Windows 8 Update: 2nd-generation Surface tablets may debut next month

Microsoft may be revealing the second generation of its Surface tablets next month

Microsoft may be revealing the second generation of its Surface tablets during its developers' conference next month, according to a printed report.

The new devices will have 7- to 9-inch screens and will rely on the same vendors that provided components for the first generation, according to DigiTimes, which attributed its story to suppliers. Microsoft is aiming at the June 26-28 Build conference in San Francisco for the launch, DigiTimes says.

[ QUIZ: Can you navigate Windows 8?

HELP: How to solve the Windows 8 Start Button dilemma

INNOVATION: 6 of the very coolest new Microsoft lab projects ]

The current Surface tablets nailed down 1.8% of all tablet sales in the first quarter of this year, winning the Windows 8 devices fifth place among hardware vendors, according to IDC.

That represents 900,000 units, lagging far behind the category leader Apple which sold 19.5 million iPads and iPad Minis during the same period, according to IDC's "Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker."

Still, Surface sales represented half of the Windows 8 and Windows RT devices sold by all vendors, the report says.

The report notes that Microsoft doesn't make tablets with 7- to 8-inch screens, which are gaining in popularity, and that it faces competition from vendors that make less expensive tablets. "If these challenges are addressed, along with the desired screen size variations, then we could see Microsoft make even further headway in 2013 and beyond," says Ryan Reith, IDC manager for its Mobile Device Tracker program.

Meanwhile, according to NetMarketshare, Windows 8 clawed its way to 3.8% of desktop operating system sales in April, up from 3.17% in March.

Windows XP and Windows 7 remain the overwhelmingly dominant operating systems with XP holding 38.31% and Windows 7 claiming 44.72% of the total, NetMarketshare's monthly report says.

Free Surface keyboards ... in China

Microsoft is offering free Touch keyboards to anyone in China buying a Surface RT tablet without a keyboard, and offering either an extra Touch or a Type keyboard to anyone buying a Surface RT that comes with a Touch cover. The Touch keyboards are worth $119 and the Type keyboards are worth $129 if bought separately.

The deal isn't offered on Surface Pro tablets which are full laptops that support any Windows 7 application as well as those tailored to Windows 8.

The offer ends May 31 and is good only in China, where the potential market is so huge that this offer could prime the pump for a significant uptick in Surface RT sales, which have been sluggish at best.

As goes Maine

The state of Maine has made Windows 8 on HP laptops the official default mobile computer for schools, unseating Apple, which has enjoyed years as the primary laptop vendor for schools.

Schools have the option to buy any of the five proposals the state considered, but they have to pick up the difference between their cost and the cost of an HP ProBook 4440, according to the Associated Press.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter @Tim_Greene.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftwirelessAppleNetworkingoperating systemssoftwareIDCData CenterWindowsPChardware systemsConfiguration / maintenanceSurface tabletTrackerMicrosoft Surface tablet second generationMicrosoft Surface marketWindows 8 Surface second generationSurface free keyboards China

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?