We already know Microsoft is launching Windows 11 on October 5, but what would a new operating system be without new hardware to showcase it? Microsoft is having what many have pegged as a Surface hardware event on September 23, at 1 a.m. AEST. It’s all virtual, of course, and there’s a link available if you want to watch it live.
Microsoft is also expected to announce the Surface Duo 2, which was leaked over the winter. It first appeared on a relatively unknown YouTube channel in June, with Windows Central later claiming the images were a legitimate look at what was to come.
The video shows that the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 has a similar general design to the first-generation foldable tablet, down to the signature hinge, dual displays, and giant Windows logo emblazoned on the back. Apparently, there’s also a larger rear camera module with wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto cameras stacked on top of one another. It looks pretty bulky from the leaked previews, but we’ll have to see how true to life those were.
The Duo 2’s specs have also leaked. The tablet will apparently feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip, which would place it in the ranks of Android flagships. It could also have more memory and 5G capability. There’s no word of other premium features like wireless charging and water resistance, which Samsung recently touted as one of the reasons to buy its lineup of foldable devices.
It’s unclear whether the Surface Duo 2 will be presented as a smartphone or a foldable tablet-like device. The original Surface Duo ran Android, and though Google has been working overtime to make its mobile operating system scale to these sorts of displays, Microsoft’s particular approach felt a little off the mark.
But if it runs Windows 11, it might be the first device truly optimised for Microsoft’s touch-friendly next-gen operating system. Windows 11 emphasises operating in a mobile environment rather than the traditional desktop, where the OS has been tethered for decades. In addition to new widgets, a new touch keyboard, and touchable Android apps downloadable through the Amazon App store (though those have been delayed from launch), there are new options for pinning multiple windows and even setting up the Taskbar so that it’s centred — similar to the way it’s presented on tablet-like Chrome OS.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) September 1, 2021
Microsoft could also use its September event to announce the Surface Book 4. Windows Central reported that it might not get the Surface Book moniker, however. Instead, Microsoft could rebrand it as the Surface Laptop Pro. The company could also update its Surface Pro lineup to showcase Windows 11.
Invitations have been sent out to the press, and Gizmodo will be covering the event right here. Be sure to join us on September 23 to see everything Microsoft announces.