Rumor: Microsoft to launch Surface all-in-one PC in late October

Expert Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft may launch a Surface-branded all-in-one device in October of this year, according to her sources. She suggests this Windows 10 computer has an internal codename of "Cardinal," and that it may be a consumer version of the massive (and massively popular) Surface Hub. Her sources tell her that "Cardinal" may be available with up to three screen sizes, ranging from 21 inches  to 27 inches, and that it may be positioned as a product that can "turn your desk into a studio."

To support the idea, Ms. Foley points out a patent for a modular all-in-one PC that Microsoft published early this year. The new PC will purportedly launch alongside a bevy of partners' devices at a Microsoft event in the last week of October. Ms. Foley posits a possible date of October 26 and a possible codename of "Project Rio" for the event. If these rumors pan out, we're interested to see how Microsoft translates the experience it's gained from building tablets and laptops into what could be an iMac-esque desktop PC.

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    • dyrdak
    • 3 years ago

    MS is trying to reinvent the wheel again and lock in clueless consumers (or corporate managers) into the hype. AiO PC – a more expensive PC with limited performance, no expandability and won’t fit trash can/is difficult to recycle when obsolete. The only acceptable AiO compromise is a mini PC hung of standard VESA mount on the back of monitor

      • Generic
      • 3 years ago

      That certainly is an opinion of an unannounced product.

      How many clueless consumers upgrade their tried and true PCs?

      Now the trash can thing I can understand. I can’t even [i<]count[/i<] the number of times I didn't purchase a piece of technology due to poor trash can feng shui.

      • rwburnham
      • 3 years ago

      At my job, we swap out our iMacs every three years, as we have them on three-year lease contracts. They’re powerful enough for the graphic design work we do, they have wonderful screens, they’re a great value compared to the Mac Pros we used to use, and not having to keep a desktop tower on the desk helps save desk space.

      Expandability is not a concern, because we spec them out as needed. By the time they start to feel slow, three years have passed and its time for a new one. For what we do, they’re great systems.

    • flip-mode
    • 3 years ago

    Somewhat related – has anyone tried a Surface yet?

    I bought the Surface Pro 4 for the office a couple months ago. The one thought that occurred to me every single time I used it was that the thing was *nearly* useless without the keyboard attached. Yes, there is an onscreen keyboard but it’s a complete joke compared to the physical keyboard. Meanwhile, having a detachable keyboard mean you need to be extra careful to avoid accidentally grabbing it by the keyboard so the thing doesn’t go crashing to the floor.

    Then there’s the kickstand – something Microsoft had to invent because of having no keyboard, but then everybody wants to have the keyboard. Is it just me or is the whole concept verging on pure stupid?

    Most people I see using any kind of tablet have a keyboard attached to it. Kinda makes the whole “tablet” category a bit absurd. Seems like the product the vast majority of people really want is a very small, very light laptop with some key characteristics (excellent screen, touchscreen, cloud connected, long battery life, cool running, beautifully built).

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      Eh, any on screen keyboard is a joke compared to a full size physical. It can be a tablet for consumption mode, and have the keyboard and trackpad for creation mode, is the way I see it. It’s a fully functional notebook first, and then you can watch movies and stuff in bed without the keyboard.

        • flip-mode
        • 3 years ago

        I actually prefer a laptop to watch movies in bed. A tablet has to be held or else you need an accessory of some kind to hold it upright. A laptop sits upright by design.

          • tipoo
          • 3 years ago

          I actually prop my laptop between my knees and chest to watch on my back in bed, I thought I was the only one 😛

            • Spunjji
            • 3 years ago

            Word to this.

            • alrey
            • 3 years ago

            yes and run 3dmark on the side while watching and feel the heat on your crotch 🙂

          • Andrew Lauritzen
          • 3 years ago

          … or a kickstand, which is pretty much ideal for this 🙂

            • flip-mode
            • 3 years ago

            The kickstand did not work well for me when placed on my lap. It worked fine on a flat tabletop, but was not fun to use on non-flat surfaces for me. That’s when I wanted the good old laptop-style keyboard the most.

            • Andrew Lauritzen
            • 3 years ago

            To each his own I guess – works great for me on lap, table or other surfaces.

          • dyrdak
          • 3 years ago

          for bedtime watching laptop also works great when flipped sideways/vertical while sleeping (or rather trying to) on side. Try that with Surface with its crappy detachable keyboard.

          • Voldenuit
          • 3 years ago

          [quote<] I actually prefer a laptop to watch movies in bed. A tablet has to be held or else you need an accessory of some kind to hold it upright. A laptop sits upright by design.[/quote<] I'm a big fan of the tent mode on my Yoga Pro 3 for watching movies in bed or on the couch, and also for reading ebooks. Comics I tend to read in tablet mode because I mostly read them in portrait orientation.

