Microsoft has long hinted at future Surface covers that could charge its tablet, and they'll be released later this year. Paul Thurrott reports that a new "Power Cover" accessory for Surface Pro, Surface 2, and Surface Pro 2, will ship later this year. The Verge can confirm the reports are accurate, and the new Power Cover will not work with the original Surface RT. The reason: Microsoft switched to a new connector style for the Surface Pro to support the new battery-equipped covers.

The new Power Cover will be similar in thickness to the existing Type Cover, with a battery that will help boost the life of the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface 2. It's designed to be an aid to top up the main tablet battery while its in use. When the Surface is plugged in it will simply charge the cover. Nokia is also preparing a similar keyboard cover for its upcoming Windows RT tablet. Thurrott claims the cover is 9.75mm thick, compared to the existing Type Cover thickness of 5.3mm. It's not clear exactly how much the battery life will increase on each tablet, but the Power Cover accessory, which will be available in a number of colors, will launch shortly after the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 later this year.

New Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 devices expected very soon

Microsoft is planning to launch a new Surface 2 running Windows RT 8.1 and a Surface Pro 2 with Windows 8.1. Both are updated models of the existing tablets, and will feature a new two-stage kickstand. Microsoft will upgrade its Surface Pro 2 to Intel's new Haswell processor, and the company is also planning to ship units with 8GB of RAM on board. The new Surface 2 will make use of Nvidia's Tegra 4 chipset. Both are expected to launch around the same time as Windows 8.1 starts shipping on October 18th.