Could Microsoft have built -- or still be planning to make -- a touch cover for the iPad?
That rumor is based on a Microsoft document unearthed by WinFuture.de. The document, which dates back to April 2017. The downloadable document is a list of devices incorporating lithium batteries which Microsoft declares to be in compliance with battery transportation requirements.
Among the items incorporating Lithium batteries that are listed are various Lumia phones, the HoloLens, Band 2, various Surface devices, a couple of Microsoft keyboards and "iPad Touch Cover (Model 1719)."
It's the last item on the list that's raising speculation as to whether Microsoft might have considered and/or still be considering making a touch cover/keyboard for the iPad.
I am a bit dubious about this given how awful I (and many others) found the Microsoft Surface Touch Covers to perform. I loved the idea -- a super light keyboard that doubled as a cover. But they were terrible to type on. I believe Microsoft discontinued Surface Touch Covers -- as they were designed for the first couple of iterations of the Surface tablets -- and only currently sells Type Covers, but haven't been able to verify that. (I've asked Microsoft if this is the case. No word back yet.)
In its August 2 post on its discovery, WinFuture wonders whether incorporation of a trackpad might be the reason the keyboard is called a "Touch" cover. Maybe?
Microsoft's Universal Foldable Keyboard, which the company introduced in 2015, is compatible with the iPad, iPhone, Android devices, Windows tablets and Phones, but does not work as a "cover."
I've asked Microsoft about the mention of the iPad Touch Cover and when/whether the company plans to roll out such a device. I'm expecting a "No comment," but if and when I hear back, I'll update the post.
Update: A spokesperson came through: "Microsoft does not comment on rumors and speculation."
Given Microsoft officials' embrace of non-Microsoft hardware platforms these days, the existence of a some kind of Microsoft-designed and branded keyboard/cover for an iPad wouldn't totally surprise me.
I just wouldn't expect it to be branded "Surface."