What to Expect from Today’s Microsoft Event

Posted on October 2, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 28 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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