Vacancies on Microsoft Careers site point to future Surface products

By Lee Kaelin on

Microsoft appears to be recruiting new talent into its development team as it looks to increase its Surface product portfolio following last month’s tablet unveiling, according to multiple job vacancies posted on the company’s careers website.

Many of the vacancies appeared on the day the firm announced the Windows 8 Surface tablet during a “mystery” event in Los Angeles on June 18, with some others posted as recently as August 2, seeking engineers and managers to help build the “next generation” of Surface devices.

One listing seeks a mechanical engineer with an “understanding of touch display architecture and experience in mechanical integration of large touch displays into electronics products,” which could point to the Surface team working on producing a successor to their Perceptive Pixel 80” wall screen. Microsoft did previously say it wanted to make these cheaper.

Another advertisement for an electrical engineer requires experience with “the electrical design and qualification of AC-DC power supplies and adapters,” which is almost certainly for battery-powered devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“The Surface Team focuses on lighting up Microsoft experiences with touch first computing. A fundamental part of our strategy is having desirable and powerful devices that enable the experiences people want, and elicit their excitement. Creating these devices involves a close partnership between hardware and software engineers, designers, and manufacturing. We are currently building the next generation and Surface needs you,” a majority of the 61 adverts read.

So far, Microsoft has remained quiet about whether it intends to release more “Surface” tablets, though many industry experts believe it would be necessary in order to compete directly with Apple. Their rival provides a perfect example of what is achievable by marrying software expertise with hardware in one complete package.

Microsoft’s OEM partners are unlikely to be quite so optimistic about these developments however, especially Acer who openly criticized their intentions to release the Surface tablets alongside Windows 8 on October 26. If anything, the move by Microsoft will push tablet-making OEMs to produce more compelling offerings that ultimately will reward consumers with better products.

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