2019 is almost over, and looking back at all things Microsoft did this year, it’s pretty clear the Redmond-based software has been fairly busy lately.
New Windows 10 feature updates (Windows 10 May 2019 Update and Windows 10 November 2019 Update), new devices (Surface Laptop 3, Surface Pro 7, and Surface Pro X and previews of other models), the demise of Windows 10 Mobile (pushed back for just one month), along with a very aggressive mobile strategy are only a few of the things that kept the company mixed up in last Twelve months.
And 2020 will be no different. Virtually because Microsoft will push hard on all fronts, with cloud and Office 365 to continue to spearhead its efforts worldwide.
Windows 7‘s death
And it all begins with the demise of Windows 7. This year’s operating-system is set to receive its last set of security updates on January 14, after which it officially becomes an unsupported operating system.
Using more than 25% of devices still running it, Windows 7 is extremely prone to become the new Windows XP, or in short, the operating system that countless devices will continue to run despite the obvious security risks.
Killing off Windows 7 is going to be a significant challenge for Microsoft, and it’s very clear the organization will need to insist for users to upgrade all year round.
More Windows 10 feature updates
Around the software front, Microsoft will even release two new feature updates for Windows 10 and continue its investments in mobile apps, especially on Android in which the company is already fully dedicated to delivering seamless access to the services no matter phone brand.
The very first Windows 10 feature update will land early in the year as version 2004, while the second one, which is projected to go in development in the Windows Insider program shortly, is going to be ready within the fall, most likely as version 2009.
Windows 10 version 2004 is already finalized and the public launch happen in April or May.
New devices (Xbox Series X as well as an Android phone)
With regards to devices, there’s a lot happening here.
First of all, it’s the Xbox Series X, that will have a custom CPU based on AMD’s Zen 2 and Radeon RDNA architecture and offer next-gen capabilities like 8K gaming and 120 fps. Microsoft says the unit will land during holiday 2020.
Furthermore, there are devices that Microsoft also announced this year, like Surface Neo, Surface Duo, and Surface Earbuds.
Neo and Duo, that are Microsoft’s first models in the dual-screen world, will also land within the holidays, as the Earbuds should go live much sooner. Duo also represents Microsoft’s first Android phone ever.
Microsoft can also be likely to announce the Surface Go 2 and Surface Book 3, each of which includes notable hardware upgrades. Important to note, however, is the fact that Surface Go will remain Microsoft’s cheapest and smallest Surface model, but it’ll be interesting to ascertain if the company will retain the same price point or make it more expensive.
Apart from all of these, there’s a lot more originating from Microsoft in 2020, but of the news are based on pure speculation anyway. For instance, I can see Microsoft launching the top Studio 3, in addition to a Surface webcam next year, but both of them are just rumors that should be taken having a healthy pinch of salt for the time being.
Microsoft will become an even more important player within the mobile industry, and many think a conventional Android phone is simply a matter of time. If it’s, don’t expect it next year though.
All in all, 2020 will mark another step for Microsoft towards its goal of expanding past the software business and focusing more about items that bring home the bacon. Just like in 2019, cloud will remain the primary cash cow, so expect lots of exciting news in connection with this too.