Microsoft (September 23 Surface 2 invite)

Taking another crack at tablets, Windows giant Microsoft on Monday sent out invites asking select members of the press to attend its media event on Monday, September 23, in New York City. Unfazed by slow sales of its own Surface RT and Surface Pro tablet lineup after taking the $900 million charge over unsold inventory, the company is adamant to launch a second-generation Surface tablet, the Surface 2.

The high-profile press conference will take place in New York City’s Chelsea, where Microsoft is expected to formally announce the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets as refreshed versions of its existing Surface RT and Surface Pro models…

We’re expecting new iPads in October rather than tomorrow so Steve Ballmer & Co. are clever to counter Apple’s announcement. Sources have confirmed to The Verge that Microsoft will not be launching a rumored Surface mini on September 23.

Rumors are pointing to a Haswell upgrade for the new Surface tablets, 8GB of onboard RAM and a design similar to the current lineup, with the addition of a two-stage kickstand.

“We’re told Haswell will add just over two hours of usage to the Surface Pro 2,” The Verge writes. Other rumored specs of the second-generation Surface Pro 2 should include Nvidia’s Tegra 4 chip, a full HD 1080p screen, eight-hour battery life and black and white options, according to a recent report from WinSuperSite.

Another thing we heard through the cracks: there will be a new Power Cover accessory for both the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. The accessory is said to improve battery life through a built-in battery in the keyboard cover.

The Surface 2 should run Windows RT 8.1 and drop the “RT” from its name. The September 23 could also serve as a launchpad for a new Docking Station accessory, The Verge notes.

Despite dismal sales, Microsoft’s Surface ads continue to take potshots at Apple’s iPad, even though the outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer pretty much admitted defeat.

“We built a few more devices than we could sell,” he said at a recent meeting with investors. “We’re not selling as many Windows devices as we want to,” Ballmer said expressing his dissatisfaction with slow sales of third-party Windows 8 tablets.

The company recently cut prices permanently across the lineup in the hope of boosting sales. As of July 2012, Microsoft was believed to have sold only 1.7 million Surface tablets since launch.

So, what do you say?

Can this rumored specs upgrade boost the appeal of Microsoft-built tablets?

Invite graphics top of post courtesy of BGR.

  • jocastro

    another fail. lol

    • Vitaliy Anonymous

      You are another fail too. Why don’t you embrace competition rather than hate on it. If it wasn’t for competition (Android, Windows etc.), Apple wouldn’t have tried hard to innovate with iOS7. Look at the past six generations of iOS: no innovation.

      • Cesar D

        When Jobs was alive, he didn’t saw at all to Microsoft and Android as a competitor. Now that Tim is trying to innovate, he shows completely fucosed on innovation.

        What will happen, so, if Apple was so good with Jobs, will apple still good with Tim?

  • chumawumba

    Just file for bankruptcy alredy

    • jocastro

      lol yeah that wont happen for a while lol, but i wish

  • 5ingularity

    Why are they still keeping the RT, get rid of it already!

    • ‘Cause there are those who still buy dumbed-down tablets like the iPad, even though they can get an Intel Atom tablet that offers significantly more for the same price…so, why not exploit that idiocracy and offer a dumbed-down tablet with a slight increase in flexibility? That’s what the Surface RT is.

      • planetcoalition

        Every single post you have to diss Apple in the comments section. You have no life.

      • Why praise them when they didn’t do anything that makes me go wow? Only iTards do that unconditionally. You need to stop ignoramusly following Apple’s behind and get a life numbskull…

      • Vitaliy Anonymous

        Every time iDB writes something about Microsoft, the commenters always have something to diss the competition. Why don’t we just have no competition and have zero innovation?

    • Vitaliy Anonymous

      I follow this blog to read Apple news. I’m honestly excited to see what Apple has to bring tomorrow to the table. I’m also excited to see what Microsoft has to compete against the iPad. I don’t know why people like you have to diss competitors. What you wrote is equivalent to saying, “Get rid of iPad and just have an OSX tablet (which doesn’t exist though)”

  • omrishtam

    if they want the surface to succeed…GET RID IF WINDOWS 8 SHET THING, LOWER THE PRICE!

  • Jonathan

    For the record, iPad rules.

    • enjoy angry birds while i play bf3 on a bus.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        For the record I can play battlefield on my iPad it’s just a pathetic experience since EA is the worst development company in the world…

      • Roboter

        Battlefield isnt from EA. EA is only a big publisher for DICEs game. 😉

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Thanks for correcting me. Either way whoever or whatever made the iOS version of Battlefield should be appalled with their work and have a restless sleep each night over the things they could and should do differently in the game. On games consoles though Battlefield is a great game…

      • Joseph

        Freakin’ freemium games. -__-

      • 1. Dice developed the game, EA publishes it.
        2. Your iPad may play the game, but not natively. You still need a secondary remote system which isn’t a solution at this day and age.

    • FOFF

      on and off the record ipad rules

  • abdullah575

    but the security in iOS is better !!!

  • FOFF

    here we go again…the big ZUUUUN2….lol = fail2

  • seyss

    Microsoft = Windows + Office

  • Wissam Nasser

    if the Pro 2 is good i’ll probably buy it 🙂

  • Roboter

    I had a Surface Pro 128GB model for about two weeks. Send it back after it hat the strange Orange Light Of Death (actually it was the UEFI loop after installing Win 8.1 Preview and Clover bootloader). Also this baby was overheated and the battery life was horrible. I get a MBA 2013, and im really happy. The only thing I’m missing is touch 🙁 I want to draw pictures in Sketchbook Pro again. Wacom Tablets are to pricy for me atm. … Anyways lets see what Microsoft will show us this time, maybe they learned from their mistakes. 🙂

    • Vitaliy Anonymous

      That’s the thing. Windows 8.1 is not Microsoft mistake. It is a preview – you should expect bugs and glitches. It’s something that should not be installed on your primary device.

