Microsoft raises a modular Surface: a new patent points to a team with removable expansions

In 2020 we have not seen renewal of the Surface Pro, and Microsoft may be taking longer than necessary to prepare a much more important evolution than perhaps we would expect.

A new patent from Microsoft reveals its intention to develop a curious idea: that of a modular Surface to which 5G connectivity modules could be added or that extend the capacity and autonomy of the battery, for example.

Microsoft recovers an idea that didn’t work on mobiles
The patent speaks of a chassis with interchangeable panels that would allow the exchange of components such as the battery, the network connectivity module or the memory, and that would pose more versatile and customizable mobile devices.

It is true that connectivity to mobile networks is an increasingly popular option in laptops and convertibles – Surface Pro X with Qualcomm chips come standard, for example – but this type of idea would expand that option to many more computers. simple way.


Modular phones and Project Ara: Google threw the stone and now withdraws the hand
More problematic is to think that in reality that connectivity is not so necessary to integrate it into laptops when many users simply do tethering through their smartphones. Be that as it may, the options described by the patent are perhaps the ones that would initially arise, but these modules could adopt other features.

In fact, one of the screenshots shows an “isometric view” of some of the modules that could be available for sale in stores and shops, giving varied customization and expansion options.

The patent idea is undoubtedly curious, but it certainly did not work with mobile phones: Google’s famous and promising Ara project came to nothing , and real products like Motorola with its Moto Mods or LG G5 did not come to fruition either, although the Fairphone 3 has recovered the idea with some success. It remains to be seen if the idea raised by that patent becomes a reality in any Microsoft team.