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Rumor: Surface 3 Tablet to Ship With Windows 8

07668051-photo-windows-10-logo[1]With Windows 10 due out later this year, we’ve long known that Windows RT was going to follow Windows 8 into the scrapyard. Security and other updates notwithstanding, both versions of the OS are effectively dead man walking. And now a rumor suggests that Microsoft wants to kill Window RT twice.

WinBeta reported yesterday that Microsoft is working on a new Surface tablet. Designed to be a successor to the Surface 2, the new model is going to sport an Intel CPU and run Windows 8. That is a striking change from the existing model, which runs Windows RT on a high-end ARM CPU.

There aren’t any specific details on the CPU other than it will be fanless, which means it could be either Atom or Core-M based. It’s said to be marketed as a non-pro device, and it’s going to be priced considerably less than the current price for the Surface Pro 3 ($799).

The Surface 2 is currently priced at $449. It sports a 10″ screen and comes with either 32GB or 64GB of storage. The tablet has specs and a price about on par with premium Android tablets but can’t do nearly as much as the $200 to $300 Windows 8 tablets currently on the market, so it pretty much has only sold in the low hundreds of units.

All in all this is a strange rumor. I have no evidence to back it up, but I’m reporting on it because it could be a sign that Microsoft is could be planning to repurpose the Surface brand for general tablet sales, and not as a line of flagship tablets which cost too much to be worth buying.

I’m also reporting it because I am puzzled that it is being framed as MS killing Windows RT. It was already dead, folks. MS had made it clear that the Surface tablets wouldn’t be getting a full upgrade to Windows 10, just a limited set of Win10 features.

In effect this rumor doesn’t foretell the death of Windows RT so much as it tells us that the grave has already been dug.

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fjtorres March 26, 2015 um 12:36 pm

I see no reason to doubt it.
With 10in Wintabs starting under $300 there is room for a "premium" model in the $400-500 range as long as it has a good, ink-grade pen.

As is, the new Dell CoreM model can be configured with a pen and a good screen in that range so I see no reason why MS can’t come in a bit higher and sell. After all, the RT tablets sold. 🙂

fjtorres March 26, 2015 um 12:47 pm


Dell Venue Pro with Wacom pen, FullHD screen, and keyboard runs $429.
So, why not a Surface 3?

Nate Hoffelder March 26, 2015 um 1:09 pm

Nice. Would a Surface 3 comparable to that Dell tablet still count as a flagship tablet?

fjtorres March 26, 2015 um 2:46 pm

Well, the flagship is still the Pro.
But if you substitute the Keyboard for an RT-class casing with kickstand it would justify the Premium tag, no?

The one knock I’ve seen on the Dell is the plastic casing. Sturdy and light but thick and well… plastic. (I still would buy it but if MS offers up a thinner magnesium casing with those specs I probably would give up the keyboard. Or ante up for one of the MS keyboard covers.

Either would be a fine tablet to own and great for reading.
The only reason I haven’t jumped on the Venue 10 pro is I’m waffling on Core M vs Atom Quad Core. It’s the old peak output vs total throughput debate. 🙂

BTW, the reason I buy the rumor is that Win10 is six months away and MS has that hole in their lineup. And Surface is already a billion dollar business so they need to play in the $500 market to sustain and grow the brand.

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