Microsoft to live-stream Oct. 26 Windows event

Most expect additions to the Surface line

Microsoft will host an event Oct. 26 where it's expected to unveil new Surface hardware and again push Windows 10.

On Friday, the company sent invitations to industry analysts, bloggers and reporters. It also published a reminder on its website that signaled it will live-stream the event.

The consensus among most Microsoft pundits and watchers is that the company will use the New York City event to introduce one or more new devices in its Surface line, perhaps a desktop all-in-one personal computer -- something similar to Apple's iMac -- to flesh out the portfolio, which already includes a tablet-cum-laptop (Surface Pro 4) and high-end notebook (Surface Book).

msft oct event Microsoft

Microsoft sent out invitations today with this image touting an Oct. 26 event.

"Hopefully, we will see some new Surface hardware," tweeted Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

But the invitation and on-website messaging -- "Imagine what you'll do" and "see what's next for Windows 10" -- intimated more than hardware alone.

Although the next major upgrade to Windows 10 won't debut until 2017, Microsoft will certainly want to beat the drum for the upcoming holiday sales season, hoping to convince consumers to replace their aged PCs, something most have rejected doing. The lower priority of PCs, and the resulting extension of their lifespans, have combined to create an historic slump in shipments that will continue into 2017.

The company could also use the event to boast of new adoption numbers, or reveal some of the new features it plans to introduce in Windows 10 next year. But it's unlikely that Microsoft executives will discuss anything that could be taken as a negative, such as a shortening of support or a retreat from its pledge that the OS would be the last version of Windows: These presentations are invariably as upbeat as a company can make them.

Microsoft will kick off the event at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT) on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The live stream will be available from the firm's website.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
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