Skip to main content

Our predictions for Microsoft in 2018

Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper
Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper (Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft logo

Microsoft logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

With just a couple of week to go, 2017 is winding down, and sights are beginning to be set on the new year ahead. 2017 was an exciting year for Microsoft. With creators being at the forefront of Windows updates, Microsoft establishing itself in the laptop category with Surface Laptop, and desktop apps coming to the Microsoft Store on a much larger scale; It's been an incredibly busy year. But now it's time to look to the future and predict what 2018 will bring within the Microsoft realm.

Microsoft software

Let's start with Windows 10. I suspect that in 2018, Microsoft will focus a lot on being productive within Windows. We already know features like Timeline and Cloud Clipboard will help us be more productive across devices, and I suspect that trend will continue with features like Windows Sets. My first bold prediction is that Microsoft will call Redstone 4 the "Windows 10 Productivity Update" given the sudden focus on building features that keep us more productive.

On the surface, I anticipate Microsoft will continue to clean-up the UI in Windows 10 throughout 2018. Fluent Design is already well in-effect with the latest Redstone 4 Insider Preview builds, and that trend will only continue throughout 2018. In fact, with Redstone 5, I predict Microsoft will start taking some bolder risks with design; removing older, legacy features and behaviors in favor of a more minimalist approach to certain things.

For example, I wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft redesign the System Tray, giving it a more minimal appearance and moving a lot of the excess stuff into a new Control Center area. This Control Center is something we've written about before, and according to our sources is now part of a much bigger effort. It'll include things like quick-actions, possibly tray icons, a volume slider, and even HomeHub functions that can be configured. I also suspect we'll see some big changes to the Start menu, including improved customization options.

I predict that in 2018 we'll finally see Microsoft separate Cortana from the dedicated search function in Windows 10. Many users dislike how Cortana is integrated with search, and in 2018 I suspect Microsoft will finally do something about this. Microsoft will move Cortana into the Action Center, with quick access to a chat-based Cortana UI directly from the newly designed System Tray, leaving the dedicated search bar for search only.

Speaking of Cortana, I suspect Microsoft will finally start focusing on the Windows-based AI assistant in 2018, building new smart-AI features and improvements, and possibly bringing it to new markets. It's been a while since Cortana received any significant updates, so we'll be well-overdue some kind of improvement in 2018.

Of course, an obvious one to expect in 2018 is a brand new version of Office, as Microsoft has already announced that Office 2019 will be available in the second half of next year. I suspect Office 2019 will bring an updated design, likely featuring Fluent Design elements and connected animations for a more beautiful user-experience. That's assuming Microsoft can get Fluent Design working within Win32 programs in time.

Existing Windows 10 Mobile handsets will continue to be left on the backburner, with even less support throughout 2018. We're already getting the cold shoulder from Microsoft officials when asked about future updates, and I don't expect this situation to improve in 2018. The platform will continue to fall further behind the rest of Windows 10, and eventually be left in the cold just like Windows RT.

Regarding Windows Core OS and CShell, I suspect both of these will be ready in some capacity in 2018. I don't expect to see it on Windows desktop, but I'm relatively confident Windows Core OS and CShell will be ready in 2018 for Microsoft's rumored foldable dual-screened device. The foldable device will likely be Microsoft's first product to ship with a version of Windows 10 built with Windows Core OS and rocking CShell.

Microsoft hardware

Concept image via David Breyer.

Concept image via David Breyer.

Speaking of Microsoft's foldable device, I continue to hear that this device is pegged for launch sometime in 2018. If so, I predict it'll be released in the second-half of 2018, likely towards the end of the year to give Microsoft as much time as possible to perfect the product before launch. The device will be portable, with two screens, pen support, and even telephony capabilities.

Also in 2018, I anticipate we'll see a refreshed Surface Studio with updated specifications, and maybe even a SKU that's a little more affordable as to make the product more accessible to a wider audience. To many, the original Surface Studio was just too expensive, so hopefully, Microsoft will create a version that's more affordable in 2018. Also, and this is an obvious one; Microsoft will adopt USB-C in some capacity on all future Surface products. We may also see a new, more powerful Surface Dock in 2018 too.

