The first official glimpse of the next version of Windows will be given at Microsoft’s press event in San Francisco tomorrow, but here’s what not to expect: almost anything related to the next mobile version of Windows.
Tomorrow’s event is focused on the desktop version of Windows, with Microsoft specifically targeting businesses and IT managers. Microsoft even sent out invitations for the event specifically referring to “what’s next for Windows and the enterprise.” The next version of Windows will obviously impact consumers as well, but they’re not the focus of the event.
If there were any doubts that the event will focus on the desktop, they were erased Saturday, when Microsoft accidentally published a webpage touting the “Windows Technical Preview for Enterprise.” The average consumer will still be able to download the preview, but the focus is squarely on IT professionals who may need to be swayed to upgrade their business computers to the next version of Windows.
According to Neowin’s sources and numerous media reports, Microsoft’s next version of Windows for mobile devices will finally merge its tablet and phone offerings, meaning there will no longer be a separation of Windows and Windows Phone. The unveiling of that merging isn’t expected to take place tomorrow, however – that will come at a separate event at a later time.
It’s possible Microsoft could give a glimpse of what Windows for mobile devices will look like for businesses tomorrow, though that’s unlikely. While many businesses manage tablet and smartphone deployments, tomorrow’s event is focused on convincing them to upgrade their computer operating systems, as most corporations skipped Windows 8.
When Microsoft does reveal its next mobile operating system, gone will be the desktop, an oddity in the touch-first environment that never quite meshed well with the Metro interface. Beyond that, however, little is actually known about what features Microsoft will keep from Windows RT and what it will keep from Windows Phone. According to Mary Jo Foley, ZDNet’s Microsoft reporter, the mystery will persist a bit longer, as a separate preview release of Windows will be released specifically for ARM mobile devices in January or February.
The next version of Windows for tablets and smartphones is coming, but don’t expect any major news about it tomorrow.