Eagle-eyed trademark watcher The Trademark Ninja may have unmasked two or even three new Microsoft products, at least one of which is a shoe in for a announcement this week.
Trademarks lodged by a Slovenian company (a trick used by a number of large companies looking to obscure new products ahead of release) detail two Surface devices, the Surface Studio and the Surface Dial.
Now the first one sounds like an appropriate name for the promised Surface AIO device expected this week, especially given the way that Microsoft has been leaking information that suggests this will be a machine for creatives. The Paint 3D trademark (already secured by Microsoft), supported by the leaked product demo last week, indicates that the target audience for the Surface Studio will be those creating content for the Hololens.
So what of the Dial? It would be easy to link this name to a smartphone, indeed one major website has done just that, but other alternatives include a replacement for the Microsoft Band or some form of media controller for the Studio.
Much as I have doubts about a Surface phone ever arriving, the Surface Dial name just seems like too strong a brand to waste on anything other than a phone. So if the Dial appears and isn't a smartphone we can be fairly sure that Microsoft has killed its smartphone manufacturing ambitions for good.
On the other hand, if the Dial arrives and does turn out to be a Windows Mobile you won't be able to hear yourself think from the noise of analysts, Windows Mobile fans and (probably) Microsoft staff falling out of their seats.
The last interesting trademark registered by Microsoft is the Surface Laptop. Why register this product when the Surface Book already exists? Seems entirely illogical. Unless of course the Surface Book is going tot get a rebrand. Why do that? The Surface Book brand is strong, Surface Laptop much more generic. Unless Microsoft wants to re-use the Surface Book name on another product entirely...
At least there's not much longer to wait now.