Surface Pro

DigiTimes: Microsoft Surface device orders much lower than original expectations

Orders for Microsoft's Surface devices, including the latest models, have been much smaller than the original expectations of Pegatron, the contract manufacturer which assembles them.

According to sources from the upstream supply chain cited in a DigiTimes report Tuesday, Pegatron Technology has seen weakening orders from clients recently.

Here's an excerpt from the report:

Since demand for Microsoft's Surface products has been seriously undermined by other first-tier vendors' similar devices, the software giant has been conservative about placing its orders, which have been much lower than than Pegatron's original expectations.

Pegatron also assembles iPhones alongside Apple's longtime manufacturer Foxconn.

The Windows giant unveiled a fifth-generation Surface Pro tablet on March 27 alongside a new Modern Keyboard with a built-in fingerprint reader and other accessories. Among other features, the device has 13.5 hours of battery life, Intel’s seventh-generation Core processor code-named “Kaby Lake”, a new Alcantara keyboard, a next-generation Surface Pen and more.

The same Intel chip also powers, Microsoft’s $999 MacBook rival, dubbed Surface Laptop.

Speaking of which, DigiTimes says that Surface Laptop orders are unlikely to boost Pegatron's revenues until later in the third quarter of 2017. Pegatron Vice Chairman Jason Cheng expects revenues in the second half of 2017 to at least stay flat year on year.

Microsoft is reportedly set to lay off thousands of sales staff around the world in the latest round of restructuring, TechCrunch said a few days ago. Bloomberg added that the redundancies would be “some of the most significant in the sales force in years.”

Microsoft unveils fifth-generation Surface Pro

At today's media event held in Shanghai, China, where it promised to “show the world what's next,” software giant Microsoft announced a fifth-generation Surface tablet, now called Surface Pro. The tablet/notebook hybrid device is being launched globally on June 15, starting at $799, the same price its predecessor Surface Pro 4 started at.

Billed as “the most versatile laptop,” the new Surface has 13.5 hours of battery life, Intel's seventh-generation “Kaby Lake” Core processor (the same chip powering Microsoft's $999 Surface Laptop), a new Alcantara keyboard and a next-generation Surface Pen.

As per Microsoft, Surface Pro has up to 50 percent better performance and 50 percent better battery life than it predecessor and 35 percent better battery life than an iPad Pro. Its 12.3-inch PixelSense touch display supports Microsoft's Surface Dial and the new Surface Pen.

“Now better than ever, the new Surface Pro combines uncompromising mobility with exceptional power and performance,” says the Windows giant.

The device looks just like on the recently leaked press shots and includes a few new pen and keyboard colors. It sports a single USB Type-A port and Mini DisplayPort, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack and Microsoft's proprietary Surface Connect port, but no USB-C.

The new Surface Pro will be available globally on June 15, starting at $799. Microsoft is offering Type Covers, now known as Signature Type Covers, in four color finishes—Burgundy, Platinum, Graphite Gold and Cobalt Blue—mirroring the colors of its Surface Laptop.

The improved Surface Pen stylus features increased pressure sensitivity with up to 4,096 pressure points (from 1,024), tilt that adjusts the thickness and texture of your ink granularly, based on the angle of your pen, for artistic shading and true real-time writing.

“Like putting pen to paper or brush to canvas, the new Surface Pen supports a natural, immersive experience that sets you free to create, learn, and express yourself in completely new ways,” explains Microsoft.

Lastly, the new Surface will be available in an LTE cellular-enabled variant, which will be arriving this fall at a yet-to-be-disclosed price.

For the first time, Microsoft will be selling Surface Pen separately for $99.

Pre-orders for the new Surface Pro and Surface Pro Signature Type Cover begins later today in select markets at Microsoft Store,, and where available.

The new Surface Pen will be available in the coming weeks.

Surface Pro 5 images leak ahead of Microsoft’s May 23 event in Shanghai

Yesterday, prolific leakster Evan Blass posted a bunch of purported press shots of Microsoft's unreleased Surface Pro 5 tablet/notebook hybrid. The company's upcoming Windows 10 device should be re-christened as “Surface Pro”.

The software giant is expected to unveil it on Tuesday, according to Blass.

