What to Expect from the Windows 10 Event, When You’re Expecting

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And now we are down to less than 24 hours until the next step on the road to Windows 10.

Tomorrow at 9am Redmond time and 11am my time Microsoft will be showing off the consumer part of Windows 10 in a day long affair that will feature CEO Satya Nadella and Xbox chief Phil Spencer in addition to Head of Windows Terry Myerson and head o PC/Phone/Tablets Joe “The Hair” Belfiore. As the event has approached more and more news sites have been reporting on what we are expected to see.

Now at this point other than the obvious I’m not sure what else will be on tap for Wednesday. Since there are a plethora of articles now popping up about what to expect I thought I’d link to the most interesting.

Windows 10 for Mobile (Phones/Tablets) Preview in February-ZDNet

But tomorrow will not be the day Microsoft releases the first preview of the mobile version of its Windows 10 operating system, according sources close to Microsoft. Instead, the first public release of the Windows 10 mobile SKU — which sources have said will work on both Windows Phones and smaller Intel- and ARM-based tablets — won’t happen until some time in February 2015.

Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft will show off new hardware; including a phone/PC hybrid- The Information

Microsoft also plans to introduce new hardware, with some set to appear this week and a phone-laptop hybrid that might appeal to enterprise customers being developed for further in the future.

Amir Efrati and Steve Nellis

New Spartan Browser will target Chrome extensions- Neowin

Spartan will be able to use Chrome extensions and, while we are not sure if they will work 100% natively, the way extensions have been implemented is nearly identical to that of Chrome which will make it a simple process for developers to make their extensions work on Spartan.

Brad Sams

These are just the ones that add new details; others are fairly obvious things everyone expects to see. So we expect to see phones, tablets, PCs running the latest builds, and whatever connection 10 has to the Xbox. Right now I’m tempering my expectations. There are a lot of things Microsoft has to do tomorrow.

They have to make Windows 10 attractive to people who adopted Windows 8. Right now the story has been about how this version caters to desktop users; now they need to convince tablet and tablet PC users it can work for them too. Microsoft has to prove they can improve upon mobile. We have few clues on what Windows 10’s interface for phones and tablets. It is believed Windows Phone and Windows RT will be combined to make a new SKU for mobile devices. Redmond will need to show progress; I don’t think they should make Windows Phone stretch and call it a day. One of my concerns is Microsoft has done little to the mobile side other than make it Windows Phone; this would not be a deal breaker but it would be disappointing. Lastly tomorrow needs to prove that Windows matters to Microsoft. Not because it makes money but that it has strategic importance and it offers something not found elsewhere.

Of course we will see Windows 10 on hardware new and old. We will get to see how it works on phones and tablets. Microsoft will show off Continuum which allows users to switch between desktop and touch use. The head of Windows will discuss how many people are in the Windows Insiders program testing the OS. My hope is that with a new focus on Universal applications Microsoft will show new applications and refreshes to older ones like Fresh Paint and the MSN apps. With Phil Spencer on hand I hope they discuss gaming on the PC and mobile gaming (with new titles in its wake). I want to see stuff even if it’s not ready to download Wednesday.

And if there is some funky phone/PC/tablet hybrid prototype and it is cool so that too.

On a serious note tomorrow’s event is not the end of the Windows 10 story, it is another chapter. I expect Microsoft to discuss the return of its hardware conference WinHec and its business conference Ignite. Also expect the beginning of the discussion about what Universal apps and OneCore mean to Windows going forward. While there will be hardware I don’t think there will be much talk about first party (Surface/Lumia) devices. I am hoping we hear about the Xbox as a service but that’s always hope. Finally I think Microsoft will talk about Windows’ ability to compete against Chromebooks and possibly against the iPad.

And that is my hopes and fears for tomorrow’s Windows 10 event. If you want to watch go to Windows 10 Story. Also check out the Verge and CNET who will be live blogging. Or check back here if you want my opinion.

image: Microsoft

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