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Tech's big spring 2018 products and events

Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple, E3 and Computex: Get ready for a more developers conferences, earnings reports, trades shows and new products than you can handle.

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John_Falcone.jpg

John Falcone

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1 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

Spring has sprung

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, winter has ended, Daylight Savings Time (or summer time) has started, and the snow and ice is -- mostly -- behind us. That also means the second quarter tech schedule is about to kick into high gear. 

Apple already kicked things off with a March 27 event in Chicago where the company unveiled a new entry-level iPad (shown here) that adds support for the Pencil stylus. Already available online, it should hit stores the week of April 2.

What follows is a list of the big tech (and nerdy culture touchstones) you can expect for the rest of the season. 

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek
2 of 14 Spotify

Spotify IPO: April 3, 2018

Spotify is the top dog in the world of music streaming -- and now it's ready to cash in. The company will have its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange on April 3. The company expects 96 million paid subscribers by year's end. Apple Music has "only" 38 million, but it's said to be growing at a faster clip.

Read: Spotify will launch its IPO in April.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
3 of 14 James Martin/CNET

Tim Cook interviewed on MSNBC: April 6

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been interviewed by Recode's Kara Swisher and MSNBC's Chris Hayes. They've already teased some juicy portions of the interview, including some shots that Cook took at Facebook. But you can watch the whole thing on MSNBC on Friday, April 6 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.

Read: Apple's Tim Cook says Facebook failed to regulate itself.

Westworld
4 of 14 HBO

Westworld season 2: Starts April 22 on HBO

As the debut season ended, things in Westworld -- the future resort where ultrarich guests get to play an anything-goes game of cowboy with robotic "hosts" -- were looking pretty dire. That's why we can't wait to mount up and head back in to the action when season 2 kicks off on April 22.

Read: Westworld's season 2 trailer is here.

Sign up for CNET's Westworld newsletter.

Avengers: Infinity War
5 of 14 Marvel Studios

Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters April 27

Black Panther is still dominating the world box office, but the next Marvel movie is hot on its tail. The third Avengers movie is being billed as the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began back in 2008 with Iron Man. We're glad the release date was moved up to April 27 from May 4, because we can't wait.

Read: Avengers: Infinity War will blow your mind.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
6 of 14 James Martin/CNET

Facebook F8: May 1-2

At last year's F8 -- Facebook's annual developers conference -- the company focused squarely on virtual reality and augmented reality, and how its Oculus division would feed into that future.   

This year, the big reveal was supposedly going to be a Facebook smart speaker. But that's reportedly been pushed back. After all, asking users to install an open microphone in their home while you're apologizing for violating their privacy in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal isn't "good optics," as they say in the PR world.

In addition to (we presume) much more detail about how Facebook will be amping up privacy controls for its 2 billion-plus users, expect to hear more details on Oculus Go, the $199 standalone VR headset the company announced back in October -- and previewed earlier in March at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Read: Oculus Go: Get up close with Facebook's $199 headset.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
7 of 14 James Martin/CNET

Microsoft Build: May 7-9

Last year's Microsoft Build was... interesting. The first day centered on the sort of high-level enterprise computing where the company increasingly makes its money -- Azure cloud-based services and concepts like edge computing. The second day had a more down-to-earth focus on Windows 10 and other consumer-facing products. Expect a similar breakdown this year when CEO Satya Nadella takes the stage in Seattle.

Read: Mary Jo Foley's All About Microsoft at ZDNet.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
8 of 14 James Martin/CNET

Google I/O: May 8-10

Google's 2017 developer conference was as sprawling as, well, Google. This year, expect the same scale of topics across the Google galaxy, including search, AI (Google Assistant), smart home and smart speakers (Google Home), mobile (Android P), wearables (the newly renamed Wear OS) and VR and AR. Oh, and we may also hear about new features in Gmail, Google Fi, YouTube, Google Translate, Google Music and Chrome OS, too. Expect Google CEO Sundar Pichai to address issues like privacy and news integrity that continue to bedevil it and its fellow tech giants, too. (Yes, I/O overlaps with Microsoft Build for at least one day.)

Read: 7 reasons you'll want Android P.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
9 of 14 Lucasfilm/Disney

Solo: A Star Wars Story: May 25

A little over 5 months since the release of The Last Jedi, and we're getting another Star Wars movie already. This origin story of Han Solo stars Alden Ehrenreich in the role originated by Harrison Ford. He's joined by Woody Harrelson, Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Ron Howard took over directing duties in mid-production, and fans are curious to see how this will compare to the earlier Star Wars "anthology" film, Rogue One.

Read: Solo: A Star Wars Story: Everything we know

Apple CEO Tim Cook
10 of 14 James Martin/CNET

Apple WWDC: June 4-8

Before Apple's new iPhones hit in September, the company telegraphs what's coming on the software and operating system front at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose. Expect updates on new features coming to iOS 12 (for iPhone and iPad), MacOS (computers), TV OS (Apple TV) and WatchOS (Apple Watch). And maybe we'll finally get the long-desired overhaul of Siri, which could also mean some much-needed upgrades to the new HomePod speaker. 

On the hardware front, we'll be happy if this year's WWDC is even half as packed as last year's, which delivered the HomePod, new Macs and new iPad Pros.

Read: HomePod, iOS 11, iMac Pro: All the news from Apple WWDC 2017.

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11 of 14 Luke Lancaster/CNET

Computex 2017: June 5-9

As you might guess from the name, Computex -- which takes place every June in Taipei, Taiwan -- is all about PCs. The show is a springboard for all the big chip announcements and new laptops that we'll see in the summer and autumn. In addition to the local talent like Acer, Asus and Gigabyte, expect plenty of new gear from HP and Dell, just to name a few. CNET Australia will be there, covering the whole show in-depth.

Read: The best of Computex 2017.

Big Booths of CES 2018: Central Hall
12 of 14 Sarah Tew/CNET

CES Asia: June 7-9

No, CES Asia hasn't yet eclipsed its big brother, the giant consumer electronics trade show that takes over Las Vegas in January. But this Shanghai-based spinoff is the best place to get a cross-section of the CE market as it currently stands in the rapidly expanding China and wider Asia markets.

Read: CES 2018: The final word.

E3 cosplay
13 of 14 Josh Miller/CNET

E3: June 12-14

The world of video games revolves around E3, the annual gaming trade show that invades Los Angeles every June. In addition to the big three -- Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo -- megapublishers like EA, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard and Bethesda show their upcoming slate of titles to gamers on site and around the world. CNET and sister sites GameSpot and Giant Bomb will be delivering wall-to-wall coverage, starting with the preshow press conferences the previous weekend. 

Oh, and there's plenty of amazing cosplay, too. 

Read: The coolest games we saw at E3 2017.

Magic Leap
14 of 14 Magic Leap

It'll be summer before you know it

Those are some -- but not nearly all -- of the big items on the tech calendar between now and the beginning of summer on June 21. That will bring a whole new set of events -- Prime Day, San Diego Comic Con, Black Hat and Defcon, Gamescom and IFA -- just to name a few. And that doesn't even include the 2018 "coming soon" products that could hit at any time, like the Magic Leap One AR headset (pictured here).

Nope, we can't wait either. 

Back to CNET's spring tech preview.

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