Everything to Expect at the Microsoft Surface Event Today

Next Surface event confirmed by Microsoft and set to cover AI, Windows, hardware and Copilot. Here's everything to expect.

Today’s the day of Microsoft’s next big Surface event, with the tech giant heading into its March 21 gathering under the banner of introducing us to a “new era of work” powered by AI, Copilot and Windows. And new Surface hardware, of course.

I’ve covered Microsoft Surface launches since day zero, with the first line on my resume overlapping with the launch of the first Surface device over 10 years ago in October 2012. I reported on it then as a fresh-faced intern straight out of college, and now over a decade later I can safely say this looks like the most important Surface event since that original one.

That’s because the March 2024 Surface event is all about AI and the role it’s going to play not just in how we interact with software, but how we use our hardware and physical devices, both at work and at play, going forward.

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about the spring 2024 Microsoft Surface event including full details of the time, date and location, all the rumored devices we’re expecting to see today, and of course how to watch the Microsoft Surface event wherever you are.

When is the Next Microsoft Surface Event? Times and Date

Microsoft is confirmed to be holding its next big Surface event on Thursday, March 21. That’s today, so the wait is nearly over!

It’ll be a digital-first affair kicking off at 9am PDT, which is the company’s local time, or 12pm EDT in the US. That’s 4pm UK time, 5pm in most of mainland Europe, 9:30pm IST in India and 3am on March 22 AEDT in Australia.

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The event was first mooted by Microsoft on-looker WalkingCat on X (formerly Twitter), who has offered up accurate predictions of previous company events such as Build 2023.

It gained serious traction when that speculation was reported as a real possibility by Microsoft insider Thurrot, after which Microsoft confirmed the event itself and launched a landing page for it on its website.

A Surface event in March 2024 comes as something of a surprise, given Microsoft’s track record for hardware launches tends to see them happening annually in September.

Prior to this spring’s Microsoft event, the company last held a Surface event in September 2023.

How to Watch the Microsoft Surface Event Today

If you want to tune in to see all of Microsoft’s big Surface, Windows, and Copilot AI reveals today as they happen, then it’s good news.

To watch the March 2024 Surface event online, all you need to do is head to Microsoft’s Surface event live stream landing page or its dedicated Surface YouTube channel at the designated time, as outlined above.

These should be open and accessible all over the world, but remember, if you run into trouble viewing it where you are, you can always try using one of the best cheap VPNs to point yourself to a country where live streaming the Surface event is possible.

In many countries, VPNs are legal and seriously clever bits of software that let you reroute your computer’s IP address to different locations all over the globe. This in turn can be a helpful way of accessing certain geo-restricted content, as well as giving you an extra layer of security when browsing the web.

Microsoft Surface Event (Spring 2024): What to Expect

Like you, we’re licking our lips at the thought of an early, work-centric Microsoft Surface event.

The prospect of new Surface hardware reveals coupled with major AI, Windows and Copilot developments has it lined up to be a blockbuster event. It also has the potential to overlap with a mega OpenAI announcement, as we’ll shortly explain, making this one of the biggest tech events in 2024 to date.

Here’s what we think could appear on March 21 at the Surface event.

Surface Pro 10

Many of the rumors surrounding the imminent Surface event relate to the next iteration of the Surface Pro 2-in-1, which (barring any major surprises) should be called the Surface Pro 10.

The Surface Pro 10 will be a business focused device that’s branded as one of the company’s first “AI PCs.” In practice, this could mean a dedicated Copilot key on the device – something that Microsoft actually revealed for PCs back at CES 2024 in January – alongside AI software updates.

Elsewhere, dedicated Microsoft blog Windows Central has it pegged to be offered with an OLED display option, which in practice means it should display HDR content more vibrantly, with colors brighter and more distinctive than ever.

The Pro 10 is expected to be launched in two variants: an Intel Core Ultra model shipping as soon as April, and a Snapdragon X Elite version tipped to hit shelves in June.

We say shelves because, alongside the business models, both the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 (more on that in a moment) are expected to get more pared down consumer equivalents. Whether or not this is communicated simply through model numbers or more obvious branding remains to be seen.

