Most computers are modular in the sense that you can replace any of the components without having to get a new system, but doing so requires a bit of know-how. There have been a few attempts to simplify the component-replacing process for computers to the point where even and idiot would be able to do it, but none of them have taken off. However, there’s still some interest in the area, as Microsoft recently filed a patent for a “modular computing device,” which might give us an idea of what to expect from the company’s next venture into the computer hardware market.
Well, it looks like Microsoft is looking to, once again, make a return to the hardware space with a newly filed “modular computing device” patent. As the name implies, if this idea were to actually make its way into production, owners of the machine would be able to upgrade and replace certain components of their Microsoft-branded PC without advanced DIY computer-building knowledge. As VentureBeat reports, the patent was filed last July, prior to being published this past Thursday, February 11. Notably, Tim Escolin, an industrial designer on Microsoft’s Surface devices and accessories team, is credited with co-authoring the patent, indicating that it might share the Surface branding. A combination of offering modular hardware in conjunction with the Surface qualifier would make sense for Microsoft, given both the multifaceted success of the company’s Surface Book and Surface Pro lineups and the interest the firm has demonstrated in modular accessories with the Xbox One Elite controller.