What to Expect from Today’s Microsoft Event

Posted on October 2, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 27 Comments

Microsoft has assembled press, analysts, and bloggers in New York City today and will launch new Surface PCs … and perhaps more.

There’s been a lot of speculation around this event, in particular about the new Surface PCs, which have succumbed to a sadly typical round of rumors. Some of which are decidedly suspicious. So now even Microsoft is getting in on the game, and it has essentially confirmed the news that Brad first revealed, that it will be bringing a black color back to Surface for the first time since Surface Pro 2.

Microsoft did not pre-brief us on what to expect, and in speaking with various journalists and bloggers in New York yesterday, no one admitted to knowing anything ahead of the event. So I can only go on what we were told and my best common-sense predictions.

I’ll be clear about which is which.

New form factors. One thing Microsoft did explicitly tell me was to not expect any new form factors at the event. I assume this was mentioned solely to quell the increasingly shrill pleading from the enthusiast community about Andromeda. Or a watch. Neither of which Microsoft is releasing.

Surface PC updates. Microsoft will announce new versions of Surface Laptop and Surface Pro at this event. And it will almost certainly update the Surface Studio too. All will include 8th-generation Intel Core chips, of course, and I expect Studio, if it happens, to include much-improved graphics for v2.

Windows is part of it too. At last year’s subdued Surface Book 2 event, which is the model for today’s event, Microsoft provided a “showcase” area for the new hardware (and peripherals) and for Windows 10, Office, and more. I was told to expect the same for this year.

Microsoft will launch Windows 10 version 1809 at the event. This one is an educated guess, but highly probable, and most of the journalists and bloggers I chatted with yesterday agree: Microsoft will launch Windows 10 version 1809 for “seekers” today and then follow it up with the general release next Tuesday. Which, by the way, is Patch Tuesday. The exact day this always happens.

Microsoft will not discuss Windows 10 version 1903 at this event. While many are eager to know what’s happening with the next release, I don’t expect anything like that at the event. That said, I was told that Sets was still happening, and I am guessing we’ll see that re-added to Windows Insider builds soon after 1809 is official.

Xbox? At least one key member of the Xbox team was traveling yesterday, leading some to wonder if Xbox will play a role in this event. That makes sense to me, though I have no particular information about this.

HoloLens? I’ve seen at least one report claim that Microsoft will announce its long-overdue second-generation HoloLens at this event. I’m mixed on this one: HoloLens isn’t exactly aimed at consumers and other individuals, and Windows Mixed Reality is an obvious failure. If this happens, I’d guess that it would be a preview only, sort of like Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 preview last spring.

Surface Hub 2? I do not expect to see Surface Hub 2 at the event. It’s a production to move those things around, and since the software isn’t ready, it doesn’t make sense to subject it to the crowd that will be at the event.

The event officially kicks off at 4:00 pm ET. There’s no live stream, and we can’t take our own videos. But we can live-tweet/blog it and take photos. So I will certainly do some of that, assuming connectivity.

More soon…


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Comments (27)

27 responses to “What to Expect from Today’s Microsoft Event”

  1. slbailey1

    What about the LTE version of the Surface Go?

  2. jimchamplin

    4 in the afternoon? No livestream?

    Every competitor is going to put their presentation in front of the public and own the message. Microsoft will... just pass on all that. Way to build up the interest and excitement, MS.


    No live stream? Come on Microsoft... Grow a pair!!

  4. BrickPrinter

    I really hope they announce they announce a new Surface Studio--if so will get rid of all extra stuff and spend rest of my life playing at being a photographer. I wish I knew how to contact their team, as I have one last cool project that would mesh perfectly with a Surface Studio. There will be some pretty good North Carolina mineral specimens for sale cheap if they do. :)

  5. Patrick3D

    Will be interesting to see if they discuss anything further with Alexa support. I am used to asking Alexa to handle tasks but gave up on Cortana shortly after launch. All I have seen so far are new PC's shipping with some kind of half-baked support. Even further commitment to Cortana would be interesting to see. I can't remember the last time they discussed anything beyond the thermostat. Did that even ship yet?

  6. dcdevito

    4pm...that's an odd time. No live stream? That tells me this is for a show and tell for hands on new hardware, but doesn't seem to be much else. Year after year between Build and any event like these I WANT and TRY to be excited about Microsoft, but they sure make it difficult!

  7. chrisrut

    So when is it clear to get off Insider Preview mode? Or did that window shut while I was traveling earlier in the month?

  8. will

    Would launching a 15” Surface Laptop be considered a new form factor or just expanding the line?

  9. Rob_Wade

    In other words, this will be a non-event. Much like the HP non-event. Got it.

  10. Dan1986ist

    If Version 1809 does come out today, will it be for both Release Preview Insiders and those Non-Insiders still on 1803 who check Windows Update?

    • stevenlack

      In reply to Dan1986ist:

      It'll be RTM, so "generally available" but for those who seek it first, which means using the Update Tool


      • Dan1986ist

        In reply to stevenlack:

        My point is that 17763.xx has not been flighted to Release Preview Insiders yet, has anyone in Release Preview checked to see if that is the case? Also, there has been no chatter from Microsoft in their own Windows blog or any mention on twitter or elsewhere about Release Preview getting 1809 which in the past has happened before Non-Insiders gets the latest version.

        • stevenlack

          In reply to Dan1986ist:

          I wouldn't worry. It'll be announced most likely at this event today and we'll get more details. With seekers being the key point, just like any prior version, the general public will eventually get the feature update, but those who seek the update can force it.

  11. MikeGalos

    The question still open is why the event is being held at 4PM (after stock market close) rather than early in the day.

  12. John Craig

    Windows Mixed Reality is a failure?

    Why? I thought Mixed Reality was moving along in the right direction?

    There's a lot of apps and headsets available, and MS are pouring money into the platform.

    If Paul says it's a failure, then I'm sure he has his reasons, but I think it's a bit early in the VR/AR game to be nailing the coffin lid shut

  13. wright_is

    It would be a silly idea to talk about the next version of Windows on the day you announce the new current version... Mixing messages and all that.

    Your points seem rational and plausible.

  14. sivey42

    On the topic of 1809 releasing at this event - I've heard nothing yet about the 'magic window' where we can switch insider rings without having to wipe machines. has that happened yet?

  15. X911ty12

    So... nothing?

  16. m_p_w_84

    Is the Surface Book dead?

  17. DocPaul

    When I woke up this morning I immediately turned to my wife, "It's Microsoft Day ?!" To which she rolled her eyes like most sane people would.

  18. skane2600

    "I assume this was mentioned solely to quell the increasingly shrill pleading from the enthusiast community about Andromeda."

    I hope they announce an upgraded Mac Mini. Oh, sorry, wrong corporate disappointment.