Microsoft press conference scheduled for March 27th, mobile and cloud are the focus

Microsoft is holding a press conference on March 27th and Satya Nadella will be speaking at the event; the invitation says that the news will be related “to the intersection of cloud and mobile.” The event will kickoff at 10am Pacific time and is scheduled to run for one hour; we will be posting the live stream when it goes up.

That’s all we know for now and with the event happening just a few days before Microsoft’s BUILD conference kicks off; the timing does make us a bit curious as to what will be announced.

Interestingly, Mary Jo Foley believes that the conference may be related to Office on the iPad and considering that she has a strong record in this area, we would take her word for it.

If Office does finally arrive on the iPad, it will come after many rumors about its release but seeing how OneNote was released for OS X today, this could finally be the day that Office arrives on iOS.

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ZipZapRap said,
Surface Mini, please!!!
Dare I be so bold and say that the Dell Venue Pro and ThinkPad 8 have filled that gap nicely. Though an ARM based 8" would be nice.

MrHumpty said,
Dare I be so bold and say that the Dell Venue Pro and ThinkPad 8 have filled that gap nicely. Though an ARM based 8" would be nice.

Considering my experience with the Lumia 1520, the execution of these devices is very poor to what Microsoft does in-house. They delayed the Surface Mini and the reason Mary Jo Foley speculated was a software update Microsoft wants the Surface Mini to ship with. I'm hoping it runs a special variant of Windows Phone 8.1, with the Windows 8.1 start screen and apps design plus all the apps Windows Phones come with.

Sionic Ion said,
Considering my experience with the Lumia 1520, the execution of these devices is very poor to what Microsoft does in-house. They delayed the Surface Mini and the reason Mary Jo Foley speculated was a software update Microsoft wants the Surface Mini to ship with. I'm hoping it runs a special variant of Windows Phone 8.1, with the Windows 8.1 start screen and apps design plus all the apps Windows Phones come with.
I'm assuming your "these devices" was a reference to DVPro and TP8. I have a venue pro, frankly, it's pretty spot on for the price point. It could use a kickstand and a secondary USB port (be both a client & server providing charging while being hooked up to other usb items). Same is true for the ThinkPad 8 and it's build quality is supposedly amazing (haven't had my hands on one.

I think you're off in la-la land if you think the WP/W8 variant is showing up this year. The W8 Start Screen is really strong in the 8" factor (it's strong in all imo, but definitely in 8"). W8 needs the action center though, hopefully that will come with update 1.

MrHumpty said,
Dare I be so bold and say that the Dell Venue Pro and ThinkPad 8 have filled that gap nicely. Though an ARM based 8" would be nice.

Yeah they are being considered. I'm just really sold on Microsoft's hardware design though.. the Surface lines are awesome, up to legendary Nokia build quality levels IMO.

I went into a store at lunch today to look at the DVP, LM2, and Toshiba Encore.. each was nice in it's way, but nothing yelled out and said "I'm what you're looking for mate!".

Hoping the Surface Mini will do that, and also hoping it runs with an Intel processor, though I doubt that. I really want a Wacom digitizer!

MrHumpty said,
I'm assuming your "these devices" was a reference to DVPro and TP8. I have a venue pro, frankly, it's pretty spot on for the price point. It could use a kickstand and a secondary USB port (be both a client & server providing charging while being hooked up to other usb items). Same is true for the ThinkPad 8 and it's build quality is supposedly amazing (haven't had my hands on one.

I think you're off in la-la land if you think the WP/W8 variant is showing up this year. The W8 Start Screen is really strong in the 8" factor (it's strong in all imo, but definitely in 8"). W8 needs the action center though, hopefully that will come with update 1.

I have only owned the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 in that form factor. Using my Surface makes me feel as though landscape works for it because of its size. Small tablets do best in portrait, like a phone. Windows 8.1 isn't designed that way. Windows Phone 8 is. And the app store is much bigger on Windows Phones. If they had portrait designed apps, they could upscale WP apps just so its compatible. I think with a more affordable mini tablet, this is what Microsoft would like to achieve. Instead of downsizing Windows 8.1 which makes no sense, it works best on a big tablet.

Office for iOS means Windows RT and potentially Windows Phones loses one of its key features over the iPad and iPhone.

Except for that they might have Office for free on Windows Phones whereas on iOS or Android you'd need to have an Office 365 subscription.

wotsit said,
Office for iOS means Windows RT and potentially Windows Phones loses one of its key features over the iPad and iPhone.
I highly doubt it will be feature parity with the desktop versions offered with RT. I expect it to be slightly more feature full than the Office Online offerings.

MrHumpty said,
I highly doubt it will be feature parity with the desktop versions offered with RT. I expect it to be slightly more feature full than the Office Online offerings.

While I would not mind to be wrong I think that it will be a long, long time before any Modern version of Office, regardless of the platform, will have feature parity with the Desktop edition. Even the rumors about Gemini hint that Outlook will not part of the release.

