Cheaper Microsoft Surface Book 2 May Debut At May 2 Microsoft Event

Posted: Apr 17 2017, 5:38am CDT | by , in Rumors | Technology News

Rumor Tips Microsoft Surface Book 2 to Get Cheaper, But Lose One Big Feature

Change in form factor rumored to reduce the price of the Surface Book 2, Surface Pro 5 could also be seen

The design of the current Microsoft Surface Book is very cool and was meant to be that way specifically to compete against the MacBook Pro. Many MacBook Pro buyers purchase as much for style and prestige as they do for a useful notebook. Microsoft launched its original Surface Book to be as cool as possible, and it succeeded on that front.

The sleek machine had a very svelte profile and was a two in one that could be used like a tablet when needed for ultimate portability. The big problem for the Surface Book is that the machine was very expensive with base configurations selling for about $1,499. If you are in the market for a notebook in that price range right now, Microsoft is discounting the price by a few hundred bucks to $1,299.

Often in the tech world a discounted price is used to move old stock ahead of a new version of the device hitting market. This is exactly what rumors suggest is happening to the Surface Book. Digitimes reports that a new version of the Surface Book has entered production. The source figured the new Surface Book would be unveiled this month. A Microsoft event is expected in early May, but word is that event might be focused more on Windows 10 Cloud, a new cheap or perhaps even free flavor of Windows.

If the May event is for a new Windows version, it would stand to reason that the event would focus more on hardware meant for that new OS. This has led to another rumor that Microsoft might hold a second event in May to unveil the new Surface Book 2. So far the big rumor about the Surface Book 2 has been a change in form factor. Rumors tip that the machine will lose its 2-in-1 functionality in an effort to make the price cheaper and lure in more buyers.

Reports indicate that the Surface Book 2 is expected to rock a 13.5-inch screen and have a chassis made of magnesium alloy. Pricing is expected to start at around $1,000 for base units, a much lower price than the normal $1,499 starting price for the current device. The real question is will the rumored Surface Book 2 keep its cool when it can't be used as a normal tablet.

I think it can, ask the average 2-in-1 user how often they actually use the device in tablet mode and my bet is rarely or never is the answer you get. A sleek design, better hardware, and a lower price is a recipe for bigger sales and that is exactly what Microsoft wants. Word is that the detachable keyboard on the Surface Book also created a conflict with the Surface Pro line of tablets.

Removing that 2-in-1 design will then position the Surface Book as a notebook, which its name implies, and leave the 2-in-1 segment to the very popular Surface Pro line of tablets. Interestingly, the Surface Pro tablets recently came in ahead of Apple's iPad line of tablets in the most recent J.D. Power tablet satisfaction survey. Something that is sure to rile Apple, the company traditionally at the top of that list. Sources predict that the changes for the Surface Book 2 will likely push the number of machines shipped in 2017 to as many as 1.5 million units. Demand for Surface Pro tablets is expected to reach 6 million units in 2017 despite weak tablet demand.

Microsoft has now officially announced that it will be holding an event on May 2. This event may well be where we get the first official glimpse at the Surface Book 2 and its new form factor. That event might be where we see a new Surface Pro 5 debut as well. The Surface Pro 5 is expected to turn up using Kaby Lake processors for an incremental update. No significant changes are expected for the Surface Pro 5.

The last update to the Surface Pro line of tablets came back in 2015 meaning it has been nearly two years since the line was updated. The problem for Microsoft with an update that doesn't bring any real innovation is that it could lose customers to competitors like the iPad. The big focus of the May 2 event is expected to be Windows 10 in the cloud.

This new version of Windows will be aimed directly at allowing lower cost and lower performance hardware to cheaply use the Windows operating system. Microsoft is believed to be taking aim directly at Chromebooks with Windows 10 in the cloud. References to the cloud OS have been seen in the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Forbes says that a preview the publication went hands on with showed a striped down verison of Widnows that is meant only for running Universal Windows platform apps that are designed for both desktop and mobile devices. If you try and run anything other than this sort of app on Windows 10 in the cloud and you get an error stating the software isn't supported on that version of Windows.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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