It's possible that we'll also see a new Surface Hub, running a brand new version of Windows 10, utilizing CShell and built with Windows Core OS. In fact, it may even have tie-ins with Microsoft's foldable device. Similarly, this project, like the foldable device, may find itself slipping in 2019, however. I don't expect we'll see any major updates to the Surface Pro, Surface Laptop or Surface Book in 2018, as those products were only just recently updated or announced. I also don't think we'll see any new non-pro Surface 4 device in 2018 either.

Many suspect we won't hear anything about Microsoft's next head mounted display until 2019, but Alex Kipman said back in October that head mounted displays that can do both virtual and augmented reality aren't too far into the future. Perhaps something along those lines will make an appearance in 2018?

Regarding Xbox, I've not heard of any new products on the horizon for 2018. I do know Microsoft is working on a new Xbox product codenamed Scarlett, but whether Microsoft is planning to release it next year is unknown. We also don't know much about the Scarlett project itself, so we're going to keep digging for information on that.

What do you predict?

That's our predictions for 2018, but we want to know what you're predicting will happen next year in the realm of Microsoft news! Let us know in the comments.

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • I predict that Microsoft will miss the boat with its foldable device its been slow to react to the market before and its sales team have been pretty slack. With regards to MS mobile fan have its a shame you seem to be dumping us would it not be better to keep us a little happy so any future device with telephone would have a kick start and an additional sales force to help market the new device.
  • What "boat" will MS miss and what market will it be slow to react to?
  • This boat....
  • Microsoft is well ahead of that boat!
  • Under new leadership that has not failed at anything you've mentioned so far.. So, it's safe to say that it could go any way.
    Might as well stay positive, and wish for the best, at this point.
  • They're not slow to react to the market and they're also not late to the game. They just had a history of throwing their weight around and finally their actions caught up with them. They had a (substantial) mobile presence before Apple entered the market with iOS. They had a major "generic" mobile presence before Android entered. Both those facts should've been enough to slow down iOS and destroy Android, but, they weren't! But, Microsoft's problem is that it is a rather unappealing company. Their own behavior created a lot of businesses who were well aware of the aphorism "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." For example, they have a long and rich history of holding OEMs hostage with Windows licensing restrictions. For decades now Microsoft forbids differentiating Windows so a Dell is pretty much the same as an HP as a Lenovo. The only thing they can differentiate on is form and customer service. And, for the longest time Microsoft charged substantial sums for Windows licenses. I'm sure Microsoft got a good cut from any Windows Phone sold in the early 2000's. It was only the rise of the Linux-toting 'sub notebook' in the mid to late-2000's that forced Microsoft's hands to reduce licensing fees for Windows XP. iOS and iPhone offered an integrated package and came from a company that did not have Microsoft's reputation. Android offered a licence free OS that allowed OEMs to enter the smart phone market and not pay a massive Microsoft tax on each and every device. On the consumer side Microsoft held back the evolution of the internet by many years by illegally using their monopoly to harm Netscape and privilege Internet Explorer. They paid three quarters of a billion dollar to Netscape for doing that. They also had a habit of gouging Office customers after they'd vanquished the competition. Now Microsoft Windows is playing a rear-guard game because they missed the mobile phone market, in no part due to their own history with consumers and OEMs. Apple offered an integrated solution from a company with a positive profile. Android offered freedom from Microsoft to OEMs. Microsoft no longer is controlled by Gates so perhaps they are no longer into abusing monopolies, but, their stance with Windows 10 S belies that--you may only ever use one search engine provided it's Bing. No other OS, mobile or desktop, has dared that kind of exclusionary behavior... so, if that's the "new" Microsoft Microsoft will continue to have challenges with the consumer market.
  • Wow! This is long. I'm going to have to read this when I get "back to work"😂😂😂
  • He is basically saying what I have been saying for a while now. Microsoft's reputation is starting to catch up to them. Their reputation combined with the challenges of selling a locked down platform have made them fail in mobile. They need some drastic changes if they want to become successful. You seen to want Microsoft to stay the course.
