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article imageMicrosoft could unveil the next Surface in Shanghai this month

By James Walker     May 5, 2017 in Technology
Just a few days after launching its latest Surface device, Microsoft has sent out invitations to an event later this month where it could unveil another. The briefing will "show the world what's next" and includes an appearance by Surface's creator.
Microsoft has scheduled the event to take place in Shanghai on May 23rd. The company's invites don't reveal much of what to expect but Microsoft has reportedly confirmed there'll be new hardware taking to the stage.
If this doesn’t already hint at the presence of Surface, Microsoft's vice president of devices and Surface creator Panos Panay tweeted out the announcement with the hashtag "#Surface" as the event was made public. Although Microsoft has only just released a Surface product, it looks like the next is already on the way.
Surface Pro 4 image from Microsoft s October 2015 Live Event
Surface Pro 4 image from Microsoft's October 2015 Live Event
Microsoft
The company is widely expected to launch the Surface Pro 5, the next version of the brand's signature product. Microsoft's flagship convertible has been a key driver of its stock market growth in recent years. Favoured by professionals who need to work on the go, anticipation is running high for the new device. The current Surface Pro 4 was launched over 18 months ago.
Not a lot is known about Microsoft's plans for the Pro 5. It's expected to retain its current form factor and selection of accessories. Most of the major changes are likely to take place internally with the most significant the inclusion of Intel's latest Kaby Lake processors. According to noted Microsoft journalist Paul Thurrott, the refresh will be "nothing dramatic."
Surface Laptop
Surface Laptop
Microsoft
If this is the case, Microsoft's intentions in hosting another hardware event so soon after its last are called into question. Even if the Surface Pro 5 does make an appearance, the company is likely to debut additional products simultaneously. Evidence for the event being more than just a Surface launch can be found in its location: Microsoft normally heads to New York when it's debuting a new device.
The invitations claim Microsoft will "show the world what's next," a message which initially points to Surface's evolution but could also have a deeper meaning. Microsoft has been working to make emerging technologies more widely accessible, particularly around mixed reality.
Windows 10 Creators Update
Windows 10 Creators Update
Microsoft
The recent Windows 10 Creators Update has enabled support for mixed reality on millions of PCs worldwide. Microsoft is preparing to launch a range of comparatively low-cost headsets from partner companies to take advantage of the technology. It also already has its HoloLens headset in use with developers and companies worldwide.
It's probable Microsoft will make more announcements about its mixed reality technology during the Shanghai event. This may include additional information about its plans to bring mixed reality to consumer devices, potentially signalling the inclusion of the tech in the Surface Pro 5. As part of its education event this week, Microsoft introduced a new Windows 10 app that lets you overlay 3D objects on the real world using a regular webcam.
Although nothing has been confirmed, it's likely the new event will look towards the future of technology and demonstrate Microsoft's latest research systems. With consumer hardware also set to be a focus, fans of Surface could be in an for unprecedented double billing this month.
More about Microsoft, Surface, Microsoft surface, surface pro 5, surface pro
 
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