
  • Your posts are a study in contradiction.  Nadella is exactly what MS needed.  Nadella killed the Lumia 950.  Windows Phone was gaining traction, but moving on is a good move IYO. 
  • Sorry, I meant wasn't gaining transaction - typo. Edited now.
  • It wasn't gaining enough traction unfortunately
  • I think that's why they are forcusing on bring win10 to ARM. As of right now, devs (esp game devs) needs to cover 3 type of devices, win10, win10 phone and xbox, and i think it should just be 2, win10 and xbox.
    I think Surface Laptop / win10s is introduced because MS wants to push UWP (and I actually prefer UWP for various reasons), what's MS next move? win10ARM? on a 5", 6" portable?
    I would abandom my Nexus for win10ARM. I carry Bluetooth XB1 Gamepad and Surface Pro4 (sometimes Alienware) with me all the time, I wouldn't mind docking a portable-win10 on my gamepad to continue playing Xbox games (through XPA and free, unlimited cloud sync). * and I actually prefer UWP for various reasons.
    Clean install / clean uninstall being one, plus, would you trust your parents go *.exe hunting on their own?
  • We'll see a full Windows 10 phone and it will be called the "Surface Phone"
  • "BLAME CONSUMERS?".... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!😂😂😂😂😂 That's crazy.... Consumer buy what's marketed to them.. It's MS fault for doing 7 years of poor marketing for WP..
  • I'm not blaming consumers. Microsoft were too late to the market.
  • Late has something to do with it, but late is no excuse... It's all about bringing something new to the table, and marketing the **** out of it..
    Samsung was 50 years late to the TV set market... Apple was 20 years late to the portable personal stereo market.
    If late held any weight, we'd all still be listening to tunes on Walkmans, while watching our Zenith television sets... MS might have had a near impossible chance at gaining any amount of market share over It's competitors, in just a few years, but in these 7 "short" years a company AS AFFLUENT AS MICROSOFT interested in actually selling a product could've broke 10% by now. That was, and still is, perfectly possible.... Even with an app shortage.... It's all about marketing.. All of it.. Everything. MARKETING IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IN THE END... And, that's MS's fault. You should blame them. I do.
  • What Rodney said^! ...dont forget how late Apple came to the Smart phone race and look what they did through marketing it right. Nokia seem set to also be making a return to the market in a big way due to how HMD/Nokia have been handling the marketing, despite being late to the Android scene ..3310 brilliant addition to their marketing strategy! It's with anything in life, if you don't follow-up or support, you're not helping because nothing moves alone without direction or help. Food for though: Try pushing without applying force ..try pulling without applying force, it's how everything works.
  • The examples above from abduz and rodney are not relevant examples. I TOTALLY agree that MS blew the Marketing (as usual) and could have been in a better positon. But the MS phone has significant barriers the other products mentioned above did not have. With Windows Phone, the app gap is virutally insurmountable. Other than MS developing and supporting 3-party apps themselves, it will never happen. Developers aren't motivated to develop for another platform and companies don't want to have to pay to maintain another platform, and consumers aren't interested in learning another option. They like it simple - Apple or Android - both with virtually all the same apps. I am a die hard W10M user, won't change unless my 950 dies and there's nothing new, but I am paying a price for that. It's not the platform, it was the marketing, and now it's the app gap.
  • @jeffontwits While I'll let you off with saying the current Nokia (with android) wasnt the best example. ...dont forget that when Nokia was on board WM we nearly had most of the main apps or better alternatives ..since Nokia left WM not only did WM start nose diving but support started to die and now we practically have neither. This was because Nokia was actually TRYING to push Windows Mobile. ..But let's ignore the Nokia situation ... Windows Mobile of the old was popular and had its fair share of games and software. Nokia was KING of mobile/smartphone scene and they had apps even a BBM app. N95 for example had some apps and games, the best camera at the time, an mp3 player and even a gps/navigation system and whatnot... ...Apple had absolutely NOTHING! Most the apps that made it to the app store were gimmicky stuff, even the price of the iPhone was hefty ...but it's because of how they marketed the phone and app store that made consumers want it/need it. Because of that it sold well and because it sold well, more apps started to show up which also started becoming useful. You couldnt even copy/paste or use Bluetooth or even Office when the iPhone came out. Those were stuff that existed and were advancing at that point. MS could have done much more to make people feel they need Windows Mobile but since Nokia left the table ..Windows Mobile has been nothing but an advanced beta testing program, hence the constant feeling of an unfinished OS and lack of devices. I still use my 950 as my primary device because I love WM but should MS have wanted, the 950 could have had thr build of a Surface and they could have made the OS feel complete and pushed continuum down consumers throats so they feel they want it/need it and that WM was is the best way to go. By actually attempting to sell their devices, they could have gained a decent market share, apps would continue to come to the store even if at a slow pace and there would be less worries for users to move to the OS by compensating on apps.