      • Roboter

        Nah 😀 I should expect bugs when Windows is up and running but not some weird problems with the UEFI. Anyways I’m really happy with my MBA and I also have Win 8.1 installed.

  • laszlo gaspar

    They need to put there money into apps. If the surface could run all Xbox games then millions of people would buy surface tablets.

    • Roboter

      Nah even if it will be Intel HD 5000 like in MBA 2013 its not powerfull enough to run the xbox 360 games. And I dont think ppl want to play old xbox games on its surface.

      • ✪ aidan harris ✪

        The Surface has USB (and probably Bluetooth) so why not come out with a games controller for it. As much as I despise Microsoft a tablet that could run Xbox and PC games and be controlled via a controller would definitely be something I’d be interested in…

      • Roboter

        Til its a Windows device, youll be able to play games with an xbox controller (dont know about the RT version). But again, its a portable device and the graphics and the CPU wont be so powerfull like a console. Even my MBA 2013 is getting hot while 3D acceleration, even if the game runs fluent. (Like Burnout Paradise for example) … But anyways, we’ll see what Microsoft will come up with. Maybe its the Xbox Surface, like we already heard some rumors this year. 🙂

      • That’s a sub part of the Surface Pro, but for some reason, people still expect it to be priced like the iPad…

      • Roboter

        PS3 controller isnt supported without 3rd party software, and I couldnt make it connect trough build in bluetooth only usb cable worked for me. … The RT one maybe would be priced like the iPad, but the RT Store isnt that big, and there are likely no good apps.

      • The RT market is probably growing at half the rate the iPad market did, but that’s partly ’cause most AppStore apps (kid games) are ported from flash-enabled sites (like miniclip), which is not needed for the RT devices as they have full flash built-in. Thus they can just pin the site to their start screen to get the same benefits as the AppStore app, if not more. Also it’s partly ’cause there’s no lite/pro duplicates; you get the lite version by trialing the app.

        Regarding good apps, what’s your example of a good app? In all honesty, the only tablet apps I care about (on my Surface Pro) are Netflix, Twitter, Skype, Reader and Snes8x (a SNES emulator). All of which I consider as just-as-good apps compared to what I have on my iPhone (besides the emulator, which is nearly impossible to find in the AppStore). Apps like facebook aren’t needed, again as Internet Explorer has flash built in, so, you can get the full experience like other tablets by pinning the site to your start screen. Other tablet apps on the AppStore are just kid games, File Explorer wannabes, and Office RT wannabes; all of which would probably cost you extra cash.

        All my other stuff are full fledged desktop apps for which finding alternatives in the AppStore is a pipe dream. Examples include Microsoft Office 2010, PS2 Emulator, Doom 3 and MATLAB.

      • Roboter

        We’re talking about the RT version not that you’re able to run native Windows Apps on your Pro, thats a different story cuz iOS isnt build for the same usage as OSX 🙂 Dont know about Flash, but Windows Apps arent actually Flash Apps. Most of them are build with Http5/xml/c#/wpa. Also iDevices Apps arent flash type, because iDevices dont even support flash. There are more efficient ways to build apps that looks like flash but have much better performance. … With “good Apps” I mean Apps that are looking good and dont have any stupid Ads build in. … Anyways, I dont want to blame you for anything or your opinion. Lets have some tea and wait til Sept. 23. 😉

  • Chris Holden

    microsoft… youre doing it wrong, your first tablet didnt sell well, you should spend more time making a great product (like apple) instead of releasing a beefed up (specs wise) tablet #2 so the cool kiddies can play bf3 on a bus

    • Roboter

      I dont think there will be any cool kids playing bf3 on this device, cuz they will burn their hands with it when it comes to 3d acceleration. 😀

    • “…instead of releasing a beefed up (specs wise)…”

      Just like Apple did to the iPad 2/3/4? Besides the change from iPad 1, what has Apple done besides spec bumps for the past 3 iPad generations? Are you actually considering the lightning port as a revolutionary change?

      • Chris Holden

        um they already had a great product with the ipad 2 lol, microsoft doesnt have a great tablet, yet

      • Really? The Surface RT is more feature packed than the iPad in approximately the same mass, and you still think it’s worse? Seriously, what’s your definition of great? Having an Apple logo on it?

  • drewstone

    if at first you don’t succeed, try, again, and fail miserably.

    • They didn’t succeed at first with Windows XP, but look where it stands now…

      • drewstone

        fair enough, but when the Surface is a hit, let me know.

      • I’ll never find the RT a hit; can’t justify its price tag when you can get a more powerful Atom Processor tablet for the same price tag. The Pro on the other hand, that’s a hit, it’s a full fledged PC in tablet form. Offers the following advantages of a modern ARM tablet (with digitizer screen):

        – Hand note taking
        – Form filling
        – Document signing
        – Hand drawing

        All without the disadvantages of limited functionality ARM tablets have (compared to your everyday laptop). However, it still costs the same as a high-end ultrabook that only offers the laptop functionality, and maybe a touch screen that isn’t suitable for any of the above tablet functions…

  • n0ahcruz3

    Here’s a tip MS, scrap RT, make the pro available for 499, have a battery life in par with an ipad. And u got a winner.

  • Kyle Beroney

    gonna fall flat on their face again just like with the first one. these “tablets” (prefer not to call them that…maybe garbage…no i’d just be offending garbage, but i digress) sell worse than a windows phone.