Microsoft tomorrow will be holding a media event in New York City focused on "learning what's next." From the unveil of Windows 10 Cloud to "Cloudbook" devices, plenty could happen at this education-focused event. We will be there live, and here's a look at what we expect.
Windows 10 Cloud:
It is widely believed that this event will focus on Windows 10 Cloud, a version of Windows 10 which is locked to running apps only from the Windows Store. Since Microsoft is tagging the event with "#MicrosoftEDU" we might as well hear about how Windows 10 Cloud can be used in education scenarios, and more specifically about how it can be used on laptops in the classroom, instead of Google's Chromebooks.
Secondly, since rumors also show that Windows 10 Cloud could be updated to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home, we also might hear more about the upgrade path or just about how students and IT professionals can unlock the full potential and experience of the OS.
Leaked versions of Windows 10 Cloud have surfaced in the last few months, and our own Cody Carson went hands-on with the leaked OS.
Win32 Apps in the Windows Store:
Next up, since Windows 10 Cloud is locked to running apps from the Windows Store, we might hear more about future plans for the Windows Store. We could hear more about Project Centennial apps in the Windows Store, which are Win32 apps that are released to the Store with Microsoft’s Desktop app converter. As we noted previously, the Office apps made a brief appearance in Windows Store as “Soup” and “Sandwich,” so after several months of rumors, Microsoft could likely use this event as a chance to take the wraps off the Project Centennial desktop ported versions of these Office apps.
A Surface Cloudbook?
Spec sheets for a "Cloudbook" leaked a few days ago, so this event could also likely feature a series of new devices which run Windows 10 Cloud. While earlier rumors showed Microsoft may have a new Surface device (possibly Surface 4?) for this event, the spec sheets do not make it clear if the "Cloudbook" devices will carry the Surface branding. It's still not clear if the Cloudbook devices will be built by Microsoft OEMs, or Microsoft itself.
The leaked spec sheet does show that minimum recommend specs for Windows 10 Cloud are rather low, including a quad-core Celeron processor, 4GB or RAM and 32GB of storage (fast eMMC or SSD.) Also shown is how Microsoft is specifically targeting Chromebooks, highlighting differences in battery life, cold boot to login screen, and first sign in.
As we noted before, rumors show that Microsoft is not expected to discuss the Surface Book 2 at this event, since the focus is still on selling the Surface Book and Surface Book with Performance Base. While a bit wild (unless it is really in line with this education theme), word from Mary Joe Foley's sources at ZDNet also show that a Surface launch could happen at the event, but the device might be more “evolutionary than revolutionary” with just Kaby Lake chips and no USB C or new power ports.
Lastly, despite what the crazy spreading rumor says about the Windows 10 Mobile version of Samsung Galaxy S8, it's unlikely that Microsoft will discuss plans for Windows Phone (or Surface Phone) at an event which is supposedly mainly focused on Windows 10 Cloud and education.
With Build 2017 and E3 2017 just around the corner, times will be very busy at the Redmond giant. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and keep your eyes peeled for our live blog from the May 2nd event, as we will be providing you with all the Microsoft news and information.