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What to expect from Microsoft's Windows 10 event, from Cortana to new browsers

Mark Hachman | Jan. 21, 2015
On Wednesday, Microsoft plans to unveil a consumer preview of Windows 10. Look for Cortana integration, improved notifications, a seamless new interface, new browsers and more.

Windows Phone 10: Perhaps a peek
Microsoft may dive deep into the guts of Windows Phone 10, but I'm not holding my breath. Part of the Continuum message is that users should have the same experience on a Microsoft device, whether it be a phone, tablet, or game console. And Microsoft has said that Windows 8-powered Lumias will be able to run Windows Phone 10. But it's not really clear whether Microsoft plans to hold Windows Phone 10 to the same timetable as Windows 10 itself. I think we'll hear something more on the subject, even if it's not code that we can play around with.

Other changes
We know that a few other changes are on the way: Microsoft's Gabriel Eul confirmed that Windows 10 will support the FLAC audio format, for example. Neowin's list of what they expect to see in Windows 10 includes multiple settings and revamped versions of existing apps. 

Finally, there's the money question--not Windows as a business tool, but how Microsoft plans to monetize it. We don't know whether Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows users, sold at a discounted price, or combined with some sort of services bundle or subscription to make up the difference. Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner has indicated that Microsoft will begin addressing some of these issues early this year--whether this week will be the date he does that, however, isn't certain. 

Next week, however, will be like the Golden Globes for Windows 10. As the new operating system walks the red carpet, we'll all begin to fabricate the buzz that's going to shape the release of Microsoft's new OS. Is it a winner? Or will Microsoft bungle the basics?

So far, based on our use of the technical preview, Microsoft's done many things right. It's listened to feedback, made changes, and added features where necessary. But make no mistake--this week's reveal is as critical for Windows 10 as its eventual launch.


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