Is the Surface Pro 5 Coming This Year at All?

Surface Phone concept image - Microsoft

We’ve been closely following developments on a possible release date for the Surface Pro 5 that everyone’s been talking about. The release was first expected in June, but that didn’t happen. Then again there was talk of a September release at IFA 2016 right before the iPhone 7 launch on September 7, but we didn’t think it would launch then. It didn’t. In fact, Microsoft Germany was actually exhibiting the Surface Pro 4 at the event.

Now that MacBook Pro 2016 is expected to be released on October 27, Surface Pro 5 rumors have started up again. It’s quite understandable for such a rumor to be going around, especially since the new hybrid laptop from Microsoft is slated to compete with the new MacBook Pro.

The new rumor is that Microsoft will release the Surface Pro 5 sometime this month, to coincide with the launch of the MacBook Pro 2016. But the rumor isn’t verified and could well be speculation based on Apple’s assumed time line. We’ll just have to wait and see. My bet for the earliest possible release of the Surface Pro 5 is on Spring 2017.

One interesting thing, though…We actually did a comparison between the Surface Pro 5 and the iPad Pro but, as one reader pointed out, it’s not a fair comparison. I agree to a certain degree. The iPad Pro has a mobile OS, while the Surface Pro 5 runs on Windows 10, a desktop OS. But the comment started a chain of thought in my mind…

Surface Pro 5 and Other Conundrums

The fine line between tablets and laptops is now getting so fuzzy that, apart from screen size options and a few internal specs, the gap between a laptop and a hybrid tablet is increasingly getting smaller. People want mobility, and companies are trying every combination possible to try and get it right.

The problem is, nobody knows the “perfect” size for all occasions. Smartphones are great for most activities such as listening to music, chatting and so on. But when you want to watch a movie you look for a bigger screen, better resolution and so on. And then when you have heavy processes running that have higher RAM requirements you need something like a laptop. Finally, when you’re working at a computer for 8 hours a day, nothing less than a desktop will do.

And that’s the challenge that tech companies face today. That’s why Apple tried out a 12.9 inch screen on the iPad Pro. That’s why smartphones are available all the way to 6.5 inches or more. That’s why most tablets now come with a keyboard flip case. They just don’t know what’s “right” for everyone.

In my “moments of reverie”, I often envision a fully flexible device that has on-demand screen size options, on-demand RAM upgrades, on-demand surround sound and a whole bunch of other stuff. And I want to be able to roll it up or fold it or ‘accordion’ it or ‘telescope’ it, slip it into my pocket and still have room for keys, loose change and candy.

But that’s just me.

And I hope you’re looking for some of these things as well because, in the final analysis, it is consumer desire that ultimately drives innovation on a commercial scale.

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