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Microsoft occasion reside protection: Surface bulletins begin quickly

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Microsoft Surface Duo

Microsoft’s rumored to be updating lots of its Surface merchandise, together with its Duo cellphone.

Scott Stein/CNET



It’s been practically a decade since Microsoft stunned the tech business with its first Surface hybrid pill. Until that second in 2012, Microsoft had primarily been a software program firm. Fast-forward to 2021, and Microsoft is a {hardware} veteran, making well-regarded Surface Pro tablets, its Surface Laptops, and Surface Studio desktops too. The additionally firm makes headphones, keyboards, mice and pens. It even jumped again into making telephones, with the Surface Duo final 12 months. (Though executives bristle at you calling it a “cellphone.”)

Below is our reside protection of the occasion, which begins at 8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET. 

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Surface not-a-phone

7 a.m. PT

Probably the most important rumors for Microsoft’s occasion counsel the corporate has an improve for the Surface Duo phone-not-a-phone within the works. A leaked picture earlier this 12 months pointed to a trio of significantly better cameras, which was a key grievance of the unique system. Whether it will have 5G remains to be an open query — final 12 months, Microsoft made it clear that omitting the wi-fi know-how final 12 months was about tradeoffs of battery life, thickness and different points.

READ MORE: Here are all of the rumors swirling forward of Microsoft’s large Surface occasion

Modern occasions

6:30 a.m. PT

In practically a decade since, Microsoft has carried out much more work to make its Surface interesting. In 2013, it introduced the Surface Pro, a extra performant model of the Surface that is since change into what CNET’s reviewer Dan Ackerman now says is “the very best general Windows two-in-one pill.”

Microsoft additionally revamped the Windows software program to be extra pill pleasant when it launched Windows 10 in 2015, and can go even a step additional by giving Windows 11 and Apple-like really feel when it launches on Oct. 5.

Microsoft’s additionally expanded out its lineup of Surface units. There’s now the Surface Go, a smaller extra small-bag-friendly Surface. Ackerman referred to as final 12 months’s Surface Go 2 an enchancment on the “good-but-not-great” design. He did say that the smaller pill might change into common although when the pandemic wanes, and folks get thinking about taking their computer systems to the park, espresso store or aircraft.

There’s additionally the Surface Book, a extra highly effective two-in-one that leans extra into being a laptop computer than a pill.

Don’t neglect the Surface Pro X, a two-in-one that is extra of a pill than a laptop computer, right down to the specialised chips inside which might be extra akin to the innards of a smartphone than a power-sucking laptop computer.

And I did not even get into the Surface Duo dual-screen phone-that’s-not-a-phone, the unreleased Surface Neo dual-screen pill and the $3,500 Surface Studio massive-screen laptop.

Bumpy experience

6 a.m. PT

The factor I bear in mind from when Microsoft introduced its first Surface pill units in 2012 was how upset PC makers have been with Microsoft. I used to be overlaying the PC business on the time, and Microsoft gave them little warning about this new system.

Microsoft had been taking part in with pill concepts for years, even making a prototype referred to as the Courier, that lit up the web when it leaked again in 2009. Microsoft ultimately killed the undertaking, in favor of its Windows 8 software program and the Surface pill undertaking.

By the way in which, if you wish to go down reminiscence lane, this is the video demo that leaked:

When the Surface launched in fall of 2012, CNET’s Eric Franklin stated it was “progressive” in his evaluation on the time, and that its keyboard cowl equipment have been “the easiest way  to sort on a pill, interval.” But he additionally stated Windows software program wasn’t a superb match, and that it left customers in an “app desert.”

Long method

5:30 a.m. PT

It’s been fascinating to observe Microsoft’s {hardware} ambitions over time. The firm began its Surface line of merchandise again in 2012, forward of the discharge of Windows 8.

At the time, the Surface an uncommon tackle the nonetheless burgeoning pill kind issue. Microsoft’s shock announcement wasn’t a lot the concept of a Windows pill — loads of corporations had been making an attempt to promote these — however moderately the keyboard cowl. Though some iPad instances had keyboards built-in into them, the Surface largely modified how we considered pill equipment. It had a lot influence actually that Apple adopted Microsoft’s lead, and created its personal tackle the keyboard cowl with the primary iPad Pro in 2016.

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What to expect at Microsoft’s Surface event


Microsoft also teased at least one other change in its announcement for the event, tweeting a profile image of what appears to be a thinner Surface tablet device than it’s offered so far. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled.

When is the Microsoft Surface Event?

Microsoft’s event will be held entirely online, starting Sept. 22 at 8 a.m. PT, 11 a.m. ET, 4 p.m. BST and Sept. 23 at 1 a.m. in Sydney, Australia.

Where can I stream Microsoft’s announcements?

The event will be livestreamed on Microsoft’s website. CNET will cover the event live, as we always have, with real-time updates, insights and analysis you can only find here.

What can expect from the Surface event?

Microsoft’s gotten progressively better at holding online events. Despite the glitchy struggles it faced during its Windows 11 reveal, the tech giant’s taken a similar tack as companies like Apple, Samsung and Sony, which have put significant resources into creating slickly edited presentations. With the company putting so much effort into its surface line, as well as the recent promotion of product chief Panos Panay to Microsoft’s senior leadership team, it’s a good sign the presentation will be a worthwhile watch.


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