Mi­crosoft may roll out a Sur­face all-in-one PC to chal­lenge Ap­ple’s iMac

If re­cent re­ports are to be­lieved, it looks like an all-in-one desk­top is on the way, writes Nick Me­diati

PC Advisor - - NEWS -

Mi­crosoft has made hard­ware more of a pri­or­ity in re­cent years, what with the Sur­face Pro line of tablets and Sur­face Book lap­top. But these de­vices might be just the be­gin­ning of Red­mond’s PC push. If a cou­ple of new re­ports are any in­di­ca­tion, the com­pany is also about to jump into the desk­top PC game.

Win­dows Cen­tral re­cently re­ported that the com­pany is hard at work on the Sur­face AIO, an all-in-one desk­top PC that could soon join Mi­crosoft’s ex­ist­ing Sur­face prod­uct lineup. The re­port re­in­forces the ve­rac­ity of an ear­lier re­port from DigiTimes, which claimed that Mi­crosoft would in­tro­duce a Sur­face desk­top PC “in the third quar­ter of 2016 at the ear­li­est.” Daniel Ru­bino of Win­dows Cen­tral casts doubt on the time­frame, though, not­ing that, “our sourc­ing sug­gests such de­tails are un­de­cided at this time.”

Although spec­i­fi­ca­tions are still mostly un­known, both DigiTimes and Win­dows Cen­tral sug­gest that the ex­act tim­ing – and the re­lease of the next-gen Sur­face Book – may de­pend on when In­tel’s up­com­ing Kaby Lake 14-nanome­ter pro­ces­sors are ready.

We also don’t know what a Sur­face AIO would look like, but Thur­rott’s Brad Sams points to a patent ap­pli­ca­tion that Mi­crosoft filed last year show­ing con­cep­tual draw­ings for an all-in-one PC.

Mi­crosoft’s ex­pan­sion into PC hard­ware comes at a time when PC sales have taken a nose­dive in re­cent years. They slumped nearly 12 per­cent in the first quar­ter of 2016, com­pared to the same time last year. Gart­ner’s re­port at the time stated that “There was no par­tic­u­lar mo­ti­va­tion for US con­sumers to pur­chase PCs in the first quar­ter of 2016,” some harsh words for the in­dus­try as a whole.

Mi­crosoft by it­self may not be able to get the PC back on track, but it could help pro­vide the PC in­dus­try with a new di­rec­tion to fol­low – a lit­tle like how the Sur­face Book put a new spin on the lap­top.

And as Ru­bino points out, Mi­crosoft is uniquely po­si­tioned to bring some­thing new to the ta­ble. He spec­u­lates, a Sur­face AIO could end up be­ing an up­dated, con­sumer-level ver­sion of the Pix­elSense, the com­pany’s at­tempt at a touch-cen­tric table­top com­put­ing de­vice. If so, Mi­crosoft may be able to take the touch­screen all-in­one from the some­what awk­ward-to-use de­vice that it is now into some­thing that is use­ful, and easy to use.

The Sur­face Pro 4 and Sur­face Book may soon have com­pany

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