New Microsoft invitations spark rumours of next-gen Surface tablet

Microsoft's next-generation Surface tablets are expected to, well, surface, at a 23 September press event in New York City.

The software giant this week started emailing media invites for the tablet-themed shindig, but has remained mum on all further details.

Speculation points to a reveal of the rumoured Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 devices — refreshed versions of the existing Surface RT and Surface Pro models. Specifically, the Surface 2 RT will come with a Tegra 4 CPU, 1080p screen, two-step style kickstand, and 4GB RAM, according to a report from Neowin.

On the Pro 2, The Verge reported that Microsoft will upgrade the tablet to Intel's new Haswell processor, with 8GB of RAM, and an extended battery life.

Additionally, the new Power Cover keyboard accessory — expected to be available for both devices — comes with a built-in battery for extra juice. The Verge has also tipped a new Docking Station accessory and the new Power Cover in two weeks.

Both gadgets will likely sport the updated Windows 8.1 OS, which is expected in October.

Microsoft has not yet confirmed any details, and the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A simple tablet recharge might not be enough to help the Redmond company's tablet sales. The Surface RT tablet debuted in October alongside Windows 8, while the Pro arrived earlier this year. In June, Microsoft revealed that Surface revenue was $853 million (£561 million) between October 2012 and June 2013.

That might not seem too shabby, but Microsoft recently incurred a $900 million (£592 million) charge for Surface RT inventory adjustments, and boosted advertising costs for Windows 8 and the Surface by $898 million (£590 million).

Recent data from IDC pointed to slowing sales, reporting 900,000 shipments during the first quarter, and just 1.5 million sold between October and March. As a comparison, Apple moved 14.6 million iPads during the most recent quarter.

Microsoft has taken steps to open its tablets to the world, teaming up in July with third-party sellers, before expanding its Surface Pro and Surface RT tablets into 17 additional commercial markets in North America and Europe.