It sure looks like Microsoft is launching another Surface tablet later this month


Microsoft has issued invitations to an event in Shanghai, to be held on May 23rd. 


This isn't that unusual in and of itself: Microsoft, a global company with major consumer and enterprise businesses, holds press conferences and events all over the world on a regular basis. Except that this time, the invitation to the Shanghai event was posted to Instagram by Panos Panay, Microsoft's hardware chief, with the hashtag "#Surface."

To hammer it home, Microsoft confirms to the Verge that there will be new hardware at this event, making it a safe bet that we're going to see some kind of new Surface device.

The safe money is on a reveal of the Surface Pro 5 tablet - which is reportedly going to be a minor improvement over the current model.

But with such limited information, the mystery hardware could turn out to be anything: A new Surface Book, a refresh to the Surface Studio PC, or even, possibly, the long-rumored Surface Phone. 


It's odd to think that Microsoft would launch another new device so soon: just a few days ago, on May 2nd, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Laptop, a $999 competitor to the Apple MacBook. And yet, it's shaping up that way. 

microsoft surface pro 4


The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, pictured here, was first released in the Fall of 2015.

Still, if it is the Surface Pro 5, it's not coming a moment too soon. Microsoft Surface revenue dipped 26% last quarter, by $285 million, as the 18-month-old Surface Pro 4 started showing its age, and as Windows PC manufacturers released their own price-competitive Surface clones.

Finally, and this part is just a guess, but the time would be right for Microsoft to refresh the original, non-Pro Surface tablet. The Surface 3, the current model, is exactly two years old today. And with the introduction of Windows 10 S, a lightweight new version of the operating system designed to eke more performance out of less-robust hardware, a new Surface to show it off on the tablet form factor could just make sense.

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