Surface Pro 9 Plus, anyone?

Press render of Microsoft Surface device family

Surface Laptop 6

The Surface Laptop 6 is rumored to be getting all of the above upgrades plus some additional ones.

Namely, it’s going to be more of an obvious redesign compared to the Pro 10, featuring a thinner display bezel, redesigned corners that are rounder, a haptic touchpad, and a pair of USB-C ports (plus a USB-A one).

Again, AI capabilities will be at the fore on the software side of things, while the eventual offering of the Surface Laptop 6 with a Snapdragon X Elite chip is an even bigger deal than with the new Surface Pro.

This is because it’ll be the first time Microsoft has shipped one of its Surface laptops with an ARM-based SoC (System-on-Chip). These chips tend to be less power hungry and therefore better suited to mobile workers, which in the age of fully remote jobs and digital nomads is more folks than ever before.

In other words, battery life on the Snapdragon X Elite version of the Surface Laptop 6 is expected to be as close to all-day as we’ve seen in the range, which is genuinely great (if unconfirmed) news.

New “AI Explorer” Feature Coming to Windows 11

On the software side of things, we’ve heard practically non-stop chatter about a new “AI Explorer” feature that will launch as part of a major Windows 11 update following this spring’s Microsoft event.

There’s going to be a lot of hyperbole around this, but in a nutshell what reports suggest are that AI Explorer will be the feature that Microsoft says distinguishes between “AI PCs” and non-AI PCs.

Mostly, this is going to be a marketing-led distinction, as you can ultimately turn any PC into an AI PC with an internet connection – duh – but it will mean that certain features come baked in to Windows in a potentially useful new way.

Specifically, we’re hearing that AI Explorer will build on current Copilot features to create a searchable, contextually aware history/timeline on your computer that brings together information from things you’ve searched for, documents you’ve opened, conversations you’ve had, and even work processes you might want to complete.

In a day-to-day example, this might mean you can ask your “AI PC” for the names of all the tradespeople you’ve talked about while preparing to renovate your home, or (to use the example Windows Central gave) to remind you what restaurants a colleague called Jenna said they liked for lunch.

Better still, it could automatically offer you the option to jump to work-related tasks like image editing from the same window you’re viewing an image in. The possibilities are vast, but the only catch is that the crystal ball suggests AI Explorer won’t be available until the Windows 11 24H2 update, which is Microsoft’s fall Windows update this year.

In other words, all that shiny new Surface hardware being touted as being an AI PC…won’t actually be an AI PC until football’s back again.

Microsoft Windows 11 logo running on laptop screen being used in work setting

OpenAI Could Launch GPT-4.5 Turbo

We’re connecting the dots here, but here’s what’s gone down in Copilot Land recently.

For a while, Microsoft’s Copilot has represented the best way to get GPT-4 for free. GPT-4 is one of OpenAI’s two premium LLMs (large language models), which are best understood as the brains behind the AI chatbots you interact with on your screen.

Now, Microsoft has made GPT-4 Turbo available on the free version of Copilot, too. This was previously behind the $20 a month Copilot Pro fee, just as OpenAI charges 20 bucks a month to use it on its own ChatGPT Plus tier.

Couple this with the fact that numerous recent leaks have suggested that the launch of a GPT-4.5 Turbo model is just around the corner, and we think there’s a very real chance Microsoft could be joined on the digital stage by OpenAI to announce GPT-4.5 Turbo this March.

In fact, GPT-4.5 Turbo has been given a rumored availability date of June by some, which aligns with the shipping of some versions of the new Surface hardware.

Coincidence? Possibly, but given OpenAI and Microsoft’s cozy relationship, which sees MS sit on the OpenAI board in a non-voting capacity, and you see where we’re coming from here. With new rumors suggesting the launch of GPT-5 could be as soon as this summer, this is one area we’re especially keen to watch today.

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Written by:
James Laird is a technology journalist with 10+ years experience working on some of the world's biggest websites. These include TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and The Sun, as well as industry-specific titles such as ITProPortal. His particular areas of interest and expertise are cyber security, VPNs and general hardware.
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