Time to ditch Windows 10? Major announcement at Microsoft event today could convince you to upgrade

microsoft surface pro 10 for business pictured next to surface laptop 6 for business on a blank background

Microsoft announced two new Surface PCs designed by its in-house team to work with Windows 11 for enterprise customers back in March, but consumer-focused versions are tipped to launch with improved battery life and power at the May 20 Surface AI event

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 20/05/2024

- 10:18

Updated: 21/05/2024

- 13:20

Monumental gains in power and battery life have been teased ahead of this afternoon's event

  • Microsoft widely-tipped to announce new Surface devices
  • These will be powered by a new chipset from Qualcomm
  • The US firm has promised vast improvements in battery life and power
  • It will be optimised for AI to boost performance of Microsoft Copilot
  • All new Surface hardware will have a dedicated AI button on the keyboard

Update, May 21: The curtain has now fallen on the Surface AI event in Seattle, with Microsoft unveiling a new Surface Laptop 7th Edition, Surface Pro tablet, and a new Copilot+ PC requirement to unlock the latest AI features coming to Windows 11. The original article, published before the event, follows below.

Microsoft will hold its next major event at its Redmond headquarters later today, May 20. The announcement will not be available to watch online, but is widely tipped to see the reveal of all-new Surface devices.

The event coincides with the start of Microsoft Build — the annual developer conference, where executives from the company reveal the roadmap for Windows 11, AI features like Copilot, and cloud service Azure. Microsoft has invested $10 billion into OpenAI, the firm behind ChatGPT, which offered a sneak peek at its latest AI model this month, so we'd expect to find out how ChatGPT-4o will be applied across Windows 11 and Windows 10.

At its dedicated Surface event, Microsoft is expected to Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. Entreprise-specific variants of both devices first appeared back in March.

microsoft surface pro 10 for business pictured on blank background with surface pen stylus lying in front of the device

Surface Pro 10 for Business debuts a new anti-glare coating on the screen, which Microsoft says will not dampen the experience of using the touchscreen with your fingertips or Surface Pen stylus


The reworked models are rumoured to be powered by a new chipset co-created with Qualcomm. The silicon will have a dedicated NPU, Neural Processing Unit, to accelerate Artificial Intelligence (AI) tasks in Windows 11. Surface Pro 10 and Laptop 6 will have a dedicated button on the keyboard for Microsoft Copilot AI assistant — the first shake-up to the standard Windows keyboard layout since the Start key was introduced back in 1994.

Qualcomm has suggested that its new chipsets will be able to beat Apple, Intel and AMD on performance, power efficiency, and battery life. At the hotly-anticipated Surface AI event, we'll be able to put these claims to the test and find out whether the next-generation Windows 11 devices from Microsoft can beat the newly-launched MacBook Air M3 laptops from Apple.

Aside from new Surface devices built by the team at Microsoft, ASUS and Dell have also teased new AI-focused laptops at the event too. If you're one of the millions of people still running Windows 10 — a number that's only going in one direction, then these AI-optimised laptops with vast battery life gains could be the reason to upgrade ahead of the end of support deadline.

Surface Pro 10 for Business and Surface Laptop 6 for Business were announced during an online broadcast by Microsoft back in March. The product line-up marks the first time that Microsoft has released modified versions of its Surface devices for enterprise customers before the consumer version.

Although neither of these PCs will be sold directly to customers (you'll need to convince someone in the IT department at work to place an order if you want to get your hands on these all-new Surface gadgets) they do hint at several innovations that'll likely come to the Surface hardware for everyone.

In the past, Microsoft's "for Business" range is almost indistinguishable from the consumer line-up, except they're only available in pretty muted colours, ship in basic brown packages, and can't be found in stores like Amazon, Currys, or Argos.

From the outside, little has changed with these new Surface devices. The only noticeable change from the previous generation of hardware from Microsoft is an extra USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port on the Surface Laptop 6 for Business, which can also be configured with an optional smart card reader.

microsoft Surface Pro keyboard pictured on a blank background with its new bold font

Microsoft has changed the typeface used on the detachable Surface Pro keyboard, boosted the backlight, and added the new Copilot key in the bottom right-hand corner


Surface Pro 10 has an improved 13-inch display that's 33% brighter, which should make everything easily visible even in direct sunlight. There's also a custom-designed anti-reflective coating that should cut down on glare. The resolution remains unchanged from the previous generation at 267 pixels-per-inch.

Microsoft says the new coating will not impact performance when using the touchscreen, branded as "PixelSense", with your fingertip or Surface Pen stylus.

The latest generation of Intel Core Ultra processors should provide a healthy boost in performance, with Microsoft touting that Surface Pro 10 for Business is up to 53% faster than Surface Pro 9. But it's not only raw speed that will see an improvement — Microsoft is promising up to 19 hours of battery life, thanks to the efficiencies of these new Intel chips.

Surface Pro 10 boasts a new Ultrawide Studio Camera built into the bezel that Microsoft claims is "the best front-facing camera that has ever been put into a Windows 2-in-1 or laptop". It offers a wide 114° field of view and captures video in better than HD quality (1440p) for improved video calls.

There's a new NFC reader inside the tablet-cum-laptop that's designed to make secure password-less login easier than before as you can tap an NFC security key — like YubiKey 5C NFC — to the side of the device. A separate version of the Surface Pro 10 with 5G will be available later this year.

All Surface Pro 10 for Business devices will ship with an improved Surface Pro keyboard accessory. This snaps to the bottom of the tablet with magnets to transform the tablet into a more laptop-like experience.

Microsoft has tweaked the typeface used on the keys to be bolder to improve visibility. There's also improved backlighting and a new key that launches Microsoft Copilot ...if you're paying the monthly subscription, that is.

Meanwhile, the Surface Laptop 6 for Business is available with either a 13- or 15-inch screen. Both of these will be coated in the same anti-reflective layer used on the Surface Pro 10 for Business, which Microsoft says reduces reflections by as much as 50%.

surface laptop 6 for business pictured with 13-inch screen back to back with 15-inch model

Like its predecessor, Surface Laptop 6 will be available with a choice of a 13-inch or 15-inch PixelSense touchscreen


Microsoft has improved the webcam here too, although it can't quite match the quality of the Surface Pro 10. The upgraded front-facing camera captures 1080p video and uses AI-driven Windows Studio Effects to improve your appearance on calls.

Windows Studio Effects is one of a number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) features baked into Windows 11 that will be handed-off to the new NPU silicon inside the Surface Laptop 6 and Surface Pro 10, leaving more bandwidth in the CPU and GPU to improve performance of other critical apps, like Microsoft Teams and Google Chrome.


Surface Laptop 6 and Surface Pro 10 contain the most recycled content that Microsoft has ever used in its PCs, with the enclosure of the Laptop 6 made with a minimum of 25.8% recycled content and the case of the new Surface Pro 10 made from a minimum of 72% recycled materials.

"Both devices are even easier to service and repair with built-in QR codes that provide convenient access to service guides. In Surface Pro 10 we’ve also included internal markings that identify the number of screws and driver types needed for key components," Microsoft says.

Surface Pro 10 for Business starts from £1,199 and includes 256GB of built-in storage and 8GB of RAM. That can be configured all the way up to a mind-boggling 64GB of RAM. Surface Laptop 6 starts from the same £1,199 price point with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of built-in storage.

GB News will have all of the news from Microsoft Build and the Surface AI event from May 20, 2024. Stay tuned.

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