On Wednesday, October 26th, Microsoft is set to hold a special Windows-focused event in New York City.
MobileSyrup will be on the ground to bring you all of the company’s announcements from the day of the event. In the meantime, we’ve collected all the latest rumours relating to the event and put them in one place.
Don’t expect a repeat of last year’s fall event
To start, it’s best to touch upon what we likely won’t see. Unlike the company’s fall event last year, new hardware announcements are not expected to be a focus this time around. Microsoft will not announce a new Band wearable — the company scrapped the project and reassigned members of the Band team to other projects — and with one exception, detailed below, we’re also unlikely to see new iterations of the company’s Surface lineup.
Microsoft is expected to release new Surface Pro and Surface Book models that feature Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors. However, it’s unlikely we’ll see them until sometime next year.
So, I do not believe that Microsoft will update Surface Book and Pro 4 with Kaby Lake this week. That said, they should.
— Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) October 24, 2016
Similarly, the long-rumoured Surface Phone probably won’t be at the event. Whether it actually exists or not, the consensus is that we won’t see a new smartphone from the Surface team.
Say hello to the Surface all-in-one PC
However, that’s not to say Thursday’s event will be devoid of any hardware-related announcements. The most persistent rumour leading up to Thursday’s event is that Microsoft will unveil a new all-in-one PC called Surface Studio.
Like the company’s existing lineup of Surface devices, the all-in-one is expected to emphasize touch and stylus input, and may incorporate technology from Wacom, a Japanese company known for its digital pens.
Microsoft Surface Studio is such a clever name for the All In One.Totally make sense, can't wait for wednesday
— Cassim Ketfi ????????????️ (@NotCassim) October 24, 2016
A nifty-looking diagram sourced from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (seen above) suggests the Surface AIO will feature a hinge design that allows its screen to lie flat on a desk. Moreover, according to Windows Central‘s Daniel Rubino, the Surface AIO, similar to all other Surface devices, may feature a mechanism that allows users to detach the device’s screen from its base station.
We’ll have to wait until Thursday to see Surface Studio in full, but what is clear from the little information we do have is that the new Surface computer will be just a bit magical and potentially very expensive, especially here in Canada.
On a side note, Microsoft is also expected to show off a number of Surface-branded peripherals, including a keyboard and mouse (seen above), that look inspired by Apple’s current set of minimalist accessories.
We heard you like smart assistants
It wouldn’t be a major tech event in 2016 without an announcement related to a voice-activated personal assistant and speaker. With the success of Amazon’s Echo smart assistant, companies like Google have announced their own Echo competitors, and Microsoft may be the latest company to do so. According to Windows Central, the company will announce a smart assistant speaker.
We don’t know the name of the device, but it’s related to an upcoming Windows 10 feature called HomeHub. Similar to Apple’s own Home app, this functionality is expected to allow users to control all the smart home automation devices in their household. A separate Home Hub device that comes with Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant, will allow users to take advantage of this functionality, as well as do the standard set of smart assistant functionality like setting reminders, playing music and asking questions.
Let ‘Fedora Guy’ show you what’s coming to Windows 10 in 2017
With Microsoft expected to release two major updates to Windows 10 next year, it’s likely the company will devote the majority of Wednesday’s event to detailing what’s next for the now year-old operating system.
The first of the two updates, codenamed ‘Redstone 2,’ is set to arrive sometime in and around March, and if we’re lucky, we’ll see Microsoft call upon ‘Fedora Guy’ Bryan Roper to show off some of the features coming to the OS next year.
Update 10/25/16: Rumours just Surfaced that Microsoft could also reveal a device called the ‘Surface Dial’ at its event. While not much is known about the Dial, speculation indicates it’s likely a radial controller designed specifically for Surface devices.