  • Nopers... Millions could give a rats ass about apps.... Those are the MARKET you target.... Marketing cures cancer! Marketing regenerates lost limbs. Marketing brings people back from the dead.. Marketing is why cells split, light is perceivable.. Marketing made this universe, and all It's laws. Marketing is what you pray to at night....
    I don't know how to get you guys to understand that its ALL ABOUT MARKETING!... "A GOOD SALESMAN CAN SELL PEANUTS TO MR PLANTERS"... Doesn't matter about what WP had to offer (it was in fact very useful for more than just the average consumer) if Apple was in charge of marketing it would have considerable more market share.. Now, if Apple could've sold more WP devices, why couldn't MS have done so???????????? Right, no damn excuse. End of story.
  • Absolutely agree with every  word of this. The biggest issue for me is MS were too greedy in the early days - when I first got a WP7 phone and started  writing apps they should not have taken any commission so that lots of devs would get a great range of apps up there (and convert existing ones), but they charged 30% which was just a rip off. Plus they made it too hard to become a dev for those of us outside the US (we had to get a US tax number FFS!) so many like me didn't bother and just wrote apps for ourselves. But mainly the marketing was utterly dire - outside the USA no one knew about it. Here in Australia I think I saw one terrible, over-stylised TV ad once or twice and maybe one advert in a PC mag or newspaper - and they were so vague about what it could do no one bothered to find out. Also I know that in the early days  many prospective customers (friends and colleagues of mine)   just associated a Windows phone with BSODs and laughed at the concept of a Windows phone. I know this thought, as silly as it is, put a lot of my friends off buying one. MS should have called it something else. Like many (or the few?)  I am still a hard core supporter of WM10 but the lack of apps is finally starting to get to me, really looking at a Samsung S8 (though I hate Android) to fix this.  Anyway, maybe when we get full W10 on our Surface Phones in 2018(?) people will start seeing the benefits but really MS did completely screw up the whole marketing and developer support in the early days - unfortunately now  us few remaining loyal fans are paying for it :-(
  • Yepers
  • Marketing as well as stellar hardware/OS to back it up.
  • I agree, but there is also a certain "Cult of Apple-ism" out there.
    In my consulting business, we support it all and the cult is very real.
    When clients see they can have the same interface at work and home, on all their devices, they occasionally do switch to Windows 10 devices from Apple. Windows at work has always been a driver. Now there is a place to drive to.
  • I see what you're saying... Listen, what if I said I couldn't be a doctor, and you said that I could do anything if I put my mind to it.. Then, I said, I couldn't be a doctor because I'm black, and the white kids have the upper hand???
    .... Wouldn't my point be irrelevant, in the sense that no matter who has the upper hand, I still need to try my best?... So, isn't Apples position irrelevant in a conversation about MS doing better, and trying their best?... Isn't bringing up Apples position what we call an excuse?
  • UWP is two years old. Windows 8 was a disaster on PC. Nadella didn't kill WP, he gave the whole platform a nessasry new birth and modernization. Thing is, for users and devs, thats a big transition, bigger than 95, or XP. It'll take time. 
  • I disagree. Windows Phone wasn't marketed like it should have been. It was gaining traction in a number of other countries.
  • Free shipping to Australia?
  • Sorry, Kangaroo delivery is prohibitively expensive.  I'd have to back end that into the cost, and you'd be paying way too much.  I can't do that to you in good conscience.
