While Microsoft did tease Windows 10, the latest version of its widely used operating system, back in September, we don’t know much about its capabilities.
Fortunately, on Wednesday, Microsoft will provide more color about Windows 10 during an event at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash.
Here are a few things to watch for.
A sneak peek at Windows Phone 10
No one doubts that a new version of Windows will come out for smartphones, with a test build possibly coming in the next couple of weeks. One question worth considering is which phones will get upgrades. That issue came to light in November, following a tweet from the Microsoft’s Lumia account on Twitter about an upgrade coming to “all Windows Phone 8 devices.” Some specificity about the upgrade for smartphones should come forth this week.
A new browser
While Microsoft should keep right on supporting its longstanding Internet Explorer web browser, the tech giant has reportedly been brewing an entirely new browser. Codenamed Spartan, it could resemble popular browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, according to a ZDNet report from December. It’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft moves to provide the new browser on non-Windows mobile platforms like iOS and Android, as it’s done with Office, among other apps, in the past year.
Continuum in the wild
Microsoft first showed off the Continuum feature, which adjusts the user interface based on the presence or absence of peripherals like a keyboard, in September, and the company demonstrated some of it in a test build. But this week it’s possible for Microsoft to announce that people can really give Continuum a spin in a new preview for consumers.
Screenshots of Cortana, Microsoft’s personal digital assistant rivaling Siri and Google Now, in Windows 10 have emerged in recent weeks. It’s only natural that Microsoft will make it official and point out the location and powers of Cortana on PCs running Windows 10 at this week’s event.
Where Windows meets Xbox
Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox gaming platform, will speak at Wednesday’s event, as VentureBeat reported last week. It’ll be the first time Spencer speaks about what Microsoft has been doing to bring gaming to the new operating system, so gamers should have some new facts to talk about. And the remarks could actually be a big deal, considering that Microsoft has historically prioritized console gaming over PC gaming.
A release date, perhaps?
Last month Reuters pointed out that Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner had said that Windows 10 would officially hit the market in “late summer and early fall.” Maybe this week executives will provide a formal release date.