Microsoft to launch second generation Surface tablet soon?

Microsoft is expected to launch new versions of the Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets at the forthcoming annual Build developer conference which will take place over three days from the 26 June.

Sources from the upstream supply chain have briefed Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai from Digitimes and claim that they have already shipped components for up to 1.5 million x86/Intel based units to Microsoft since the end of 2012.

The Digitimes journalists claim that Microsoft sold 1.5 million Surface tablets (one million based on Windows RT and 500,000 based on Windows 8), which is around half what the company actually expected.

Research company IDC mentioned in a separate report that shipments of Windows RT for the first quarter of the year stood at 200,000 while total shipment of Surface RT and Surface Pro reached 900,000 units.

It will be interesting to see whether Microsoft sticks to Intel for Surface Pro or whether it decides to switch to AMD’s new Temash platform.

Digitimes’ sources say that Microsoft will retain most of the component suppliers that have been involved in the first generation Surface models but may decide to produce smaller 7in and 9in tablets due to demand for more compact form factors.