Cosmocronos said,
While I would not mind to be wrong I think that it will be a long, long time before any Modern version of Office, regardless of the platform, will have feature parity with the Desktop edition. Even the rumors about Gemini hint that Outlook will not part of the release.
Agreed. I see the Modern version of OneNote as a feature level example. I imagine they'd go a step further than that for Gemini but nothing remotely touching feature parity. People keep acting as if the Touch version will be a desktop replacement, I think it will handle most use cases but as a full replacement... it's just not in the cards unless MS has gone full on balls out.

Melfster said,
I think its more likely about Gemni the touch version of Office.
Rumor's I've heard were Fiscal Q2 2014. Would be cool to see them announce it though... even though I don't have any Android or iOS devices... I am a stock holder

liamog said,
I'd say the Nokia Microsoft deal will finalise

They don't have to have a big event just for that, they could issue a press release and call it a day. This has to be about new products, people think Office for iPad, which could be the case, then again I bet those versions could be tied to a Office 365 subscription and not just stand alone apps like some think, otherwise the whole "cloud" in the cloud and mobile focus wouldn't fit.

Dot Matrix said,
Here's hoping they announce they had second thoughts with the upcoming Update 1...

Why are you so resistant to change Dot?

Order_66 said,

Why are you so resistant to change Dot?

After having extensively used a machine with Update 1 I would say that it does not "change", meant in a mandatory way, the OS experience; it simply offer more options to how to use it.

Dot Matrix said,
Here's hoping they announce they had second thoughts with the upcoming Update 1...
Assuming you're not a troll. I'd love to hear a laundry list of complaints about Update 1 if you want to list them out. I have my own but it's what I wish was added not what I wish weren't coming (for the most part).

ians18 said,
It ain't change, it's unchange.
Perhaps, however, it targets Windows target market, the desktop user in the enterprise. It may not be perfect, but it allows those users to breadcrumb their way through the new OS a bit better.

ians18 said,

It ain't change, it's unchange.


Since when offering more options therefore increasing the flexibility of a product has become unchanging/ regressing?

Cosmocronos said,

Since when offering more options therefore increasing the flexibility of a product has become unchanging/ regressing?

Because the way they made these "unchanges," make Windows 8 just a complete cluster****. The taskbar should never appear over Metro apps the way it does (Hell, It shouldn't appear at all). And the Start Screen shouldn't have incorporated desktop-like context menus, it servers no purpose, and destroys the unity in Metro. It's kludgy functionality at best. Using the context bar on the start screen is no different than using the Ribbon UI in Office or Explorer.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Mar 18 2014, 10:04am :

I really just love how "people" spread their hatred, on a test-version of an updated; not the final build.

Also, the update is meant to ease the desktop experience, when using modern UI apps.

If you don' t want the taskbar don't enable it; using a mouse, as I do, it is by far easier and more convenient to click a red X than drag an app down or use the keyboard. Again what SP 1 introduces are additional ways to interact with the OS. There are people who do not want to use anything Modern related at all... and are able to do it, same for Modern purists: you are not forces to use any of the additional options added to the OS.

Dot Matrix said,

Using the context bar on the start screen is no different than using the Ribbon UI in Office

In other words a brilliant idea? As Ribbon UI is simply superior to the old menu hell model that's still used extensively in Open/LibreOffice…

MFH said,

In other words a brilliant idea? As Ribbon UI is simply superior to the old menu hell model that's still used extensively in Open/LibreOffice…

Because it is? There's nothing inherently efficient with archaic drop downs at all.

Dot Matrix said,

Because it is? There's nothing inherently efficient with archaic drop downs at all.


I never claimed that the Ribbon UI was a bad idea in the first place…

MFH said,

In other words a brilliant idea? As Ribbon UI is simply superior to the old menu hell model that's still used extensively in Open/LibreOffice…

... Many Unix/Linux distributions (even Windows Server Core) comes without a graphical user interface. Your point is?

Kenman said,

... Many Unix/Linux distributions (even Windows Server Core) comes without a graphical user interface. Your point is?

And those are targeted at normal users? So your point is what exactly?

You forget to mention that, just like //BUILD/, this will also happen in San Fransico.

The intresting thing is that this is about mobile computing and cloud, bet that is also exected to be the focus on BUILD. Not sure what to expect here, through.Perhaps we where wrong all along and WP8.1 will be announced here, just like Update 1. And BUILD will be used for Windows Threshold? Anyway, I'm expecting some news on Internet Explorer 12 at BUILD. No matter what.

Studio384 said,
You forget to mention that, just like //BUILD/, this will also happen in San Fransico.

The intresting thing is that this is about mobile computing and cloud, bet that is also exected to be the focus on BUILD. Not sure what to expect here, through.Perhaps we where wrong all along and WP8.1 will be announced here, just like Update 1. And BUILD will be used for Windows Threshold? Anyway, I'm expecting some news on Internet Explorer 12 at BUILD. No matter what.


I really hope IE12 on Windows Phone 8.1 renders pages correctly on the Lumia 1520. Chrome is perfectly capable of correctly zooming the pages according to the system DPI, but with IE on my Lumia 1520 its scaled up, and I'd rather use desktop versions of websites even if its annoying, I prefer to see more.