            • sweatshopking
            • 3 years ago

            Haha comics. Nerd. ;p

      • weaktoss
      • 3 years ago

      I had the original Surface Pro and had pretty much the exact keyboard and kickstand frustrations you described. With the added problems of poor battery life and uncomfortably hot temperatures. I tried to like it, but I ended up getting, as you said, a “very light laptop with some key characteristics” (XPS 13) and have been so much happier with it.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 3 years ago

      I have a Lenovo Miix 700. I use the tablet mode all the time. The kickstand and removable keyboard is WHY I bought it.

      I remove the keyboard so it takes up less space so I can watch videos while washing dishes, folding laundry, move the tablet around while I’m watching football or hockey on it, etc. A full laptop would be difficult to do that with because of the keyboard. I will say the mouse on it is absolutely useless (the Surface one is MUCH nicer). But the keyboard helps when I want it, but if I’m on the couch playing Civ V then I don’t need it.

      • kvndoom
      • 3 years ago

      So… netbooks?

      • Platedslicer
      • 3 years ago

      I use my Pro 3 as a notebook (the non-electronic kind), with the stylus. Very good for taking notes of diagrams and formulas and such, plus doodling every now and then. And when I so wish, I can use it as a regular Windows machine (the stylus works well enough as a mouse, surprisingly). I even have a SQL Server instance on mine and it functions pretty well for development work.

      Maybe the matter of “stupid” is not with the device, but with people who buy it in place of a laptop when all they need is a laptop? Hm?

        • flip-mode
        • 3 years ago

        [quote<]Maybe the matter of "stupid" is not with the device, but with people who buy it in place of a laptop when all they need is a laptop? Hm?[/quote<] Why the hell are you turning to personal insults here? Your post was perfectly friendly and reasonable until the last sentence.

          • sweatshopking
          • 3 years ago

          While his final comment could have been phrased nicer, I think the issue is exactly that: you bought a hybrid device when you wanted a laptop. If you’re not using it as a pen powered tablet with some typing ability and rather are requiring laptop typing speeds, [i<] why did you buy it? [/i<] A surface isn't a laptop, and expecting it to behave like one will leave you disappointed. A surface really does need a keyboard, no disagreement. But it isn't a laptop, and shouldn't be confused with one. I have had SP's for years, and they're unrivaled in education usage. My wife wouldn't buy anything else.

            • flip-mode
            • 3 years ago

            Jesus, with that attitude no one would ever try anything new. To review, the purchase was for “the office” which is 15 other people in addition to me. Everyone had been wanting to get an iPad for the office. I bought an iPad. It really was not the right tool so I returned it. Then I bought the Surface Pro 4 – basically a cross between an iPad and a laptop. We used the Surface Pro 4 for a couple of days – out on a construction site. After the first day of use it had gotten dirt and sweat on it and I didn’t feel right about returning it.

            So… there are circumstances that led to the purchase decision. It wasn’t solely my decision. And you guys must be some brilliant mofos if you already know exactly how you’ll feel about a thing without ever trying it.

            I dunno, I think the best thing to say is you guys are being arseholes and injecting personal insults into a conversation where they could easily have been avoided. AND you are making some assumptions about exactly how I came into purchasing a Surface Pro 4. So fock you dikheads.

            Edit: and just because your wife likes SPs doesn’t make them good. Your wife could be a moron for all I know.

            • sweatshopking
            • 3 years ago

            I have no idea what you’re reacting about. I never said anything uncouth or unkind. I never used any personal insults. If I did, please show me where I did, so I can fix it.

            With what attitude? All I said was it wasn’t a laptop (which it isn’t) and it doesn’t make sense to expect it to be a thing it isn’t (which makes sense)

            Before buying it didn’t you guys examine use cases? didn’t you look at the products feature set and say “this is useful, this isn’t?” Or did you just say “ooooo shiny, let’s buy it!!!!” You never said why you purchased it, which is all I asked, and based on your last quote it sounds more like the shiny part. Everyone wants a Mercedes. that isn’t a reason to buy one.

            My point about my wife is that there are use cases where a sp makes perfect sense, and education is one of them. construction likely isn’t. My cousin uses her’s with customers for signing digital documents and presentations. My wife married me, so take from that what you will.

            • flip-mode
            • 3 years ago

            I could try to talk you through this but there is no benefit for me to do so.

          • Platedslicer
          • 3 years ago

          Wait, so it’s okay to call an entire form factor “verging on pure stupid” (and by extension all the people who develop and use it), but an objectively questionable buying decision can’t be the target of a tongue-in-cheek comment because it offends your sensitivities?

            • flip-mode
            • 3 years ago

            [quote<] to call an entire form factor "verging on pure stupid" (and by extension all the people who develop and use it)[/quote<] Hell, you're more sensitive than I am. Apparently I offended you by calling an inanimate object "verging on stupid", and even phrased that as a question. So, yes, I think you could have avoided putting your tongue in your cheek.

