Microsoft Surface 3 en route as Surface 2 successor, but without Windows RT?

A new tablet from Microsoft is reportedly en route, launching as the Surface 3, but without the poorly-received Windows RT operating system (OS).

The Microsoft Surface 3 will launch as the successor to the Surface 2 (pictured above), which is the company's last tablet running the watered-down Windows RT. The Surface 2 sported notable improvements over the first-generation Surface RT, but still failed to see the same success as the Surface Pro 2, which ran the full-fledged version of Windows.

Back in 2013, Microsoft launched the Surface 2 alongside the Surface Pro 2, allowing consumers to choose between Windows 8.1 and Windows RT. In 2014, however, the company only announced a Surface Pro 3 tablet, which was not accompanied by a Windows RT variant. Moreover, not too long ago, Microsoft confirmed that it will no longer sell the Surface 2, signaling the end of its Windows RT endeavors.

Before the Surface Pro 3 launch, rumors also hinted at a Surface Mini tablet, but ultimately word came out that the smaller slate got cancelled just days before its scheduled debut. Microsoft reportedly felt the Surface Mini was not good enough at the time, and decided to cancel the launch.

The Surface Pro 3 has proved to be quite a successful device, as it rocks high-end specs and features all around. At the same time, the device comes with a price to match, and Microsoft did not offer an alternative device with a lower price tag.

A new report now claims that Microsoft is gearing up to launch a Surface 2 successor after all, albeit the new iteration will reportedly not run Windows RT. The report comes from WinBeta, and further offers a few details on the device's purported specs.

"WinBeta has learned that Microsoft is planning to launch a successor to the Surface 2 soon, however it won't be a Windows RT based device. The device will be fanless and sport a low spec'd CPU, being either an Intel ATOM or Intel Core M based processor (we're not too sure which one they've opted for just yet), meaning it will run a full-version of Windows. This is a first for the non-pro Surface line-up, and further solidifies reports regarding the death of Windows RT," notes the publication.

Lastly, WinBeta expects Microsoft to announce its Surface 3 tablet sometime before or at its BUILD 2015 conference, and the retail release to follow shortly after. The tablet should come with Windows 8.1 on board out of the box, and receive an upgrade to the latest Windows 10 once the new OS is ready to roll out.

Microsoft has yet to confirm plans to launch a Surface 2 successor, however, which means that it all remains in the rumor state for now. We'll keep you up to date as soon as more details become available, but take all rumors with a grain of salt.

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