Microsoft has been cautious about making its Surface product line available worldwide. It tests devices in specific markets, sees how they do, and if the response is good, ships them to those areas. The company appears to have have received a strong response, in particular, to its Surface Studio, Surface Book devices and Surface Dial, which will soon be available in many Asian and European countries. The expanded availability of these devices was announced on the same day Microsoft said it would release Windows 10 Creators Update on April 11. The Surface Book with Performance Base, one of the devices that will be more broadly available, is a high-performance laptop that can also be a tablet.
With the launch of the Surface Studio, Microsoft's all-in-one desk-bound masterpiece made a huge play to the design community. It might have been pricey, but the tight integration of the Windows 10 Creators Update with practical peripherals such as the Surface Dial and Surface Pen could be seen as a subtle shockwave that disturbed the comfortable reliance on macOS. Two years later I think its time for the 28-inch easel based Studio to be updated, and all the signs out there suggest Microsoft is thinking the same. The last few years have seen Microsoft keep a relatively steady pace for its high-end designs. Winding the clock back, 2017 saw the debut of the Surface Book 2, while the original Surface Book was launched in 2015.
Both devices come with a Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. You'll have to pay for all that extra storage and grunt, however. In the UK, the 1TB Surface Book costs 2,649, while the the 1TB Surface Pro 4 comes in at 2,199. Cheap laptop replacements, these are not. Still, they represent the best of Microsoft hardware, and a glimpse at what the company can achieve when it targets true power users.
Microsoft has metamorphosed several times in its corporate life, but one trait has remained consistent throughout. When the company decides to enter a market, it's relentless in its efforts to gain a toehold. That was true in the 1980s and 1990s, when Bill Gates and his lieutenants scratched and clawed their way to a market position so dominant they lost a landmark antitrust trial. And it's still true in the Satya Nadella era, as evidenced by the surprising success of the Microsoft Surface division. Microsoft just closed the books on its 2018 fiscal year.
Those rumors of black Surface devices at Microsoft's impending October 2nd event might have some merit. WalkingCat (a historically good source of Microsoft scoops) has posted what appears to be a leaked press image showing matte black versions of the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro, along with what's likely a refreshed Surface Studio. The leak doesn't include specs or any other details. All the devices look similar to their existing counterparts apart from the new hue, though, reinforcing claims that these would be spec bumps rather than major revisions. If past reports are accurate, the Surface Laptop and Surface Pro would step up to quad-core 8th-generation Intel Core chips, with more RAM in most configurations.