Tomorrow's big Microsoft event is all about presenting a united front across the company's myriad product lines -- one Windows to rule them all and bind them. So, what do we know so far about the expected hardware launches? We've heard a smattering of things here or there. Here's quick guide to some of what we can expect out of tomorrow's big event in New York City.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
The rumors surrounding the Surface Pro 4 have all developed a similar narrative: expect great changes within. As we wrote back in July, "The Surface Pro 4 is not expected to see any external design tweaks." We're going to get the same bezel and 12-inch screen, though, Tom Warren of The Verge believes the company will be launching a 14-inch tablet to compete against Apple's own 12.9-inch business tablet, the iPad Pro.
According to most reports, the big changes will be under the hood. It's possible the Surface Pro will be equipped with Intel's latest Skylake processor and up to 16GB RAM -- all much to the excitment of tablet multitaskers. Reports have also suggested available storage space options will go as high as 1TB.
As for connectivity options, Warren has also suggested that the Surface Pro will not come equipped with USB Type-C --o nly USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 ports. Then again a variation of these rumors could be possible, in that Microsoft will announce a 12-inch and 14-inch model.
One thing you can count on with this device is Windows 10.
Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL
Less ambiguous on specs are Microsoft's "Talkman" and "Cityman" smartphones (aka the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL). Daniel Rubino from Windows Central believes he's nailed down the spec list for these two Window's flagship phones (with some degree of confidence).
The Lumia 950 may include a 2560 by 1440 resolution, 5.2-inch OLED display. The device could sport a 64-bit Hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM and up to 32GB of storage if you decide to take advantage of the microSD card slot.
From the rumored spec sheet, it seems users will be getting slightly bigger, slightly better everything with the Lumia 950 XL phablet. It comes with a 5.7-inch OLED display with a 2560 by 1440 resolution. A 64-bit Octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor will be running the show, coupled with 3GB of RAM. The battery is also just 300 mAh more than the standard 950.
Unlike the Surface Pro 4, reports seem to indicate these phone will come equipped with the USB Type-C charging/connection port. A 20 mega-pixel rear camera and standard 5 mega-pixel front facing camera will be onboard both phones for all your self-related needs.
All these specs sounds great, but the major barrier to buying any phone is its ecosystem. Windows Phone isn't in the greatest shape at present, but Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has established his commitment to the mobile space, stating that, "We will do everything we have to do to make sure we're making progress on phones." Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do in the smartphone space, maybe Windows 10 Mobile will be the step forward.
The second generation Microsoft Band is also expected to make an appearance at the launch event. However, all we have to go on are a series of leaked images from Microsoft Insider, which tell us the developers have switched from a flat to a curved display. The battery also seems to have been moved from the side to the bottom of the band.
The only feature rumored to be onboard is an elevation tracker -- something Fitbit and other brands have had for years.
However, unlike many of the other products, it's not expected to run Windows 10. "[T]he Band 2.0 will connect to many of the same back-end services to which other Windows 10 devices can, such as Microsoft Health, Azure Machine Learning, Application Insights, Event Hubs and more," said Mary Jo Foley, an editor at ZDNet.
The announcements surrounding Xbox One may be a more of a reminder than full-on update. Microsoft previously announced it's plans to upgrade the Xbox from a Windows 8 to Windows 10 core.
This upgrade may include integrating the Windows Store and Cortana. But gamers may be more excited about the prospect of being able to play and connect with friends across Xbox One and Windows 10 PC platforms. Players will be able to stream Xbox One games to any Windows 10 PC on your home network. It's a kind of synergy gamers have been waiting for (or maybe that's just me).
This core system switch is really for the benefit of developers, making it easier to create one app that can be translated across an array of devices. If it's easy for a developer to reuse the code from one project, they may be persuaded to port it to several more platforms across the Windows 10 ecosystem. Everyone wins.
However, if there are any hardware announcements, some outlets have suggested a possible disc-less Xbox One mini console is in the works.
The event is set to start at 10am EST. If you're curious to follow along with our predictions, you can watch the streaming event here and stay tuned to TechTimes for the latest news as it drops.