Surface Book 2 might be a no-show at Microsoft’s next hardware launch

The latest rumor about Microsoft’s spring device announcement event is that it won’t feature one of the main expected revelations: the Surface Book 2.

That’s what ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley (a renowned Microsoft tipster) has heard from her sources, anyway. Surface Book 2 won’t be happening at the spring shindig, as the sequel to the high-end convertible simply isn’t ready yet. And it’s uncertain whether the Surface Pro 5 will be revealed either.

Although it sounds like Foley is unsure on the SP5 simply because she hasn’t heard anything regarding the hybrid’s appearance, as opposed to actively hearing sources talk about it not being unveiled, as with the Surface Book 2.

But the grapevine insists that there will definitely be a spring hardware launch, which begs the question – what exactly will be launched?

Foley reckons we might see an entirely new Surface device to follow up last fall’s Surface Studio, and that it could possibly be related to previous chatter from DigiTimes about a clamshell "Surface Book" laptop (although do note that this particular source is generally best taken with a healthy pinch of salt).

Hybrid cloud

The idea of such a notebook would presumably be to pitch it considerably cheaper than the pricey existing Surface Book, and that would tie in with Foley’s suggestion that the new device could be a ‘Cloud Book’ running the cut-down Windows 10 Cloud operating system which was much talked about a couple of months ago.

This reportedly won’t be an actual cloud-based operating system like Chrome OS, but rather it’ll be a lightweight version of Windows 10 which will only run universal apps from the Windows Store – although it could still be pitched against Chromebooks.

All this is speculation at the moment, naturally, and the price point of the rumored clamshell laptop would be a critical factor, particularly when considering how it would stack up to Google’s cloudy notebooks.

As ever, time will tell what hardware Microsoft has up its sleeve to go with the launch of the big Creators Update next month, but there will definitely be some folks disappointed not to see a sequel to the Surface Book. The Performance Base variant will have to do for now, it seems.

Perhaps Microsoft feels that the Surface Pro 5 will carry enough weight on its own, and this will be its sole major revelation on the hardware front. If neither that nor the Surface Book 2 are revealed, that’ll be a major upset for the rumor mill, as both next-gen hybrids have been expected to be unleashed this spring for quite some time now.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).