  • You know if I'm not reading his comment I'm not reading your BS.. All I can remember you typed was "he's basically some BS, then I stopped reading... You gotta have brain rot if you haven't learned by now...
  • So said the king of all bullshit.
  • Happy new year,  run along...take your ball and go home.   I see you are plugging your ears screaming away again!
  • Reputation?
    I'm a Nexus user, I didn't care about WinPhone cause as a programmer, I don't think it will work. Whatever portable device they push, It has to be part of Win10 (PC, S), code once and run on both, one store, one market, one ecosystem. 2018, 2 devices lying before me.
    1. Android. (gets boring YoY tbh...)
    2. A device that can do XPA, has OneDrive on Demand, has Edge + extension, inking, able to do some photoshop, can do email, messenger, news reading, Youtube... I won't be able to write heavy games on this thing but I can prob do some light UWP programming.
    2nd one will be my pick. These things are not a phone. It's portable Win10PC, I see no competition tbh.
    xboxes, win10pc, win10s, win10arm, IOT, AR, MR are all accompany each other, do you think Apple or Google can enter Gaming market? Do you think Sony can bring their games to PC / portable PC market? 15 years ago my professor specifically told me to never work for MS, 10 years later I'd prefer Google (or Boston Dynamic), another 5 years... I think MS's actually pretty cool (esp after XPA, BC, FC announcement and Surface line products). They are on the right path unifying services and provide nice tools for developers, contribute to community (e.g. biggest contributor of GitHub), they also produce interesting HWs too.
    * Programming is my vocation. I got scouted before graduate from Uni (I was napping in the PC room and someone tapped my shoulder then began our interview), got scouted again before graduate from Master. Now I got scouted working in a major game studio.
  • Ya know, I enjoy reviewing projections related to the Microsoft ecosphere.  What I do not understand is why there are so many haters that have nothing better to do than hang around Microsoft related site and spew vitriol.
  • Trolls
  • Most of the "haters" here are former windows phone users who were burnt by MS again and again with their lies and bullcrap.   They are just bitter.   I did love my 1020,  and 950xl at the beginning,  but windows 10 mobile is useless to me now.   I do however,  LOVE MY WINDOWS COMPUTERS!  I have tried macOS 3 times and could not get used to it's backward, messed up logic of control functions.   Windows kills macOS and the market share shows this.  MS-DOS is a better operating system where you had to key in every command.  So,  thats the answer to your question.   I joke and kid.  but in all reality,  if this new foldable device comes to light,  I will more than likely own one.  Just Cause!
  • Do you think writing a big wall of text makes you sound smarter?  First of all, Gates had nothing to do with high license fees. The market just let them do that and now they can't afford that anymore. Android is not a license free OS. At least not the android that's popular. I don't know where you got that from. And Microsoft makes more money from Android devices fees than they ever made from windows phone. That Apple had not the same reputation than Microsoft doesn't even matter, because Microsoft may have had a bad reputation with their OEMs and not with the consumers. Apple does not have anything to do with Microsofts OEMs. They just provided, as you said,  a consumer friendly package. (And Windows Mobile was enterprise oriented, btw.)  What I agree with you is that their own behavior is hitting them back now, but their behavior after around 2010 and not from the time you are talking about. 
  • "Android offered freedom from Microsoft to OEMs".  Utter rubbish.  In 1979-80 Microsoft was the first company ever to port Unix to a microprocessor. As a consequence of this effort they own a number of patent rights that has been breached by Linux.  While Linux was free, Microsoft allowed its distribution without royalty obligations.  when Google hijacked the Linux kernel to build Android, this used Microsoft's IP in a commercial manner.  All Android OEMs must pay a license fee to Microsoft to use Android.  Google "misused" Microsoft's property and their OEMs had to pay.
  • You can't be late to a new market that you'll create
  • They haven't created any market besides the 2.in1s in which, others started to offer better products than their bugged Surface devices.
  • I want a  continue for windows mobile,Cshell ,Andromeda 
  • It has to have phone features or it would fail.
  • I think (mainly hope) there will be a refresh to the Xbox elite controller. I also think there will be some headway with Xbox one x and vr.
  • I just wish they'd bring some more shooters to X One 360 had hundreds and hundreds of quality shooters, X one by comparison is a desert. One of the main reasons this gen is coping a towelling from Sony......and that makes me cringe
  • I'll def want an Elite Bluetooth controller to go in my bag!
