What To Expect At Microsoft's 2023 Special Event: Surface And More

Microsoft has sent out official invites to tech journalists and influencers for its upcoming in-person "Special Event," which will be held on September 21, 2023, in New York City. This will be the company's first in-person event since 2019 and could be the launch pad for several major new products. Analysts are also looking at this event with great interest, given that it will be the first major Microsoft event since the company announced major layoffs in 2022.

While Microsoft has shied away from revealing what to expect from this September 2023 Special Event, speculation is rife about the possibility of the company giving much-needed updates to its wide range of Surface-branded laptops. Among the devices likely to get major updates in this upgrade cycle include the Surface Laptop Studio (which has been around for two years now), the Surface Laptop 5 getting upgraded to Surface Laptop 6, and the arrival of the Surface Laptop Go 3, as a successor to the second-gen product. In addition to these devices, Microsoft is also likely to launch the Surface Go 4 as an update to last year's Surface Go 3.

Earlier this year, Microsoft confirmed it will no longer make Microsoft-branded PC accessories. However, it did not discount the possibility of coming up with an entire range of surface-branded accessories. It would be interesting to see whether these rumored Surface-branded accessories would make an official appearance at this special event.

Fresh AI-focused initiatives likely?

While Microsoft's fall event primarily dealt with hardware upgrades in the past, the contribution of Microsoft in the development of OpenAI's generative AI chatbot ChatGPT has changed things drastically this time around. Microsoft will likely use this event as an opportunity to discuss the way forward for implementing generative AI within its products. While the company has also integrated ChatGPT within several of its products — notably Edge Browser — we may see such integrations across a wider array of Microsoft products soon.

There is also a possibility of Microsoft revealing more details about its next major Windows 11 update at this event. Earlier announcements from Microsoft have hinted at a significant September update for Windows 11, encompassing native support for RAR and 7-Zip files, a revamped settings homepage, an improved volume mixer, and an early glimpse of the revolutionary Windows Copilot feature.

For those interested in Microsoft's Surface lineup, we expect these devices to feature minor upgrades over their predecessors this time around. Take the Surface Laptop Studio 2, which is rumored to get a CPU and GPU upgrade with next-gen Intel chips, albeit with a significant price appreciation. Similarly, the Surface Laptop Go 3 may receive an update to faster Intel chips and skip a 4GB RAM option in 2023. There is also talk about the Microsoft Go 4 skipping an ARM-based chip variant this time and going all-in with an Intel N200 processor.