  • I'm interested. one of the best phones out there!!
  • You are aware that office 365, surface, windows 10, Azure and all of these things were started and introduce under Ballmer right?
  • Question is when I go to the store to buy one, how do I tell the one I want if they are dropping the numbers? Anything to tell this latest or from the pro 4 for buyers recognition?
  • Assume you use the Model # - e.g. Model #1796 is now on the MS store under the product.  It's not too dissimilar from buying a Dell XPS 15 ... you either want the 9550 or the 9560.  But where a lot of folks won't know the numeric distinction, they are just ordering the XPS 15 with the 6th vs. 7th gen processor.
  • Vice President of Devices at Microsoft Panos Panay has stated that the company doesn't just put in a new processor for product upgrades, but it ensures that a new iteration brings significant advancements like longer battery life and an improved display.
    My issue is, if there is no different model how will people know there are "significant advancements" over the previous version.  if I walk into a store and see two Surface Pros, one with a newer processor, that is the only difference I will see, I won't know it's an improved model. Just seems to me they're just doing everything Apple has done, like they have no other model to follow.
  • Well, it does make it a lot easier to clear old inventory on unknowledgable consumers (the same folks who would be confused by USB-C charging).
  • I guess I am unclear what people you are looking out for here. I wouldn't feel for the person that buys the Surface Pro Kaby Lake vs Coffee Lake and gets a $150 off the price tag and doesn't get the extra 4% processor bump, hell, they are getting more "value" from their purchase than I am.  If they aren't "shopping" for a particular chipset or GPU but are walking in wanting the "new" Surface Pro and the sales person explains they can get x% of the same for x$ off, that's a win-win for everyone.   Circa fall 2011, I don't see BMW having to create a 335i 1.0/2.0 to distinguish the 2011 with 265hp vs. the 2012 with 300hp.  An enthusiast reads up and wants the big boy 300hp motor and is willing to pay the extra $1500 (?) for it while the dealer wants to get the 2011 off the lot and drops the price to incentivize it.  How is this different?  I see this with Honda/Acura, BMW, Lexus, etc... all the time.  It's a very common model and it's got nothing to do with chasing Apple.  
  • I agree with you here. The enthusiast will be doing their research for the exact product they want whether or not it's the top of the line and regardless of the naming scheme. For general consumers they're not going to necessarily care which generation of processor it is but that it can do the things they need it to do. While having an easy naming scheme is helpful, I don't think it's detrimental enough to actually selling the product.
  • Surface Pro 4's will still be sold as Surface Pro 4's and will be marked down in price. There will be no attempt to confuse anyone.
  • One is the new surface pro. the other is the surface pro 4. the new surface pro is lighter and has a rounded edge. the surface pro 4 is heavier and has a flat angle on the edge. they feel very different. the new surface pro is full price and on pre-order. the surface pro 4 is on sale $200 off and is available now.
  • People go into the shop, see a Surface Pro 2017 or 2018 then they can relate to how new the device is. If they see a Surface Pro 7 they will have to bug the guys there for info.
  • is called marketing corp bullshiit!
  • Microsoft stock has soared to an all-time high this month... but yeah, fire the guy in charge because the phones flopped.!
  • Enron had a great stock value at one point too.  Get ready.  Android (and to a lesser extent, Apple) have burrowed into everyone's subconcious.  If MS did not have a lock on business computing, they would be completely irrelevant.  But Google can change that with time.  Shareholders love layoffs, they can call it "right-sizing" all they want.  If you axe the people that improve your products, guess what happens?  I'm mostly just venting because I'm frustrated with him saying, "We're dedicated to mobile!" when people ask about W10, but he's backhandedly saying, screw our own platform.  He didn't come out and say it outright, so they could unload the last of their phones.
