Microsoft already makes a good business selling branded surface keyboards, and now the company is looking to bring some of the same business opportunities to the Surface Laptop also.
Their May 2019 patent for an “INTERCHANGEABLE HOUSING PANEL WITH RECHARGEABLE POWER, NETWORK CONNECTIVITY, AND MEMORY FOR USE WITH PORTABLE COMPUTING DEVICES” suggests adding a modular element to the lid area of a Surface Laptop to which a lid panel could seamlessly attach.
The lid panel is often also the location of WIFI and WLAN antenna, and Microsoft suggests the swappable lids would also have electrical connectivity, and could even house WLAN modules such as LTE and 5G.
The company proposes to sell these in stores, much like branded Surface keyboards are sold.
It is not clear if these ideas will end up in an actual product, especially as laptops can as easily be cosmetically customized with stickers, but it does seem a relatively easy way to increase the average revenue per unit.
The full patent can be seen here.
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