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Microsoft's October 26 Windows event in New York: What to expect

Surface, an Echo-like home hub, and more software for HoloLens could be part of the surprises

Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft's October 26 Windows event is about to happen in New York, and this time the Surface-related news could take a different spin.

We don't know what will happen at the event for certain, but we do know the focus is on the Windows operating system and its future.

Here's what to expect, based on the the reporting of the web's two best-informed informed Windows insiders, Paul Thurott and ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley -- along with some less reliable rumors thrown in for good measure:


The invite is enigmatic.

  • Do not expect to see Windows Phones or a new Microsoft Band.
  • Do not expect much, if any, Microsoft Office news. That's because Microsoft has already scheduled an Office-centric event on November 2 (also in New York).
  • Do not expect a Surface Pro 5 or Surface Book 2.
  • That said, it wouldn't be impossible to see minor refreshed versions of the existing Surface Pro 4 ($180 at Amazon) and Surface Book ($474 at Amazon) -- both now a year old -- possibly getting updated to the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors.
  • A new Surface all-in-one, codenamed "Cardinal," could be unveiled. It would ostensibly be a touch-screen iMac competitor.
  • Windows 10 Holographic, an already-announced plan to unite Microsoft's mixed-reality HoloLens and Windows-connected VR headsets like the HTC Vive ($825 at Amazon) and Oculus Rift ($273 at Amazon), could be revealed in greater detail.
  • Videos showing a new version of Microsoft Paint supporting 3D objects was recently leaked. It could be shown at the event as an example of how Microsoft is pushing towards greater 3D creation tools for that sort of "Holographic" environment.
  • An Amazon Echo-like Home Hub has recently been rumored. Much like Echo and Google Home, the speaker would be powered by voice AI (in this case, Cortana).
  • Microsoft's 2017 unveiling of its next console, Project Scorpio, could connect Windows and console gaming more seamlessly. We might not hear more on Scorpio, but Microsoft could announce other gaming moves for Windows 10.

Microsoft's Windows event begins October 26 at 7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET. Watch it live in the video embedded above, or on Microsoft's site.

CNET will be there covering it in-depth, so stay tuned.