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Windows 10 is due to pass its next big landmark on its way to commercial release later this year with an all-day event planned at Microsoft Corp. headquarters in Redmond. Here’s what ZDNet writer Ed Bott is outlining as what to watch for at the event:

  • Appealing to consumers should be high on Microsoft’s list of priorities here. So far the the Windows 10 technical preview has been out in the wild, allowing IT admins to get a feel for how they’ll be configuring it for their enterprise users. But if Microsoft does release the Windows 10 consumer preview for download, as expected, then the on-stage announcements are likely to focus on a bevy of consumer-friendly features. Perhaps we’ll see how voice-assistant Cortana is integrated into the OS, learn more about the Continuum user interface that seamlessly adapts from touch screen to keyboard, and see how Windows 10 will interact with the Xbox One.
  • Microsoft released an update for its newly-acquired Nokia Lumia phones today. But developers will be curious to see if Microsoft pulls back the veil on what Windows 10 will mean for its smartphones. It seems likely based on what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said about Windows 10 thus far that it will offer the same platform for developers to create apps across form factors, from smartphones to desktop. With poor market penetration, Microsoft has to do something to show its commitment to mobile devices.
  • Microsoft may explain how key integrated features such as Internet Explorer and OneDrive will be executed in Windows 10. We know that Microsoft is working on a browser codenamed ‘Spartan’ that will see Cortana integration and the option to markup a website with your own notes and doodles.

The Consumer Preview will be an important step for Microsoft to guide Windows 10 towards being the success that it needs to be. It made listening to user feedback a huge focus ahead of its Windows 7 launch, and the results seemed to pay off with a warm reception for the OS. Now it will have to do the same to show those underwhelmed by Windows 8 that it still has a relevant vision for how we all should be using technology.

Check back to ITBusiness.ca on Wednesday for coverage of the Windows 10 event. In the mean time let us know in the comments section what you want to see in the new version of Windows.

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