Microsoft said earlier that it would “show the world what’s next” at its event on Tuesday, May 23, in Shanghai. A successor to the company's Surface Book notebook is not expected to debut at the press event, according to a source familiar with Microsoft’s plans.

The Redmond company hasn't updated its flagship Surface Pro 4 for a year and a half.

If the leaked press photographs are anything to go by, the next Surface Pro will feature some new pen and keyboard colors. Presumably, it would run faster chips and feature other refreshed internals. It's interesting that the device shown on the leaked shots does not appear to have a USB-C port.

The recently unveiled Surface Laptop also has no USB-C port.

The current-generation Surface Pro 4 released as a modest update to its predecessor.

Surface Pro 4 includes a stylus and a detachable keyboard. The device is powered by an Intel chip, allowing it to transform from a tablet to a full-on computer capable of running Windows, Office and other real desktop applications.

Microsoft has seen modest success with the Surface lineup.

Across nearly five years, Microsoft has sold only about 14-17 million Surface hybrids in total.

However, Surface revenue has shrunk by $52 million since its quarterly launch peak in 2015. Since its debut, Surface revenues have barely hovered around $1 billion quarterly.

Microsoft’s new Mac to Surface Assistant does exactly what the name says

Microsoft is simplifying the process of moving your Mac stuff over to the Surface laptop/tablet hybrid devices. As noted on Twitter three days ago, the Windows maker recently released a brand new app, Mac to Surface Assistant, provided as a free download from the Microsoft website. The migration tool requires an external USB drive and lets Apple users move all their photos, videos, music, mails, contacts, calendars and other files from a Mac to a Surface with a few clicks.

Microsoft: more Mac users than ever switching to Surface over MacBook Pro “disappointment”

If you believe Microsoft, Apple fans are so disappointed with the new MacBook Pro that they're now switching to Surface PCs and laptops in droves. In a blog post Monday by Brian Hall, CVP Microsoft Devices Marketing, trash-talked the new MacBook Pro, openly calling it a “disappointment”.

In the same breath, he suggested that the excitement of new Surface products coupled with the supposed MacBook Pro disappointment is now encouraging more people to switch from Macs to Surface than ever before.

New Surface Pro 4 ad pokes fun of the Mac because it doesn’t have a touchscreen

Microsoft over the weekend fired another ad salvo at Apple's tablet/computer strategy with a new (somewhat) amusing commercial. Simple titled “Get the Surface Pro,” the 30-second ad highlights Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 hybrid device which includes a stylus and comes with a detachable keyboard and an Intel chip allowing it to be transformed into a computer that runs Windows, Office and other real desktop applications.

Using the same singer from the previous commercial, the new video informs us that “If you try to write on a plain old Mac, the difference can be seen. It doesn't work.”

Which has lower latency: Apple Pencil or Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 stylus?

Microsoft's fourth-generation Surface Pro offers stylus and keyboard cover accessories just like Apple's newly released iPad Pro. Apple, of course, is adamant that the Pencil is the best stylus on the market because it has virtually no lag or delay.

The Apple Pencil takes full advantage of  iOS's predictive touch technology, the iPad Pro's special screen design and sensors in its tip that measure every nuanced stroke, angle and pressure.

After putting the device through its paces, El Mundo writer and photographer Angel Jimenez de Luis concludes that Apple's stylus has a bit lower latency than Microsoft's, and he posted a video showcasing tracking capabilities of both accessories.

Microsoft takes on iPad Pro with $899 Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pen

Software giant Microsoft today announced its next-generation Surface Pro laptop/tablet hybrid, the Surface Pro 4. Designed to take Apple's upcoming $799 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the $899 Surface Pro 4 offers updated hardware and software features like Windows Hello, the Cortana personal assistant, and of course Windows 10.

The thinnest and most powerful Surface yet, the Surface Pro 4 features a larger display than its predecessor, fitting a 12.3-inch display in the same physical footprint as the older twelve-inch device, making the laptop/tablet hybrid compatible with the existing crop of keyboard accessories on the market.

Microsoft also designed a brand new stylus to go with the Surface Pro 4. They're calling it the Surface Pen and it's extremely sensitive at detecting 1,024 levels of pressure.