Microsoft’s October 12 Surface Launch: What’s On Tap

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    Microsoft's October 12 Surface Launch What's On Tap

    Microsoft has finally announced a date for the anticipated Fall Surface launch event, but little additional details have been revealed. There may be a few Arm-based gadgets announced, according to expectations.

    Fall of Microsoft is predicted The date of the Surface launch has been confirmed as October 12. The company’s Ignite IT Pro conference starts on that day, and the day after that, Meta organises its hardware-focused Meta Connect conference.

    On September 21, Microsoft created an event placeholder page at microsoft.com/event (Thanks to The Walking Cat for the link.) The only text on that page is “Watch Live to See What’s Next,” while the background is a watercolour rendition of the Windows desktop screen. The event begins at 10:00 ET.

    However, nothing about the metaverse, augmented reality, or virtual reality has been mentioned as of yet, as far as we Microsoft watchers are aware, during Microsoft’s presentation on October 12. According to some websites, Microsoft will unveil the Surface Laptop 5, the Surface Studio 3 all-in-one desktop, and the Surface Pro 9 line of 2-in-1 convertibles. Theoretically, it doesn’t seem all that unlikely considering how strongly Microsoft is promoting Xbox gaming services that Microsoft would introduce a Surface-branded gaming laptop during the event. (But for the time being, it appears that few observers of the corporation give this notion any weight.)

    It does appear that Microsoft’s increasing reliance on Arm for parts of its hardware will be a major theme of the autumn Surface launch. A not-so-subtle positioning statement about how prepared Microsoft feels its Windows-on-Arm operating system is would be made if the Surface Pro 9 had both Intel and Arm-based variants, as Windows Central originally reported.

    Speaking of Arm, Microsoft could make a public announcement on the “Project Volterra” hardware that was initially shown off at its Build conference in May during its event on October 12. Microsoft is pitching Project Volterra, an Arm-based desktop PC, as a developer workstation that is especially suited to AI computing since it comes with an integrated Qualcomm neural-processing unit (NPU).

    Microsoft representatives emphasised a “cross-development pattern for developing AI experiences that span the cloud and edge,” which they’ve dubbed “Hybrid Loop,” during the Project Volterra unveiling earlier this year. Along with a prototype AI toolchain that enables programmers to target CPUs, GPUs, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), and NPUs, this functionality will be revealed through the ONNX runtime and Azure Machine Learning.

    Microsoft’s work on Windows on Arm has increased over the past year or so (WoA). Microsoft has been trying to create WOA a Windows on Intel alternative for more than five years, but its efforts haven’t yielded anything. Microsoft executives appear to have opted to double down on the company’s Arm PC effort by porting more of its own software directly to Arm after Apple committed all of its resources to Arm with its own hardware.

    Microsoft is reliant on Qualcomm to offer improved Arm processors for PCs, at least for the time being. And considering the recent case Arm filed against Qualcomm, it is not expected to happen until late 2023.