  • I love the downvotes, lol.  If I put that hashtag in a post about failing windows mobile, it would be upvoted.  In fact, I have, and it has.  Just goes to show how people change their perception day to day, based on product releases and what their individual priorities are.  I wish MS would get their heads out of their rears, and focus on just getting things right!  App gap sucks, yes, and it affects BOTH W10 desktop and mobile.  Desktop at least has x86 to fall back on.  The problem is the basics, as it always has been. S#!t just needs to WORK.  I'm not going to sit here and go through every little thing, but every little thing needs to work.  If my 950 just worked the way it was supposed to, app gap wouldn't bother me.  But when I lose pics/videos because it just decides it doesn't want to save them?  When Edge doesn't download pages (that Chrome will, faster), I don't give a rat's patoot if it "saves battery".  And since they tied it into the OS for updates (again, stupid), I know it won't get better until the next OS update.  Just tired of it.  And the guy in charge should be making sure these little things are ironed out on ALL of their products, especially mobile.  #FireNadella
  • Why do you want to turn this place into Twitter???!
  • Just going with the trend, most computers and tablets don't have a number showing what iteration it is.
  • Bad call imo. Nothing in the article actually explains why dropping the number is a good thing. And I think that keeping the number makes it easy for the consumer to know what he's working with, and communicate it better to others.
    When I say iPhone 6s, you exactly know what I'm talking about. This on the other hand makes it super confusing, especially if they keep on calling it the Surface Pro. You and me may know what's new in this version, but the average Joe could easily mistake the Surface Pro from 2020 with the one from 2017, or hell even the first one from way back. Also it makes it very obvious that it's new and better. You know that the Galaxy S8 is WAY better than the S6, even without knowing the specs. You know they have made 2 new revisions (at least). I honestly hope they call this one like this because it's a minor improvement and refinement, but go back to Pro 5 or 6 once they actually do something. Why change something that just actually started to work well for something that probably won't?
  • Personally, I'd suggest it so that you're not selling/maintaining/comparing a "Surface" 5 with a "Surface" 1 e.g. Surface Pro 4 vs. Surface Book comparison vs. Surface Laptop. Logical to remove numbering from a (growing) product line each at different stages of their evolution. This also keeps the door open for other projects to join the family without looking like they are already 5+ generations outdated when they hit the media/public (e.g. Surface Mini, Surface Pocket, Surface Dash).
  • I think you are spot on AbstractKiller.  The notion of a fleet of common generation processors having the names: Surface Laptop 2, Surface Studio 3, Surface Pro 6, Surface Pocket 2, Surface Watch makes for far, far more confusion than the general purchaser going into the store and saying they want that new Surface [product type here] with the Coffee Lake chip. Think this was a smart move for MS.  Think most of their moves lately have been really sound.  Cannot wait until they do show what they are thinking for that Surface "Pocket" :)  
  • You are correct.  My spin is themarketing team is focused on the "Surface" in the name of its product lines. Surface Pro Surface Book Surface Laptop Surface Studio Surface Hub I think the device with the most change coming is the Surface Book.  The hinge is a bit clunky.  The power base etc... and all the compromises the engineers have to make to build a compelling detachable device.  All the work they did on heat and power management for the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro will be applied to the Surface Book. Each deivce in the family has a specific user experience.  Now they will just keep working on improving the overall device perfromance.  What happens when you can elliminate the active cooling on all devices?  Not likely until Intel builds a more power efficient processor.  BUt we see this with the Pro--no fan for the i5 and M powered devices. What happens when the Surface starts using an ARM device?  Surface Tablet?  I wish they would make a Surface Radio, which I would install in my 20 year old work truck.  I have a bluetooth radio that syncs with my 950.  I wear hearing aids that links through a bridge (caled a sound gate 3.1.  My hearing aides are $2500.  So if I could get a radio that suncs directly with my hearing aides and the radio does a decient job of Filtering my voice, then I would be golden and truely hands free.   
  • I 100% agree. Reselling will be a pain as well. Maybe they will do like they do on motherboards. v1.1 Carlos
  • You could just be that guy and say it's cause apple does it
  • yes the problem is that MS NEVER had any logic!
  • yeah, like macs, i mean when you make a references to a new macbook you say macbook 2015, 2013....  
  • They should just use the year like car manufactures.  You don't call it a Toyota Corolla S 47
  • This a perfect machine with LTE embedded... Cellular PC came too early? Apple and their sheep must be drooling over this masterpiece ❤
  • Yes, and now, every time I sit down, and open my Surface, I turn, and look, and the guy next to me has one.... Are these things becoming as popular as MacBooks?