            • sweatshopking
            • 3 years ago

            you can’t really complain if you started it. that’s playground 101

            • flip-mode
            • 3 years ago

            You need some reading 101. Then maybe you’d realize I didn’t start anything.

            • curtisb
            • 3 years ago

            Oh both of you just need to knuckle up and put your big-boy panties on…jeez.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Yeah, we’ve had every surface in the office except the SurfaceRT, though I’ve had the misfortune of using an RT.

      Software is the problem. The tablet works fine when the software is pen/touch optimised, but so much isn’t. Some would argue that it’s a “chicken or egg” problem but touchscreen devices have been around for well over a decade now so the issue is clearly that touch support is something of an afterthought that will never be that good.

      I’m okay with that, since touch interface means you’re obscuring parts of your screen with your fingers and simultaneously covering it in fingerprints. Not only is touching your screen less precise, it also lacks tactile feedback. There is a place for touch interfaces, but I’m not sure a laptop equivalent is one of them.

        • flip-mode
        • 3 years ago

        Right, I didn’t even think to mention the suitability of Windows for a touch interface. Windows really doesn’t work well with touch – that was my feeling, anyway. Almost everything was to small to accurately work with touch input. And that’s just Windows – not even getting into the programs. There were a few things that touch worked great for. Just a few.

        • Anovoca
        • 3 years ago

        Eh, I have an RT and it works perfectly for what I need it to do. It has a screen, a keyboard with trackpad, wifi, and can run splashtop to connect to my servers. This means it can run any application my PCs at home can run provided I have enough bandwidth.

        The RT was also one of the only Surface generations to come with a full office key not Office 365.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 3 years ago

      Yep, one of the reasons I got the iPad. The on-screen keyboard is very nice and the cover I got in the Apple store has a great stand for so many different positions. Of course, it is not that confortable in bed, so I just go kindle and read.

      • Andrew Lauritzen
      • 3 years ago

      > Then there’s the kickstand – something Microsoft had to invent because of having no keyboard, but then everybody wants to have the keyboard. Is it just me or is the whole concept verging on pure stupid?

      Disagree with this completely. The kickstand is what makes pen and touch practical at all without tipping. If anything the lack of kickstand on the Surface Book (and other touch laptops) is what’s a joke… makes them unusable other than as a classic clamshell.

      I actually use my Surface Pro w/o the keyboard fairly frequently in the same way you’d use any other tablet – consumption. Chrome, Netflix, etc. all work great with touch these days and again, the kickstand is pretty much an ideal configuration for watching videos and such without having to hold up a large tablet for long periods.

      Beyond that even if you never use it without the keyboard, it’s still just a better laptop than most laptops. It’s small, light, has a great power connector and the screen is excellent. Sure it’s expensive, but you get what you pay for.

        • flip-mode
        • 3 years ago

        Good point about the kickstand when using with the pen. It is a quality-built product for sure, and I do not disagree that the thing is very decent for “consumption”, even if I’d still rather have a regular laptop for that, or my television for that matter. I love how thin and light it is and I think the size of it is about perfect (a little big for a tablet, but perfect for a laptop). My main complaint or dislike, rather, is the detachable keyboard. The device would be a lot more useful – in my opinion – for *production* if the keyboard was permanently attached. Opinions seem split. Some people clearly like it, others clearly don’t.

          • Andrew Lauritzen
          • 3 years ago

          Yeah I guess the idea is if you want a more conventional keyboard you get a Surface Book. I personally think other than battery life the SB is actually a bit gimmicky and overpriced vs. the SP4 being actually good at what it does, but it’s there as an option if you value the other features (good quality build, nice screen, good power connector and so on) and don’t mind the high price.

      • Klimax
      • 3 years ago

      I got original Surface Pro. Half time didn’t use keyboard. No need to. (And I used to finish and demonstrate my W8 app for University course using Visual Studio – last touches using -on screen keyboard)

      ETA: Forgot about pen. Highly useful for taking notes. I was waiting for device like this for a long time… (About since Windows XP tablets first showed up, but they were too expensive and unavailable and alter ASUS tablet with W7, just unavailable)

      • demani
      • 3 years ago

      I haven’t used that, but using Windows 10 without a keyboard on a tablet is indeed painful. It doesn’t pop up automatically, it obscures screen UI (like accept/cancel buttons) and is generally a pretty tough thing to use with its alt layouts actually rearranging keys. If only there iOS keyboard guys could redo the Win10 version.

    • RoxasForTheWin
    • 3 years ago

    Could be interesting.

    On a related/kinda related note, I’m hoping that the next line of surface products is compatible with one another. Would be nice to be able to upgrade my surface book’s gpu to something from the pascal series

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