  • Whatever the case may be. it will be a long time before I buy any Microsoft devices. It is simply not worth the trouble of spending money and having Microsoft abandon the device without an consideration for their customers!
  • Not many companies have a longer Life Cycle Policy than Microsoft. 16 YEARS after Microsoft released XP, they still issued security fixes this yea! And it doesn't stop there. most of their other software too. Android on the other hand, after 16 weeks you're already taking chances even if you purchased a premium device the day it came out. 
  • @change28, while I agree with your sentiment that MS should not dropped a few of its product lines, as @Withheld says, MS has one of the best track records of long-term support for its products. What you're really talking about is their throwing in the towel and dropping new production of specific products that didn't do well in the market, which is very, very different from providing customers with support on the products they own. Regarding dropping products before they gain market traction, it appears (hard to say for sure), that Nadella is trying to drop everything that's not essential to the core MS value proposition (most of which were started before he took over as CEO), while doubling down on everything that is. It does seem that the upcoming Andromeda device, like other Surface products, is indeed tied to the core MS value proposition and will therefore be a point of focus, not something to drop. I don't defend Nadella on dropping support for Windows Phone or Kinect or even Band (I still use a Windows Lumia Icon and hooked my old Kinect up to my XBox One X with the adapter, never owned a Band). I think dropping those were the wrong strategic calls, because they engender the kind of feelings among customers you articulated and have made UWP and Microsoft Store less appealing to developers. However, I do see a consistency and logic in his philosophy -- not the same I would use, but cutting secondary products to better focus on the core is not mindless stupidity either.
  • I wonder what kind of pathetic fanboy would downvote you for simply pointing the truth?
  • what about a surface with Windows 10 on ARM?
  • That's Andromeda
  • When Microsoft calls Redstone 4 the "Productivity Update", Redstone 5 should be called the "Fall Productivity Update".
  • Surface Scribe in 2018.
    And, if you don't like the "Surface Scribe" name, then whatever.. Make it your own. But, the fact is that long-term WinMo - W10M fans might actually get what they've been wanting since the Lumia 1020, 930, 1520, 920, and other devices of that era.... Windows running on EXCELLENT mobile hardware.
    Whatever MS decides to call it, that's what we want, and from the looks of things, that's what we're gonna get. (well, whoever can afford it, that is)
  • Such a device just doesn't have mass appeal. It will flop, just like all it's predecessors. Windows has no place on small handheld device. Windows and all the software built for it is designed for large screens with keyboards and mice. All previous efforts have failed miserably. Why would this one be any different?
  • Windows has a place on small handheld devices.  Lumia 950XL is in my pocket now. And there are those with 4k monitors who say Windows 10 wasn't designed for high DPI displays with all the wasted space in all their built-in apps.   What was your point again? 
  • Windows Mobile isn't full Windows and was designed for small devices. It was a huge flop. Bad example of Windows working on a small device. Windows 10's poor scaling is certainly a nuisance but it isn't a deal breaker. You can work around it. Not sure what that has to do with it.
  • You asked this troll what his point was like he has one... Please tell me you're not wasting your time reading his copy and paste trolling BS.
  • if you're going to make an attempt at trolling at least try and keep up with what's being developed.
  • Microsoft is developing a strong ecosystem for small screen devices? Seems to me they are doing the opposite. They aren't even building UWP apps for their own services let alone third parties. You certainly cannot find legacy software designed for small touch screens. What am I missing here? How does a mobile Windows device be successful in 2018?
  • Forget trying to reason with all these fanboys. They are too busy smelling Nadella's ass to think.
  • Yes, forget it, and go to Android Central where it would make more sense for you to be... I agree
  • What legacy software are you talking about?
    Popular ones like Adobe's? Or Facebook, Instagram, zip? Who are their target audiences? > They aren't even building UWP apps for their own services let alone third parties.
    Are you sure? I'd be illogical to thing it this way tho... > Windows has no place on small handheld device
    2018, which one will you choose?
    1. Android. (gets boring YoY tbh...)
    2. A device that can do XPA, has OneDrive on Demand, has Edge + extension, inking, able to do some photoshop, can do email, messenger, news reading, Youtube... you won't be able to write heavy games on this thing but some light UWP programming certainly can be done (+QA). > Windows and all the software built for it is designed