    If so, this can only be good for any future Surface Mobile efforts MS may engage in.
  • Perfect? Add GPS, magnetometer, and stereoscopic camera. Then I'm sold on it being 'perfect'
  • It doesn't have GPS?
  • I was disappointed it does not have GPS.  I take my SP4 on trips and I put my destinations in Bing Maps.  Would love to have the SP4 navigate to improve the trip experience.  Since it does not, I do like having my Lumia 950 which does not have to be in cell coverage to navigate.  Wish they would keep working on Lumia so that the battery life improves and various gremlins are are removed 
  • Generally only devices that come with LTE have GPS. That's definitely the case with Microsoft at least. The LTE version should have GPS at least.
  • Apple's Macs have had the ability to connect to an iPhone or iPad LTE connection with one click for years. I doubt they are drooling over this.
  • Both Apple and Microsoft have provided this feature since 2009 (iOS3 and Windows Mobile 6.5). I've been using the feature with auto-connect (no clicking required) with my Surface Pro (first gen) and Lumia 925, now Lumia 950XL for four years now.
  • Seriously, why is that important? I always use tethering on my Netbook to connect wirelessly to my cellular data connection on my Android smartphone. I see 0 value in having LTE chip on a laptop or 2 in 1: Increases price Reduces space for other technology  (for ex. Thunderbolt 3) Causes delays since FCC has to certify your device differently than if it didn't had LTE
  • Simple, in some countries it's a hell of a lot cheaper to get a data only SIM and you get a hell of a lot more data on one than with phone plans.
  • Whatever @Sin Ogaris said, plus convenience and battery. Tethering to a hotspot on your phone drains your battery, plus you actually have to tether your phone to use its LTE. It quickly becomes a nuisance when do have to do it regularly. Having it built-into your device makes for an always-online and no-fuss connection.
  • They are really giving their products refinment. Keep innovating, Microsoft.
  • I've been saying for years that MS should build a complete line of top of the line Surface product, and accessories, from a complete line of Mobile devices, to 2i1's, laptops, peripherals, flat screen sets for the living room, and accessories.. I'm taking the BEST, most innovative products possible... And, I've been saying that there should be a "Surface brick and mortar Store" to market these devices...
    Can you Imagine that?. First of all, could you imagine MS making a 60" Surface for the living room?. So thin it would be like a poster on your wall. And, an innovative Surface Audio System to match... Expanding productivity into the living room, and providing entertainment when It's time to relax..... Remember I said this, because MS is gonna do this. I know they are planning to take Surface into the media consumption space when the time is right. Well, now is the time... All these things consumers will love will make a "Surface Phone" extremely appealing in time.... This is EXACTLY what Apple did, but MS has the opportunity to do it much better...
  • There are physical Microsoft stores where they push Surface and Xbox and Windows and Office. They do have a large screen Surface Hub.
  • No, no no, no, no.... A full on Surface store... Surface is the popular brand that needs to be emphasized.. Of course MS services will be marketed here as well, but the emphasis should be "Surface powered by Microsoft", not "Microsoft Surface"...
    Surface Hub is Surface hub.... It is not a beautiful device made for consumers homes. That's not what I'm talking about.
  • I'm heading you rodneyej. Like the "Galaxy" and the "IPhone" SMS "Office" before it. Those brand names stick and become the shorthand for a high expectation of premium computing and productivity experiences.
  • The Microsoft Stores i have been in recently are pushing Dell and Acer laptops and Samsung phones. The Surface devices are over there on the wall. The Windows phones are in the back, if you need a replacement.
  • Yeah, the average consumer cares **** about a MS store......
    Surface Store full of Surface products.. That's the way.
  • Dont forget that Microsft is walking a fine line.  They want to give OEMs a clear advantage in meeting the bulk of sales.  The Microsoft store is about building the WinTel ecosystem beyound the desktop.  Really like the idea of a Surface Audio system.  But my thought is this is more a Windows problem.  Why couldnt any Surface device link to a audio system?  SO maybe the Cortana Devices will be the link to the home info system.  Get a surface speaker that links via WiFi to your Cortana device.  Or to your Surface device.  I have tried to use a Sonos link to my reciever, but the Windows does not seem to reliable recognize the Sonos bridge. I have always felt this is big hole in the WinTel ecosystem.  Why cant my music on my laptop easily start plying on my home stereo?
