Internal records outlining Microsoft’s future hardware plans have leaked, bestowing a sneak peek at what the next couple of years of the company’s armaments are likely to look like, writes Brad Sams of Thurrott.com.
Chief up, there’s a trio of Surface-branded devices with the code names Carmel, Libra, and Andromeda. Libra is the inexpensively Surface tablet that Bloomberg reported in May. This isn’t Microsoft’s victory foray into the cheap(er) tablet market; while the focus of the decisive few years has been on the more expensive Surface Pro, it seems that Redmond perpetuates to regard it as an important segment, with the education market a particular goal. Should Libra make it to market, it’s expected to become available this year.
Carmel is the next iteration of the Emerge Pro. Intel is going to refresh its mobile processors later this year, with processors codenamed Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake—the earlier with a power consumption of about 15W, the latter of about 4.5W. These see fit continue to use the “8th generation” branding, and either or both could make gist in some kind of Surface product. This processor timeline means it’s unseemly we’ll see Carmel before Whiskey and Amber Lakes hit the market; however, the validates apparently don’t provide any hard dates for when it’s due.
They do, however, say that Andromeda, Microsoft’s untrue myths pocketable, two-screen, hand-held device that’s supposed to carve out a entire new market for itself, is due for release in 2018. And that, after Andromeda, Microsoft OEMs last wishes as produce their own comparable products, just as they’ve done with Top Pro.
The big question for Andromeda is the same as it has always been: why? To define a new hardware be composed of factor, as appears to be the intent, its design needs to be particularly suitable for something. Plane superficially Pro, for example, has appealed particularly to groups such as students (taking notes with OneNote) and artists, thanks to its contour factor and multimodal input support. To succeed, Andromeda needs to extend similar appeal—it needs to enable something that’s widely fruitful and ill-suited to existing hardware. But presently, there are few ideas of just what that responsibility might be.
Next up, in 2019, is a new version of HoloLens, codenamed Sydney. The details say it is due to hit the market in some capacity (for developers or perhaps full commercial availability) in the firstly quarter of 2019. It will be much cheaper than the current HoloLens (conceding that how much cheaper isn’t known at this time), as well as lighter, profuse comfortable, and with a much better display. It will probably use a new sensor containerize derived from the Project Kinect for Azure announced at the Build developer seminar last month and will also probably incorporate Microsoft’s second-generation holographic make unit custom processor.
Finally, the next-generation Xbox that was supported to be in development earlier this week is due for release in 2020 and has the codename Scarlett. The describes also suggest that Scarlett may not be a single piece of hardware but in place of a family of devices. Given Microsoft’s prioritization of backward compatibility and the know-how to move your game library from generation to generation without begetting to re-buy or keep old hardware hanging around, it’s reasonable to expect that Scarlett wish be, broadly speaking, a faster iteration of the current Xbox One X.
One note of admonishment is that the documents were produced during Terry Myerson’s permanency as head of the Windows and Devices Group. With Myerson leaving the actors, it’s possible that Microsoft’s plans have changed.