    > for large screens with keyboards and mice
    WindowsCentral, Facebook, etc UWP app scale fine no? Aren't they touch capabled?
  • @Hirox K Wake up already! You and Rodney dreamer boy. Linkedin, now their own service has a pathetic web wrapper...not that anyonwe would need an app on the desktop OS, but then again, their own service has a non UWP native app! Their Skype UWP app is a mediocre junk, Mail app has some design mistakes than even a 8 year old would notice and Edge proves the mediocrity of the dev team MS now has. So where's the commitment for QUALITY??? Facebook and Instagram? Those apps are way behind their IOS and Android variants, so your point here is useless. Any pocket foldable device without MOBILE Apps is DOA! That's gonna be a pocket device without any pocket functionality besides basic phone functionality and Edge browsing. If you call that a smart device than you are more delusional than I've ever imagined.
  • Then why are you here?.... Answer that... Why?
  • > @Hirox K Wake up already! You and Rodney dreamer boy. Linkedin, now their
    > own service has a pathetic web wrapper...not that anyonwe would need an
    > app on the desktop OS, but then again, their own service has a non
    > UWP native app! Their Skype UWP app is a mediocre junk, Mail app
    > has some design mistakes than even a 8 year old would notice and
    > Edge proves the mediocrity of the dev team MS now has. So where's
    > the commitment for QUALITY???
    I'm very much awake.
    Are we, work force, business people, game creators, music creators, designers, constructors, researchers, etc READY to leave Windows behind?
    What kind of things can be done on Android but cannot be done on Win10pc?
    What's the down side bring win10 to ARM?
    What's the down side making a small form factor win10ARM?
    Are we leaving Windows behind because of a small form factor win10ARM device? What kind of things can be done on Win10pc but cannot be done on Android? * Mail and Calendar has 241K review. 4*.
    Quality can be fixed.
    An app would be nice, but what's wrong with web wrapper? It's a quick patch, so? Doesn't it get your job done?
    Should I keep Android for LinkedIn apps and give up OneDrive on Demand or XPA gaming?
    Should I give up Edge + extension? I might not inject my script to help me navigate internet kb-only, but I can certainly do automations, to stop vid auto-play, remove ads, etc.
    Should I give up using Photoshop?
    I might not be able to run Unreal, Unity or code a game using DirectX and Havok, but I can certainly do some light UWP programming (+QA, compile). One can do what Android do and can do what Android cannot do, a few compromise (but still can be done) is not a problem. And, as an indie / startup, would you prefer to write an *.exe or UWP?
    If you go with *.exe, you'd have to write installer, uninstaller, updater, crack-proof, do your advertisement like how enterprises did it in the past.
    Should a consumer trust your no-name *.exe to do their system no harm? Will you cleanup registry during uninstallation? Can you do *.exe in IOT, AR, MR, Xbox? Things are moving slow but there's no way back, it's just logic. Unless you are delusional. Most are just Y/N question, should be easy.
  • He has no clue... He doesn't even have any reason to be here... The only articles he comments on are those that have some mention of anything Andromeda related.. Nothing else. He's a pathetic troll.
  • Nice prediction zac .But wanted to see foldable device in first half 2018
  • Lol.. Well, just because Zac writes a prediction for the first half doesn't mean that's what he thinks will happen. 😂😂😂
  • you are so slow, didn't even read what the person has written..
  • I had to read it a couple times but Rodney made sense. He basically is saying the writer's predictions won't change reality.
  • How, reomw?.... Is your first language English?
  • Have you read article.He doesn't say first half
  • Looking at the speed at which details of the device were leaked in the last month, I guess it's be first half of 2018.
    Remember the patents are from mid 2016. So they had start working on it since then.
    One reason for releasing it early is, MS would want to push creative ARM devices. They can't do it unless they've something unique to show. Q2 is the time for that.
    Another reason is, Windows 10 can work with SD 835 currently, so releasing the devices 6 months late with a SD 835 device instead of the then new SD 845 would portray a bad impression.
    They need at least 1 generation to match with the newest processors.
    Also, they can be in the game of foldable devices as the trend is starting.
    So delaying the device won't do them good in any sense. And I believe they're internally doing it very fast.
    But then again, MS won't be MS if it's not missing obvious marks. :p
