With the launch of the Surface Studio, Microsoft’s all-in-one desk-bound masterpiece made a huge play to the design community. It might have been pricey, but the tight integration of the Windows 10 Creators Update with practical peripherals such as the Surface Dial and Surface Pen could be seen as a subtle shockwave that disturbed the comfortable reliance on macOS.
Two years later I think its time for the 28-inch easel based Studio to be updated, and all the signs out there suggest Microsoft is thinking the same.
The last few years have seen Microsoft keep a relatively steady pace for its high-end designs. Winding the clock back, 2017 saw the debut of the Surface Book 2, while the original Surface Book was launched in 2015. Meanwhile the first Surface Studio was revealed in 2016.
There’s not a huge amount of data, but on the assumption that the Surface line allows us to assume Taniyama-Shimura, then we have Surface Book in 2015, Surface Studio in 2016, Surface Book 2 in 2017, and Surface Studio 2 in late 2018?
The Surface Studio is not a machine designed to sell in the quantities seen by smartphones, or other Surface devices. It is very much a nice machine, but one that allows Microsoft to show off its engineering prowess, to show what Windows 10 can do when the gloves come of, and allows Redmond to have a product it can use to illustrate its software and hardware without biasing towards a single partner manufacturer
Yes, there’s an argument that having Surface line actually weakness the partnership as Microsoft is seen more as a hardware competitor than a thought leader, but that’s for another time.
This article is looking forward to the window that could see the second Studio model launched. The spark comes from the news that the current Surface Studio machines are sold out. MSPowerUser has the details:
Some evidence that it may be coming sooner rather than later is that all models of the Surface Studio, from the cheapest to the most expensive, are currently sold out at the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft announced the last Surface Studio at a special Windows 10 event on October 2016, and I assume with a raft of new hardware expected, including the long expected and rumoured Surface Phone, it is likely Microsoft will be having another such event, likely to coincide with the release of Windows 10 Redstone 5, to announce the new devices.
It is a bit of a jump to go from ‘out of stock’ in late June to ‘new hardware incoming’ but it’s not that stretching that far. As well as updates and codenamed for new versions of the Surface Pro, a budget version of a Surace tablet, updates to Surface Book, and the almost mythical Surface Phone, there is the small matter of ‘Capitola’ the codename that shows up in Microsoft’s product maps. Zac Bowden has more details:
Obviously, a new Surface Studio would feature updated internals, which would be much appreciated considering the original Surface Studio was made available with rather lackluster specifications for an incredibly steep price. I’m told the Surface Studio 2 will fix this, with improved specifications in the higher-tier models, and perhaps even a lower-cost option for those that can’t afford $3000 out of the gate.
There’s a clear (but short) release pattern that fits, there’s a product on the road-map, and there’s a clear gap in terms of technology and specifications that needs filled.
Your move, Microsoft.