Microsoft is gearing to hold its formal “Imagine What You’ll Do” announcement event in New York today. The company is expected to issue a number of important and intriguing announcements concerning both hardware and software. Up until now, Microsoft has managed to keep its cards close to its chest. Nevertheless, a number of items have leaked, and online reports have surfaced in recent weeks giving us a pretty fair idea of what to expect.
A new PC: Meet the Surface Studio
Since it was launched, Microsoft’s Surface series has been admired and popular, sentiments that reached a peak with last year’s launch of the Surface Book. At today’s event, Microsoft will apparently unveil an all-in-one computer – an entire computer hidden inside a screen, like the iMac. According to a report on Windows Central, the computer (which bears the code name “Cardinal”) is slated to come in a number of sizes: 21 inches, 24 inches, and 27 inches. It will be the consumer versions of the Surface Hub computer designed for organizations and priced accordingly. One opinion says that the computer will include a touch screen that will enable users to employ a stylus, which explains the name “Studio.” The Trademark Ninja website reported that Microsoft had secretly registered the Studio and Dial names as trademarks.
With all due respect to the Surface computers and the hardware, which account for $1 billion in revenue for Microsoft, it is important to keep in mind that the company is above all a software company. A large part of the event will therefore be devoted to the company’s operating system.
Microsoft will undoubtedly focus attention on the Redstone 2 revision scheduled to reach our computers early next year. Among other things, the revision will include updates of the camera app, the Ink system for styluses, and compatibility of the apps with Windows 10. The company has launched an apps converter that can turn Win32 apps into native Windows Universal Platform apps. This will enable them to be integrated into the Windows 10 tiles and warning system. Microsoft is also expected to present additional updates of Cortana, the smart personal assistant integrated into Windows 10, and Edge, its built-in browser.
After two decades: An upgrade for Paint
The Paint program comes built-in with all version of the Windows operating system. It has already been with us for more than two decades. During this entire period, the program has retained its minimalist design; no significant upgrades in it are visible. Now, thanks to the rather brand-looking video clip that has “found its way to the internet,” it turns out that Microsoft is planning a substantial update of the Paint program, including a new interface and an option for designing 3D objects, which is certainly a nice addition that complements HoloLens. Click here for more about the new capabilities.
A new competitor for Amazon.com’s Echo and Google Home
According to a report on Windows Central, Microsoft will unveil its own home assistant in competition with the smart assistants from the houses of Amazon and Google. At least for now, the new assistant goes by the name of HomeHub. The device will of course be based on Microsoft’s Cortana.
We already know that Microsoft will launch its strong new Xbox console next year. The new console, which will accommodate 4K resolution games, is currently called Project Scorpio. We do not know yet whether Microsoft will refer to the console at the event as it usually reserves these announcements for gaming events, such as the E3. If it does refer to the console, it is likely to display teasers or video clips demonstrating its capabilities, or even titles supporting the new console’s capabilities.
And one more thing
Despite everything, Microsoft is also likely to play a surprise card, something on the order of a Surface Pro 5 computer, a new Surface Book Laptop, or even a Surface smartphone. For this, however, we will have to remain patient until the event.