  • I want Windows 10 in my pocket! If Microsoft can’t even announce their mobile device in Q1 2018, I’m out.  If they can’t deliver it in at least Q2 2018, I’m out.  I don’t care if it is in limited quantities, and I can’t personally get my hands on it until Q3 2018. Microsoft – you have a bunch of smart people and billions in resources.  Get it done!
  • Tape that to an iPhone. Done. Ultimate Mobile device.
  • MSFT might be barking up the wrong tree with a foldable device, even an All-in-one "replaces both your cell phone and laptop" device.  MSFT usually does extenesive market research before embarking on a major innovation like this.  They usually have focus groups, and survey existing enterprise customers to get a feel for the marketability even before starting to design such a new device. What's most important to most users are the applications, like Office apps, not the OS.  Alll the OS's have internet capabilites and browsers.  Most important websites like News, Weather, Email, Alarms, Calendars, etc., have mobile and desktop versions.  Most desk bound users don't take their notebook/tablets with them to lunch.  Only techies like me and sales people who have to have immediate access to their VIP apps do.  Doctors, lawyers, insurance, real estate, bankers (especially bankers) don't take their laptops with them to lunch, but they do take take them home so they can work when they have to.   Everyone takes their cell phone with them to lunch, and just might take a phone call or read a work related text or email if it's red flagged or from the boss.....and they work their usual jobs when they return from lunch. Currently, everyone has both a cell phone and a powerful computer like a laptop, 2-in-1, desktop etc., for work.  Cell phones may become powerful enough and have I5-I7 power soon, and may become all-in-one devices plugged into a dock with keyboard, mouse and monitor, and network printers. No one wants anything larger than 6" screen to constantly carry on their hip at McDonald's or Red Lobster or the gas station, for that matter. If you could buy a 12" foldable to 6", it would still have to be less than 6" long to carry on your hip or in your coat or (for the ladies) you purse or back pocket.  Still wouldn't be ideal for working on Office Docs, Database apps, Medical Apps, Jet Rocket design or auto engine design, etc.  Might as well have a 2-in-1 with at least an 11.5" screen. I've read that LG or Samsung is working on a flexible or foldable TV or one that you could roll up like an architect's drawing and put in a cardboard tube, or unroll and tape to a wall.  MSFT is about as likely to sell a lot of foldables as they are likely to sell foldable TV's......agree???      
  • "No one wants more than 6"..." They said this about 4" four years ago, when I was rocking the Lumia 1520. Today 5,7" is standard...
  • Microsoft needs to bring Cortana into the second decade of the 21st century.  She's way behind.
  • I wouldn't say "way"
  • If you're outside of USA, Cortana is "way" behind.  Sourse I am Canadian.
  • True
  • She's not even here most places! Maybe try to get her to their customers before looking to change anything...
  • no Xbox VR?!!  wtf Microsoft?  :(
  • Hey... Remember, Zac wrote this article, not MS.. Really?🙄
  • Having used VR and WMR I can safely say it is great AND it needs more time. WMR is a solid beta right now for me.
  • Wish Microsoft ramped up on home automation and automotive integration.
  • EXACTLY! You win comment of the week!... Because, going forward that's what's really important.
  • After owning a Ford Fusion with Microsoft’s sync I will avoid any Microsoft made os in a car. It was worse then suck. It did not even work with Microsoft’s own phone and barely worked with android. They should just stay out of that market!
  • Such a shame about WP. Even my girlfriend, who can be especially economical with compliments, was using my spare 640xl while her Google LG was being shipped. And commenting how much sense the interface made. I think there was room for another type of phone, and I feel more that way as time goes on. I think Microsoft just admitted that they were making too many mistakes that could not be resolved and they just decided to cancel Windows Phone as the easiest way out. So too bad.
  • I predict MS will finally come out with a foldable device shortly after Samsung and Apple have released their second generation of the same type of devices.  MS isn't known for being nimble.
  • That part of me who remembers the not too distant past with Microsoft tends to think the foldable could be an awesome device released in mid-2018, then be "removed" by mid-2019.  It could have great technology, and those who are not averse to risk taking might grab it up, but weak marketing, and distrust of "partners" who won't be convinced of the "MSFT committment" to this new concept will result in poor consumer adoption, and then Microsoft will simply drop the product.  No ?  ( Think WinPhone, Band, development tools, and so much more - great ideas, solid implementation, and suddenly poof  ).  
  • I think you mean poor implementation. Microsoft may have had some good ideas, but their implementation and strategy have been very rough.
