(Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. introduced a new version of its flagship Surface device, adding a larger display and faster Intel Corp. processors in a push to be a bigger force in computer hardware.
The company announced the new product -- a tablet-laptop hybrid -- ahead of the holiday season, looking to challenge devices from Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. While some consumers and technology analysts were skeptical of Microsoft’s entry into personal-computer hardware after a multidecade focus on software, the Redmond, Washington-based technology giant has seen its portfolio and market share grow.
Still, Microsoft hasn’t entered the realm of the top six computer makers, according to recent data from Gartner Inc. The industry is dominated by Lenovo Group Ltd., HP Inc. and Dell Technologies Inc., which have over 15% of the market each. Apple, Acer Inc. and Asustek Computer Inc., meanwhile, hold between 5% and 10% apiece. In July, Microsoft reported $1.5 billion in quarterly device revenue, its lowest in a year.
So the company is looking to rebuild momentum and make fresh inroads into the market. A key part of that push is the Surface Pro 8, the latest version of Microsoft’s original tablet-laptop hybrid device. It has new main and graphics processors that the tech giant says will fuel a 40%-plus gain in performance and 74% faster graphics.
The screen is also 11% larger, coming in at 13 inches, and has a higher 120-hertz refresh rate for smoother scrolling. The device’s camera system has also been improved, and it’s getting Thunderbolt 4 ports for faster data transfers over cables. The Surface Go 3, the company’s low-end tablet, will get faster processor options and an extra hour of battery life.
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