Microsoft Surface 2 coming later this month

Microsoft's first Surface Pro wasn't a hit

Microsoft’s first Surface Pro wasn’t a hit

From the “If at first you don’t succeed” department Microsoft is readying the second generation of its Surface devices one year after the range’s initial launch. The company has invited US journalists to an event on September 23 in New York.

Leaks have, er, surfaced in recent weeks of two versions. The Microsoft Surface 2 Pro will use Intel’s power-sipping Haswell Core i5 processor while the plain vanilla Surface 2 is based on Tegra.

The Surface 2 Pro is expected to include more Ram, 8GB instead of 4GB in the current model. There’s also an updated kick-stand.

Some US media outlets report the launch could include a seven or eight-inch Surface mini although others suggest this device is not yet ready for the market. Reports suggest the new Surface devices will go on sale at the same time Windows 8.1 hits the streets, that’s due for October 18.

Curiously Nokia has a New York launch planned three days after the Microsoft event.

Comment: Microsoft never gets the credit it deserves for making great hardware.

While the Windows RT Surface is not much to write home about, the Surface Pro is still a fine device – one of the best new products to emerge in the last year. It manages to straddle the sliver of space between touch screen tablets and laptops.

Microsoft’s engineering is high quality, the Surface is built with the same attention to detail as Apple products. Microsoft did a better job than many of its hardware partners.

Windows 8 may look weird on a traditional PC. It makes perfect sense on the Microsoft Surface Pro. Yet I suspect the criticism surrounding Windows 8 is at least part of the reason the first generation Surface failed to fly.

It took until version 3.1 before Windows hit the spot.

Microsoft took a US$900 million write down on the Surface. But the company has never been frightened of taking two or three tries. Persistence is one of Microsoft’s virtues. Eventually it will deliver a Surface the market wants.