Microsoft officials plan to show off the company's end-to-end mixed reality offerings on October 3 in San Francisco. The invitation-only press and analyst event will be hosted by Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman and highlight how Microsoft sees and plans to address the mixed-reality space. I don't believe that Microsoft will unveil any brand-new hardware of its own during the October 3 event. Instead, it seems company execs will try to provide a clearer picture of how the HoloLens, PCs and virtual-reality/mixed reality headsets fit into Microsoft's strategy in this area. In past years, Microsoft has held a single fall Windows and Devices Group event where the company typically unveils new Surface-branded devices.
Microsoft's Build conference is not only about giving developers the tools they need to write apps or create Windows-friendly hardware but also Microsoft's chance to outline its vision of the future. What software and devices will matter in the months (or even years) ahead? And this time around, there's no shortage of new developments to discuss: Windows updates, the Cortana AI assistant, HoloLens, partner hardware and even a chance at new Surface gear. It's not necessarily clear what's likely to show up, but don't worry: That's what we're here to sort out. We've rounded up some of the most promising leaks, rumors and logical predictions to give you a sense of what to expect when Build 2017 kicks off May 10th.
Microsoft's press event in New York City is almost here, and that means there are plenty of rumors to be excited about. The company announced the event earlier this month, only giving details like the place, date and time. Microsoft is working on a brand new Surface PC, but this time, it's getting rid of the kickstand and keyboard case. The new Surface PC will be an all-in-one desktop rather than a touchscreen laptop. The new Surface PC is expected to include a large display that will lay flat on a desk.
At Microsoft's Build conference this week, Microsoft set up what it calls a "shared immersive experience": a group of HoloLens users perched high up in a virtual sky, directing another group of mixed-reality users on the "ground" through a short maze. It's easy to see this as a metaphor to describe the relationship between the two devices. And in some ways, it works. Microsoft's HoloLens is priced at a lofty $3,000 for commercial partners and developers; mixed-reality devices are literally a tenth of the price, or $300. I'm cautiously impressed with the Acer Mixed Reality Developer Edition that will be sold as a consumer device this holiday, but it could still learn a trick or two from the HoloLens.
The Windows creator and Surface propagator is just weeks away from its three-day developer's conference in Seattle, but that's not stopping it from hosting a consumer product event in New York City on May 2. Sources tell Mashable that while this will be consumer-focused and should feature hardware, it's unlikely that the long-awaited Surface Pro 5 convertible will make an appearance. The long-whispered Surface Phone is equally unlikely to appear. What we do expect is more products that continue the story Microsoft began with Windows Creator Update, which officially started shipping on Tuesday. And the mixed reality technology that runs HoloLens is inside the latest version of Windows, but with no hardware to support it... yet. Could we finally see a consumer version of HoloLens from Microsoft?