AI-generated Microsoft event graphic
Microsoft is hosting a special event in New York City on September 21st and has been tight-lipped about what we’ll see, but my sources have been able to shed some light on what Microsoft actually plans to talk about. Making.
I do my best to set expectations about what the company might discuss at these special events every year, as I did with the last Surface event in the fall of 2022. The list will be on the new Surface hardware and focus on this year’s highlights. AI capabilities are coming to Windows 11 and Surface alike.
So, keeping all this in mind, whatever I have heard will be announced during the program. With spoilers ahead!
Windows 11, Microsoft 365 and AI
windows ai copilot
It’s been a topic of the year for Microsoft, so you can expect to hear more about its artificial intelligence plans for Windows 11 and Microsoft 365. I’m told that a specific highlight will be third-party plugins launching in preview for Windows Copilot, which will enhance the AI’s capabilities as a ‘Windows Assistant’. The company already has third-party developers, including Meme, Adobe, and Spotify, some of which will be showcased.
Third-party plugins will be the lifeblood of Windows Copilot. Without it, the Assistant is nothing more than a smart web searching interface, so the company will spend time explaining how this new plugin system will empower users. I suspect we’ll also get a look at the AI-powered Windows 11 version 23H2 update, which is expected to roll out in the next few weeks.
I’ve heard that Microsoft 365 CoPilot will also get some airtime during the event, though I’m unsure what exactly will be highlighted. I know Microsoft is planning to launch the Assistant for consumers next year, so maybe it will be made official that day.
I understand that Microsoft will talk about how artificial intelligence in Windows can be extended with dedicated hardware, demonstrating how specific AI workloads can be improved using the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) . This is where the surface portion of the event will likely take center stage. , I know the company is working on new AI features for Photos, Paint, and Snipping tools, which may also be officially unveiled during the event.
On the hardware front, Microsoft will be shipping new Surface PCs this fall. Last year, Microsoft’s fall event included the Surface Pro 9, Surface Laptop 5, and Surface Studio 2+, which mainly featured spec bumps and updated internal designs that increased repairability. This fall, you can expect the same for other products in the Surface portfolio.
Here are all the devices I’m told are expected to launch this autumn, and what’s new I’ve heard about them:
surface laptop studio 2
Microsoft laptop studio on colorful background
The star of the show this fall will be Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop Studio 2, which will feature an updated 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, up to 64GB of RAM for the first time in a Surface product, and dedicated graphics in the form of NVIDIA GeForce. RTX 4050 and 4060 laptop GPUs. I’m also told the device will feature a dedicated NPU/VPU to power many of the new AI experiences unveiled during the event.
Curiously, I’m told Microsoft will not sell a version of the Surface Laptop Studio 2 with an Intel Core i5 processor, meaning the entry-level SKU will start out the gate with an Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD. will be. Storage, and Intel Iris Xe graphics. This means the Surface Laptop Studio 2 will have a higher starting price than its predecessor, but you’ll get a better CPU and more storage for the money.
Externally, my sources say the overall design remains the same but with an expanded selection of ports, including a USB-A port and a microSD card reader in addition to the already existing dual Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports. I also heard that the device will come with an updated haptic touchpad with expanded granular feedback levels.
As for the display, I’m told the Laptop Studio 2 will have an updated display that’s brighter with support for HDR content. Unfortunately, the company isn’t planning to introduce larger sizes as some had hoped, meaning 14.4-inches will remain the only display size available for the Surface Laptop Studio 2.
surface laptop go 3
surface laptop go
Microsoft is also planning to ship a refreshed Surface Laptop Go 3, codenamed Gulliver, which will have a similar design to its predecessor but with 12th-generation Intel Core i5 processors. I’ve heard that the 4GB model has been removed, which means the entry-level configuration will debut with 8GB of RAM, but it will come at an increased starting price.
I’ve also heard that Microsoft is planning to offer the Surface Laptop Go 3 with 16GB of RAM for the first time in its consumer stores. Previously, the Surface Laptop Go with 16GB RAM was exclusive to Microsoft’s commercial channels. As for how this device fits in with the AI theme, I’m told the company will highlight its ability to use Voice Clarity capabilities, which is one of the AI features of Windows Studio Effects.
surface go 4
go back to surface
Next, I hear that Microsoft will introduce an updated Surface Go with a new Intel N200 processor and a redesigned internal layout that makes the product more repairable. Microsoft originally intended to ship a new Surface Go with ARM this autumn, but my sources say the product has been postponed.
Like the Surface Laptop Go 3, I’ve heard that Microsoft has removed the 4GB RAM variant of the new Surface Go, which means the entry-level model will come with 8GB of RAM. This also means that the starting price is likely to increase.
On the outside, the Surface Go 4 will look very similar to its predecessor, and I’m told the device will only be sold to commercial customers, just like the Surface Pro 7+ was when it was first announced in 2021. I hear the Surface Go 4 will have Voice Clarity AI capabilities for the first time.
new surface hub 2s
Surface Hub 2S
It was announced earlier this year that Microsoft would begin shipping its new Surface Hub 2s this fall, pre-loaded with a new OS called ‘Teams Rooms on Windows.’ The new Hub will feature an upgraded 11th Gen Intel Core i5-11300H, which will deliver better performance than the 8th Gen processor found in the existing Surface Hub 2S.
Additionally, I’ve heard that the new Surface Hub 2S will eventually enable rotation, allowing the screen to be used in landscape or portrait mode as initially advertised in 2018. The new Hub 2S will be sold as a complete package and as a standalone compute cartridge. For customers who want to upgrade their existing Surface Hub 2S device.
I’m not entirely sure if this device will get any airtime during the event since it’s an enterprise-only product, but I do know it will start shipping this autumn. So maybe it will be there.
No Surface Pro 10 or Surface Laptop 6
Curiously, I’m told there are no plans to ship a new Surface Laptop or Surface Pro this fall. So, if you’re waiting for them, I wouldn’t hold your breath. I’ve heard that Microsoft is saving these for the big Windows vNext push next year, but that’s a story for later.
We also won’t see a new Surface Duo or Surface Studio AIO, which isn’t surprising.
Overall, hardware announcements this year will be relatively small, with the exception of the Surface Laptop Studio 2, which is poised to be a bit more significant. It’s good to see Microsoft removing the 4GB RAM model from its lineup, but that will increase the starting price for all base configurations.
windows 12 concept
I’ve seen some people theorizing that Microsoft may be taking this event as an opportunity to tease the next major version of the Windows platform, which we know is currently in development under the codename ‘Hudson Valley.’ and is expected to launch next year. My sources say it is not likely, While the next version of Windows is said to be more AI-focused, I think it’s still too early to unveil those plans at present.
That doesn’t mean Microsoft can’t say there’s something else coming soon, but I wouldn’t count on it. I think it wants to focus on Windows 11 23H2 (read our review of the Windows 11 2023 update) and the new Surface PC launching this fall.
So this is everything I’m hearing about what we will and won’t see at the special event in New York City. Of course, Microsoft may have some surprises in store, so you’ll have to check out our event live blog on the day for the news. Windows Central launches on September 21st, so don’t miss it!