Microsoft’s Panos Panay Promises “Meaningful Change” in Surface Pro Next

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The Surface Pro 4 has been on the market since 2015, and expectations of a replacement are running high. But Microsoft VP of Devices Panos Panay may have indicated that the wait will be longer than some people hope, as his company isn’t interested in an incremental upgrade.

Better, Not Sooner

Surface Pro Next Rumors

Panos Panay with Surface Book

Panay told CNET that he doesn’t think the current Surface 2-in-1 is anywhere near obsolete. He said, “If people don’t want to buy our Pro 4 at this time, that’s OK. What I’m super, super sure of is that the people using a Pro 4 have a product that’s going to be competitive for five years.”

Microsoft is using the time between the release of the present version and its successor to bring, in Panay’s words “meaningful change” to the next iteration, not just a faster processor. He said “I’m looking for an experiential change that makes a huge difference in product line,” and said examples of meaningful improvements might include a much slimmer design or a greatly increased battery life.

The “Next” Surface Pro?

A slip of the tongue might have revealed the name of the upcoming device. Panay said “You’ll see that same meaningful impact when Pro 5, or Pro Next hits the market.” He quickly followed up by saying “There’s no such thing as a Pro 5,” so Microsoft could be planning to call this computer–whenever it gets released– the Surface Pro Next.


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