  • All of your ideas should be possible with a Dolby powered Surface Audio system, controlled by a Cortana powered Surface TV.... If you ask me, THAT should be the centerpiece of a smarthome system.. Always listening, even when the TV is off, and connected to Cortana hubs, and IOT devices, all around the house.. I honestly believe that MS is planning this. Could you imagine a 8k Surface TV on your wall as thin as the Surface Studio?.... Well, it's highly possible we may see just that soon enough.
  • That's a good marketing strategy. I doubt MS will do it because MS doesn't like good marketing strategies. XD
  • They are really giving their products refinement. Keep on innovating, Microsoft.
  • I thinks it's a great idea, it's cleaner and simpler to market. Apple's been doing it for years, going forward if you need to reference the model (eBay) you can just say Surface Pro 2017 model.
  • Great. Copying Apple again. Pfffft...
  • Yup. Like it or not, Apple succeeds in doing things.  So following their lead isn't always a bad thing. Where's my iSurface?
  • Except the lack of numbering in Apple's iPad range is STILL confusing to a lot of customers.
  • Yes, I've seen lots of people confused by Apples naming conventions. Calling the latest iPad just 'iPad' is the latest in a long line of ridiculous decisions, like naming the iPad 4 the 'new ipad'.  This isn't a case of MS copying Apple though, as they have years of experience of giving their software platforms and products confusing names. 
  • I feel part of the reason is the team felt this iteration was more of a half gen ahead. Sure there are refinements and improvements, but they probably felt it did not 'deserve' the 5 lol, but it still deserved some distinction - hence the simple Surface Pro name which is still a big honor :-)
  • But as a consumer how do you know which one you're buying? Especially if you get a used one or one from some cheap Chinese eBay reseller?
  • Just put the year after it, it's what we're doing, it's what Razer does too. Shoot, Razer sometimes has multiple releases in the same year e.g. "Razer Blade (late-2016)"
  • Sure, that works fine for the near future, but when I see one at a garage sale or on Craigslist/ebay in 5 years it will just add confusion. I guess this isn't really Microsoft's problem. As long as there is an actual product number stamped on the thing somewhere.
  • Aside from that not being MS' concern as you stated, do the numbers rule out further need for help on places like EBay (and even Amazon)?  I have seen so many mislabeled products (on both) that the only clarity was something truly identifiable like the processor.  
  • It still has a model number.....
  • One more reason i believe is the naming consistency. Next update we may zee Surface pro 2, surface laptop 2, surface studio 2 and surface book 2 all with USB C. If this is true then surface phone is due this year :p
  • Naming it 'Surface Pro' aligns it with other product names, i.e. Surface Book, Surface Studio, Surface Laptop. It also makes room for 'Surface' (ARM based device) and any mobile device if MS plans in the future. I personally think that, now instead of doing a major upgrade, MS will launch refreshes with improvements.
  • great, bring all these things to a new surface book this fall.
  • Does this mean the end to the 2 different lines of pro and not pro?  Or will there still be a "non-pro" version perhaps with a smaller size and lower specs?
  • Surface Pro with the M iCore is your "non-pro" Device.  Surface Pro m3, 4gb Ram, 128 gb SSD.  $799.  Not so cheap.  But probably better than my Surface 3 with an atom chip.  Lke the form factor of my Surface 3 but I really use my SP4 more often.
  • 800 bucks US is a far cry from 700 bucks Australian (S3). If they want to capture and maintain the lower income market (where the majority of sales tend to come from) they will need a new Surface.
  • I really think Microsft wants the OEMs to be able to sell an exact dupicate in technical capabilites as the Surface at a 20% plus lower price and still make money.  Microsoft is using the Surface brand to push the WinTel ecosystem beyond the PC.  Surface is the high end premium Tiffany device.  Let the Dells of the worlds sell the WalMart version of the device.
