Tomorrow's live-streaming event from Microsoft is being billed as one that will usher in "the next chapter" of Windows 10. While the company isn't dishing out details, the device-centered event is widely expected to include news about a successor to the Surface Pro 3 two-in-one, along with two new Windows smartphones.
Microsoft is confirming that CEO Satya Nadella will be speaking during the event, but isn't saying who else might be on hand. However, the company has revealed that tomorrow's event will be followed by a half-dozen others over the next two weeks to share "exciting news" about new devices from its OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partners.
Among other possible announcements during the first event might include news about a release date for Microsoft's HoloLens holographic computing headgear and an update about the next Microsoft Band wearable.
Aiming for Phone Business 'Reinvention'
Microsoft released its new Windows 10 operating system in late July, and in August said that the new OS had already been downloaded onto more than 75 million devices. The latest data from NetMarketShare shows that Windows 10 now has a 6.63 percent share of the desktop operating system market, although Windows 7 still dominates with a 56.53 percent share.
A mobile version of Windows 10 hasn't been released yet, but is expected to come out soon, so it's possible Microsoft might have news about that tomorrow. The Windows Phone OS currently has only a small slice -- 2.48 percent, according to NetMarketShare -- of a smartphone market that is dominated by Apple iPhones and Android phones.
Still, Microsoft is likely to announce two new Windows smartphones this week: the Lumia 950 and the Lumia 950 XL, both the latest devices to emerge from the company's Nokia division.
Microsoft completed its acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business last year, and in July announced it was taking a $7.6 billion writedown on that investment. During the company's Q4 earnings call, Nadella noted that Microsoft had restructured its phone portfolio "so that we can operate more efficiently near term while driving reinvention long term."
A Surface Pro 3 Successor?
Microsoft has enjoyed far greater success with its Surface Pro line of convertible tablets, which launched in 2013. Its most recent versions, the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3, have seen strong sales and revenues for the devices more than doubled in Q4. The company is widely expected to seek to build on that success with an announcement of a new Surface Pro tomorrow.
After the event, Microsoft executives Terry Myerson, Nick Parker, Yusuf Mehdi and Joe Belfiore are scheduled to participate in a series of press events regarding new product announcements from Microsoft's OEM partners. The lineup of partner events includes HP on Wednesday, Dell on Thursday, ASUS on Friday, and Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo during subsequent events on October 12, 13 and 19, respectively.