Microsoft is no longer depending on its Windows 10 operating system to drive the company. It has already shifted its stance and is now focused on the rapid expansion of its cloud and enterprise products. But, this doesn’t mean that the company has given up on hardware or innovative technologies. Instead, it is now leading the ship with the release of Surface Studio and Windows 10-as-a-service.

And today, it took center stage at the WinHEC 2016 conference in Shenzhen to shine light over global partnerships and hardware plans to empower creators. This can be seen as the next step in the evolution of Microsoft as well as Windows for the next generation.

The Redmond giant is taking the very first step in this direction with help from the world’s largest chipmaker Intel. The two of them are collaborating to build a major new feature, code-named Project Evo, for Windows 10. This will allow them to developed next-gen devices focused on mixed reality, AI, security and gaming. Microsoft is also looking to expand the scope of Cortana with not only new features but also far-field speech communication, which will enable it to recognize commands from across the room.

From the sound of it, it seems that Microsoft might be looking to compete against Amazon and Google by building its own smart home device. It will see the company extend Cortana and integrate Windows 10 across our homes. But that’s not it. The two will also work together on building other new types of PCs and innovative devices with the integration of soon-to-become ubiquitous technologies.

In this flailing state of cyber-security, Redmond is planning to introduce latest security capabilities, such as biometric authentication using Windows Hello, improved protection against malware/hacking and sophisticated insights from both Microsoft and Intel’s security graph.

This project is also expected to focus on improvements in gaming on Windows 10. Not only will the augmented, virtual and mixed reality platforms receive a serious bump but the development of affordable PCs will also bring improved game broadcasting (via integrated Beam support) and spatial audio in Windows 10 Creators Update.

Talking about upcoming Windows advancements, Terry Myerson, executive VP of Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, says,

I feel energized to be among this community of hardware engineering creators at WinHEC, who are building the next generation of modern, secure PCs that support innovative mixed-reality, gaming and mobile experiences.

With the Windows 10 Creators Update and our partnerships with Qualcomm and Intel, we can build technology that serves all of us by ensuring there are devices for the creator in each of us.

In addition, Microsoft isn’t done with its infamous HoloLens just yet. There is still much development and innovation left to explore in that avenue and Redmond also plans to make it mainstream for the populace. It has already applied for govt. approval in China and will unveil the first Intel-powered commercial product in the coming months. Similar mixed reality products from Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Go will also be available next year. It is tapping the largest Chinese headset manufacturer, 3Glasses, to reach the 5 million monthly active users in the land of the Dragon. It will provide users with access to over 20,000 universal Windows apps, immersive WebVR, 3D objects in Edge (special focus in Creators Update) and 360 degree content to its users.

Also, Microsoft has announced that it is now partnering with Qualcomm to port over its platform to ARM-based mobile chips in the coming months. It is looking to create powerful devices that can easily be used to work on the go. Thus, it would require cellular connectivity and the tech behemoth is ready to provide users with even that. In the official release, it states,

In future Windows 10 updates, Microsoft will enable connectivity that is always within reach. Customers will be able to easily buy data directly from the Windows Store and be in control of how they use Wi-Fi and cellular networks, consume data, and manage costs.

Are you excited for the future of Microsoft yet?? Well, you should be.

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