  • But if it's the exact same thing it's not high end and premium. With Tiffany you are buying the name, it's as simple as that (well, also when it comes to diamonds and gemstones they are in the top percentile for quality). Microsoft as a name isn't worth an extra 20%.
  • Actually having done some snooping it just seems like all brands are getting more expensive, it's not just relegated to Microsoft. I wish my pay would get higher to go with it.
  • I'd expect a Surface running on ARM later this year or early next.
  • Dropping the numbering scheme makes sense for Microsoft but it doesn't for the consumers. The conventional 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 was awesome. I would love to have seen a Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 launch this year, this just makes it more boring imo (personal preference).
  • I think that is what people are saying on here.  Say the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2 launch at the same time with similar internals.  Just by the numbers alone it makes the Pro 5 seem like the better device because 5 > 2.  People want to buy a product that best suits their needs and should worry about the number after the name.  I am sure they will just put the year in the desciption to help people Surface Pro (2017 edition) or Surface Book (2017 edition).  Now they both are named according to their capability instead of which one has been around longer.
  • Samsung doesn't have this issue between say a GS5, and a Note4... I mean, let's not overthink this. Consumer are TOTALLY stupid..
  • There's something wrong if a number on the end of the name is what gets you excited about a computing device.
  • I guess we'll just have to settle for year naming, like the auto industry - Accord 2016, Camry 2015, Surface Pro 2017 :-)
  • Yeah, that's cool. I like that.
  • Will the regular surface ever be updated? (Surface 3 with Intel atom)
  • We either wait for a Surface with an ARM chip or you buy the Surface Pro with the m3 ($799).
  • I think that we'd already have a Surface 4 if Intel hadn't discontinued the high end Atom processors that would have driven it. I would expect Microsoft to release a new Surface towards the end of this year or early next, when ARM devices for Windows 10 are due.
  • To confuse consumers.  Simple.  When everything is Surface Pro you have no idea what the latest model happens to be.  Many consumers do not know what the latest CPU should be and when you go purchase you can pay more for an earlier version.   I see zero upside to not having a number.
  • If only store clerks knew WTF they were talking about,,, we could depend on them..
    But, it would be up to MARKETING!
    MARKETING will be responsible for all of your concerns.
  • You aren't seeing an upside because you are blending two paradigms as if they are one in the same.  The very reason many consumer do not know what the latest CPU "should" be is because that's a misnomer.  There's no "supposed" to be chip for the meat of the consumer market.  You study specs and chips, you care.  They don't study specs and don't know Sandy Bridge from Kaby Lake, they don't care. No store is selling legacy versions for "more" - they discount them as the new products come in.  Every time a new version of HP or Dell or Surface is about to hit the market, the prices fall for the existing stock (look at HP x360 Spectre when the new pen version, Dell XPS 9350 on the eve of the 9360 release, Surface Pro 4 last week).  That's just basic sales - they need to incentivize them to move them for new stock.  In the end, there is no plot of confuse customers.  Heck, I'd bet dollars to donuts that the vast swath of consumers (e.g. non prosumers) find the Numbering to be confusing. That MS did away with it is a pretty strong indicator they found this to be so too so I'll take chocolate glazed.
  • except the Pro 4 devices are on sale for $200 off. and the processor is listed right on the price sign next to them.
  • They are doing what Apple has done all along with their MacBook Pro and iPad line. This annoys the crap out of me. I'll eventually forget what version of tech IO have and will need to resort to the internets to figure it out based on serial numbers and other specs.
  • I still disagree with the name because a) you said the next will be the Surface Pro 6 (why exclude 5) and b) what if they want to release another mid-iteration refresh after the 6 or 7, they gunna call it the Surface Pro again making everyone have to verbally distinguish between the 2017 model and 20XX model like they do with macbooks? Using just Surface Pro seems fairly narrow sighted in my opinion..
  • Read Daniel's article again. That is not what he said. He said "Surface Pro 6 will be called the All New Surface Pro." It really isn't confusing at all. Surface Pro 4's will still be sold as Surface Pro 4's and at lower prices. 
  • Then Surface Pro 7? "Even Newer Surface Pro"?
