The latest news on the Surface all-in-one front comes courtesy of reliable Microsoft insider Mary Jo Foley. According to her sources, the device has been developed under the codename “Surface Cardinal” and will of course run Windows 10. Foley’s also says that Cardinal will in effect turn your desk into “a studio” and could be the consumer equivalent of the business-focused Surface Hub devices that being shipping earlier this year.
It should be noted that a Microsoft patent application surfaced earlier this year detailing a modular all-in-one PC design with a hinged touch screen display that attaches to a computing base. The base is modular in design, allowing users to stack components to add functionality.
“These housings may be configured to be ‘swappable’ within the housing to change functionality as desired, such as to update the processing, memory, and/or network resources of the computing device,” wrote patent authors Young Soo Kim and Tim Escolin at the time. “In this way, the computing device may be altered and changed readily by a user in an intuitive manner without requiring detailed knowledge of the hardware.”
Of course, we don’t know if Microsoft plans to go down this route with Cardinal, but it at least gives us an idea of what the company’s top hardware engineers are dreaming up for future computing devices.
Last month, a separate report indicated that the Surface all-in-one would be available in 21-inch, 24-inch and 27-inch screen sizes, with the latter two shipping with 4K displays.
In other news, if you’re looking for a complete revamp of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book this fall, you’ll have to keep on waiting. Foley’s sources suggest that Microsoft will likely simply refresh both convertibles with newer processors (likely Kaby Lake) and “other minor feature updates”.