No one said hardware was easy business. Microsoft may have just made official the second generation Surface slates yesterday at an event in NYC, but the company is already planning well ahead.

Well ahead, in this case, being the next three Surface generations.

Panos Panay, the head of the Surface unit at Redmond, explained during the event that the company is already thinking about is future models, and is now working on plans for the next three generation of its flagship Windows powered tablet.

Details, as you would expect, have not been provided.

But when it comes to release dates, it is reasonable to expect yearly updates to the Surface family. Considering the fact that the second generation slates are hitting the store shelves approximately a year after the first model, the third generation device could be here late 2014.

And at least in the case of the Surface Pro, the third generation model could be powered by Intel CPUs based on the company’s Broadwell microarchitecture — which is the successor to Haswell.

In any case, this is as good a proof as any that Microsoft is fully and completely committed to its hardware plans. The news may not be all too rosy for some hardware companies that like to slack around, but Redmond is nevertheless going all out on hardware.

But then again, most hardware partners like Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo, HP, even Sony are bringing out their own Windows tablet goodies in the coming months, and most seem to be well designed, and with pretty exciting price tags to match.

What this ultimately means is that good times could soon be rolling in for Windows powered hardware.

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