Microsoft Corporation sent out invites to its event holding in New York on May 2. The invites simply hold the #MicrosoftEDU educational hashtag but many media outlets are reporting the May 2 event as a special hardware and software event. Based on the rumors hinting that the event will have a hardware slant, many Surface fans are looking forward to the possibility that the firm will unveil or hint at its plans for the Surface Phone.
However, despite our hopes that Microsoft will unleash a Surface Phone, it’s not likely we will see or hear anything about the elusive Surface Phone in the May 2 event. This piece attempts to piece together some of the bits with a view to painting a picture of what fans can expect to see on May 2.
Here’s the hardware Microsoft might unveil next month
Starting from the hardware side of things, Microsoft might want to unveil a successor to its Surface 3, which has rave reviews as a student tablet. The Surface 3 offers a perfect mix of performance and value starting at $499; however, it is no longer on sale in the Microsoft store. A refresh of the Surface 3 line will be a welcome addition to the Surface brand.
Interestingly, both the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book could use a hardware upgrade or refresh. Yet, it is highly unlikely that the firm can pull off a spectacular upgrade by May 2. Of course, we can expect to see upgrades later in the year but the Surface Pro 5 isn’t making its debut on May 2.
Another likely contender for the spotlight on May 2 is the firm’s Xbox Project Scorpio. Project Scorpio is Microsoft’s latest attempt to build the best platform for creating and playing games. Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox revealed in a blog post that Xbox Project Scorpio is the “first true 4K console for gamers with an emphasis on compatibility so no one gets left behind.” Xbox Project Scorpio should have its own E3 event in June but we could get an early teaser from the firm next month.
Here’s the software that we can expect on May 2
On the software side of things, I am optimistic about the chances that Microsoft will unveil its Windows 10 Cloud operating system. Windows 10 Cloud OS is supposed to be an alternative to Chrome OS and it will be able to run Universal Windows Apps. The firm floated some early versions of its Windows 10 Cloud OS in January and feelers in the industry suggest that the firm will hold an event codenamed “Bespin” for the OS.
Universal Windows Apps are important to Microsoft because much of the success of the rumored Surface Phone depends on its ability to run desktop apps. If the firm succeeds with Universal Window Apps on its Windows 10 Cloud OS, it would be in a much better position to port apps over to the Surface Phone.
Surface Phone prospects are foggy
In all honesty, the Surface Phone doesn’t stand much of a chance against established flagships in the iOS and Android platforms. Windows mobile sits at a distant third because Redmond came late to the mobile market. However, the ability to run desktop apps on the Surface Phone might help the device gain a critical mass that could at least give it a chance to survive and thrive in the smartphone market going forward.