May 09, 2017 05:03 PM EDT
Microsoft's devices chief, Panos Panay, has hinted that the company isn't ready to release a Surface Pro 5. That's a huge disappointment for lots of people who were hoping that Microsoft would reveal a new Surface Pro 5 at its upcoming event in Shanghai on May 23rd.
In an interview with CNET, Panos Panay has declared that there's "no such thing" as Surface Pro 5. Microsoft seemed to dismiss the idea that Microsoft would be launching a new device with that branding in the near-term future.
Panos Panay explains "there's no such thing as a Pro 5," that suggests that a true successor to the Surface Pro 4 cannot be seen anytime soon. The first details emerged about a potential "Surface Pro 5" recently, suggesting that the successor will switch to a Kaby Lake processor without any other dramatic differences. However, it's possible that Microsoft is simply planning to refresh its Surface Pro 4 with the latest Intel processors, as reported by The Verge.
In the bigger picture, the Panay's revelation raises some concerns for Microsoft's larger Surface strategy. The current Surface Pro 4 tablet, which is the flagship of the Surface product lineup, hasn't gotten a significant refresh since its launch in 2015. Now, Microsoft blames the age of the Surface Pro 4, plus increased Windows tablet competition, for a 26% dip in the Surface business last quarter.
On this May 23, Microsoft is traveling to Shanghai where it plans to "show the world what's next." Panos Panay will be attending the event, and new hardware is expected to be announced there. Microsoft usually launches major Surface additions at events in New York, so a minor hardware refresh fits an event being held in a different time zone and location. Moreover, Panos Panay's use of the #surface tag suggests a new Surface device later this month is likely to be seen.
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