The company is apparently preparing an announcement on its new tablet at its Build Developer Conference next month, according to a report by WinBeta. The Surface 3 will reportedly use Windows 8.1 instead of the mobile-centric Windows RT, before transitioning to Windows 10 when it is released, writes Brad Jones of Digital Trends.
The end of Windows RT
Microsoft recently announced that desktop users of previous Windows editions will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10, but Windows RT owners will not. It has long been predicted that Windows RT was on its way out, and this latest announcement appears to ring the final death knell, confirming that no new devices are planned that will run RT.
Jones also believes that the news represents a bridge between the regular and Pro editions of the Surface tablet. The Surface 3 is expected to be fitted with an Intel Atom or Intel Core M processor, which will enable it to run Windows x86 desktop apps. This will bring the regular and Pro versions of the tablet closer together than with the Surface 2, because only the Pro version of the previous tablet could run desktop apps thanks to its ARM-based processor.
Surface 3 to join evolution of Windows
Both versions of the Surface 3 are expected to be fanless, ensuring minimal operating noise. The move appears to show that Microsoft is marketing the new Surface closer to a traditional laptop than a standard tablet, and fully-fledged Windows functionality on both versions could provide the edge that allows the Surface to dominate the tablet marketplace.
The original WinBeta report cites confidential sources, and an official announcement on the future of the Surface tablet is predicted to made at the Build Developer Conference which will take place from April 29 to May 1.
Microsoft appears to be bringing the Surface on board with the rumored transition to Windows as a Service, which if it goes through would mark a significant change of business model for the tech giant. WinBeta also predicts that Build could see the announcement of further developments in Microsoft’s Holosense technology, and potentially a new flagship Lumia device.