Trade Resources Industry Views Microsoft Launch Event: Surface Studio, Windows 10 Redstone 2 and What to Expect on October 26

Microsoft Launch Event: Surface Studio, Windows 10 Redstone 2 and What to Expect on October 26

Microsoft’s October 26 event is nearly upon us, and there’s no shortage of rumours circulating online. Here’s what you need to know.

This Wednesday, Microsoft is expected to make a number of software and hardware announcements, but it’s keeping coy about the finer details. Still, the web is ablaze with speculation, so we’re not entirely in the dark.

When is the Microsoft event?

Microsoft will kick off its keynote on October 26, 2016 at:

07:00 (PT) – San Francisco10:00 (ET) – New York15:00 (BST) – London

You can watch a live stream of the event here: Watch Microsoft’s October 26 event

Surface Studio

Chief amongst the rumours is the ‘Surface Studio’, a brand new device that will (apparently) be unveiled on Wednesday. Developed under the codename ‘Cardinal’, Microsoft’s Surface Studio is expected to land as an all-in-one PC that will take on Apple’s iMac computer.

According to rumours, the Surface Studio will come in three different screen sizes (21-, 24-, and 27-inches) and will run on Windows 10. Journalist and insider Mary Jo Foley says it can “turn your desk into a studio”, although details on exact specs and features are still light. The best we have right now is a hint from Tom Warren, The Verge’s Microsoft beat reporter, that the PC may feature Nvidia’s top-end GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card – that’s good news for gamers.

Windows 10 update

The Wednesday event is expected to largely focus on software, so it’s highly likely that Microsoft will talk about its next major Windows 10 update – codename: ‘Redstone 2’. Windows Insiders have already been issued preview builds with very minor tweaks, but a full feature list for Windows 10 in 2017 may be unveiled at the event. It’s expected that Redstone 2 will roll out to the public in March 2017, so the timing feels right.

Microsoft Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2

Microsoft fans are hoping that we’ll also see the arrival of the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2. Unfortunately, Microsoft sage Paul Thurott says neither will make an appearance at the event, with their launches instead scheduled for Spring 2017.

However, the jury is still out on whether Microsoft will offer refreshed versions of the Surface Pro 4 or Surface Book; rumours (and logic) suggest we’ll see an upgrade to Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors.

Windows 10 Holographic

Most leakers seem to agree that we’ll see plenty of new details about Microsoft’s Windows Holographic. That’s the holographic computing platform designed for Windows 10, which powers Microsoft’s Hololens augmented reality headset.

Unfortunately, it’s not exactly clear what announcements will be made.

New Microsoft Band

The Microsoft Band 2 was announced on October 6, 2015, and was discontinued on October 3, 2016. So it’s no surprise that some Microsoft fans were expecting the Microsoft Band 3 to make an appearance at the Wednesday event. That’s not happening (now or ever, apparently), according to Thurott. And if you were in any doubt, here’s a statement form a Microsoft spokesperson, confirming as much:

“We have sold through our existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year. We remain committed to supporting our Microsoft Band 2 customers through Microsoft Stores and our customer support channels and will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices."

Surface Phone

It’s not entirely clear whether Microsoft is even building a Surface Phone, so we’re not convinced it will make an appearance. Most leakers seem sure that no smartphones (Windows or Surface) are on the agenda for the October launch, in any case.

Home Hub

According to Windows Central, Microsoft may be planning to release a smart home device called ‘HomeHub’. They speculate that it’ll be a direct rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, and would integrate Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant. With a rumoured Siri-powered speaker built by Apple on the horizon, we’d be surprised if Microsoft didn’t enter the home hub game very soon.

Project Scorpio

Finally, there’s a slim chance we’ll see news about Project Scorpio, Microsoft’s next-generation Xbox console. Scorpio won’t actually launch until just before Christmas next year, but Microsoft may offer clues about the console by talking about upcoming improvements to gaming on Windows 10.

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