Microsoft to soldier on with second-gen Surface RT tablet

The Surface RT hasn't exactly been a success for Microsoft. Because of "inventory adjustments" related to the device, the company had to take a $900-million hit on its latest quarterly earnings. The Surface RT is now selling at a steep discount, and it seems poised for a quiet and undignified end.

Microsoft hasn't given up on the concept, though. Several sources have alluded to a second-generation Surface RT tablet in the past, and according to Neowin, that product is still "in the process of being built."

The site quotes "internal sources" as saying the Surface RT 2 looks "visually similar" to the first-generation Surface RT but features a "modest spec bump under the hood." That spec bump may be provided by a new Tegra chip. Nvidia told CNet earlier this month that it was "working really hard" on a new Surface device.

In addition to the updated hardware, the new tablet may feature updated branding. AdDuplex reports that two unreleased Microsoft devices have been showing up in ad logs lately: a "Microsoft Corporation Surface 2" and a "Microsoft Corporation Surface with Windows 8.1 Pro." The latter is no doubt a successor to the current Surface Pro. The former, meanwhile, could be a Surface RT successor with the RT suffix removed. Given all the bad press surrounding Windows RT, ditching the suffix might make sense. Then again, since the operating system doesn't support x86 software, calling the second-gen Surface RT "Surface 2" might just confuse users.

In related news, Windows Phone Central says Microsoft will soon cut the price of its Touch Cover keyboard accessory for Surface tablets. The price cut is reportedly due for August 30, and it's expected to bring the Touch Cover down from $120 to $80. Surface RT and Touch Cover bundles will also be discounted, down to $399 for the 32GB bundle and $499 for the 64GB one. If the second-gen Surface RT is an incremental upgrade, as Neowin suggests, then I wouldn't be surprised to see those same price tags on the new hardware.

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