  • I wish Microsoft luck with this device, it's a beautiful piece of machinery and art. I'm not getting 1 as my budget doesn't allow me but I hope OEMs can see the value in having a 2 in 1 with Pen support for Microsoft Ink. This is the future.
  • Surface Studio Surface Pro Surface Book Surface Laptop Surface Hub When you want to buy on of these unique form factors, you choose what performance level (SP with a i7, i5, or m3).   I have an SP4.  I will keep it for another few years before I consider replacing.  Dont really care if it is SP4. SP5, SP6, SP7.   My SP4 works better as Windows 10 improves.  Although I am sure the Pen perfromance would push me quicker to a new Surface Pro.
  • Add....
    Surface Vision
    Surface TV
    Surface Audio
  • Well it works for Apple...MBP does not have a name its just Mac Book Pro... though you can tell by the year and release date like Early 2015 or something...soooo maybe thats what they will do.
  • No, it's still really confusing for consumers in the second hand market this many years on.
  • Vice President of Devices at Microsoft Panos Panay has stated that the company doesn't just put in a new processor for product upgrades, but it ensures that a new iteration brings significant advancements like longer battery life and an improved display. READ: Microsoft is having issues or conflicts with Intel and will not put Intel anymore as the differentiator for their new products...
  • SURFACE mobile?
  • I think the new category will be called Surface Mini or Surface Courier.
  • I think it would be just 'Surface' ..if anyone recalls Surface 3 had two variants ..Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3.
    Surface 3 was the $499-$699 model which is safe to say was the entry model for users who wanted a more compact Surface and didnt need the power of the Pro. Since the number scheme is being removed. MS can release their entry level Surface device in a mobile form. It makes sense from a form/size factor and naming scheme. It would be the more compact version of the Surface Pro and naming scheme would work as well. Surface
    Surface Pro
    Surface Laptop
    Surface Book
    Surface Studio
    Surface HUB
  • Since they also have an entire line-up of Surface devices it makes sense to take off the number labeling. The general consumer barely knows squat when it comes to tech, so when they see a Surface Pro 5 next to a SurfaceBook 2, for example, they are likely to confuse the Pro 5 fot the superior and "newer" product. By just labeling them Surface, Surface Laptop, Surface Pro, SurfaceBook and Surface Studio the concept becomes easier to grasp for those who dont follow tech the way we do. So Im pretty sure this formula is going to be applied to their entire Surface line, if only just to allow the general consumer to focus on the product-line, as opposed to the number schemes, which could make their other recent releases look dated/not updated.
  • "No compromises"? Marketing speak. I would have loved a 2nd USB port. 1 is a PITA.
  • I don't care the friggin' naming for Surface Pro, where is the next generation of Surface 3???
  • Surface Phone(TM) coming soon!
  • They named it surface pro because in the fall, there going to launch The Surface. A 3 screen flip phone. Only it won't be a phone; it will be an Ultra Mobile PC with telephony capabilities.
  • @gregorynewman - please learn the etiquette of posting on forums. Posting in caps is taken as shouting and being angry and is not the correct way to conduct yourself on forums.
  • >Microsoft is likely to refer to "Surface Pro 6" as "the all-new Surface Pro" >again whenever it sees fit for a refresh   They did it. They've successfully become Apple
  • I still feel like this creates oddities in the retail space or once they're in the hands of consumers, which seem easily avoidable with sequential numbering. Yet, I also understand that starting with 9 it starts to sound odd, but if they're going with more of a car naming scheming ("the 2017 Surface Pro") then fine, that's an industry that has long made sense with calendar year naming, just hope they stick with something that makes sense.
  • This idea of it being the Surface they always wanted is underwelming. I would belive the absolut Surface Pro would be fane less for i5 and i7, having proper all-day computing with 10-16 hours batterie time. And it should be LTE for all modells from day one. And another thing, built in placeholder for the pen. This last one hthey realy should have figuered out bt now. Now that would have ben the finall and ultimate goal of the Surface Pro line.
  • Yeah and one more thing, they should have changed it up and have the Surface Pro allsow (or maybe just) ship with Windows 10 S.
  • Probably the worst laptop you can buy on the market today. Anything Microsoft branded has a label...."questionable".