  • Nothing new about MS support to Adroid phones. What about apps paid to MS store, when possible to be used paralell with Google Play to install in Adroid phones.
  • Microsoft will continue to concentrate more on the enterprise market while at the same time releasing iterations of their Surface line.  Their stock will continue to make waves due to their cloud services while at the same time they alienate more consumers.  Xbox will continue to struggle against Nintendo and Sony while they praise their "user-base" numbers.  People will continue to speak of a "Surface Phone" while nothing will ever come of it. Oh, and PUBG will finally be properly optimized for Xbox One just in time for their exclusivity to end and be released on PS4.
  • In keeping with the productivity focus: this portable device with the folding screen might be very business oriented, with a 'only one device needed' pitch: "You no longer need to give your on the road employees a laptop and a phone!" Office will go full UWP. Spotify will introduce some sort of OneDrive integration.
  • Being productive on a screen that can fit in your pocket will be very hard especially with Windows software.
  • I don't think you should expect Office to go full UWP before 2020, when Windows 7 goes out of support. Too many enterprises would be screwed with the move.
  • What about that whole Family/Home centered interface they had promised a while back? Did they scrap that too?
  • I think it was briefly mentioned when talking new control center. Would like to know more about it though
  • I do expect that the UWP design will move forward, from mockup (current state) to a finalized version. Also I'd like smoother themes, the current ones (light and dark) are too much contrasted : black and white (or black and white) ; this is not really good for eyes.
  • My prediction is that the foldable device will NOT appear as Nadella cans it. With that the MS total market share will begin to decline as people see that there is no mobile device presence and as a consequence MS' profitability will decline. Cynical? Yep, for sure but MS does not fill me with enthusiasm any more.
  • 2018 will be the  year that Microsoft officially joins the ranks of HP, Gateway Computers, and Compact on the ash heap of tech giants that couldn't keep up with technology.  
  • Software: I agree in large with Zac. My predictions: -I think we might possibly see the phasing out of live tiles. -I think Microsoft will continue expanding the functionality of Cortana. It will be limited mainly to the US. Feedback on lack of language and region support will continue to remind Microsoft where they're still at with Cortana. -I'm expecting some minor surprises for the improvement of the ink-to-text space. I'm thinking about possibly seeing first glimpses of a more inegrated ink-to-text conversion experience in the windows OS. And we might see windows ink in Outlook mail and calendar app. -I don't think office 2019 will be as big a push or success. I think microsoft's business model will focus more on expanding marketshare to gravitate towards office 365 subscriptions and expand office functionality that way. Last weeks windows weekly podcasts ("Big Bundles") has an interesting pitch on that. -I think the first "surface phone" device will not wow us. Reason for this is that it will not exactly resemble the dream Courier render we all know from years ago. There will likely be a lot of pause for though on the spec compromises and the current state of windows 10 for the device. Likely this will be palpable news for a gorgeous dream device for 2020. -I think we might see a surface 4 device on ARM with the 845 chipset in the second half of 2018. -I think there is going to be a lot of discussion next year about the paradigm of windows OS on ARM and the comeback of the PC. I though TechAltar had an interesting pitch last week on this with the fact we're in the multiple device era with pc AND smartphone. Will we still see the return of windows 10 mobile and continuum? - I think we'll see another growth of marketshare of windows 10 as more people move from windows 7 to 10. -I think microsoft might expand their reach on android and iOS by further exploiting office 365 on both devices, and might sell them via the microsoft 10 store. -Next year will be a messy year as to the app support. It will still be a mixed bag of legacy, dwindling uwp and perhaps more pwa. The more choice the merrier, right? Design and UI, who cares!?
  • Kill live tiles?  The thing that brought me to Windows Mobile in the first place?  Sure why not? Nothing really surprises me anymore.
  • They certainly haven't been putting effort into them. I predict they will be gone in CShell and totally disappear with RS5.
  • True,that makes  a great difference,originality,between all phones os
  • I predict more services to be murdered hahaha
  • I just want that new foldable phone/tablet. Can't wait for a phone to carry Windows 10, great camera and a set of apps to match! :D
  • The way i see it, there is no clear, true alternative/replacement for Windows Phone.  Android and IOS are not the solution. They have their own twist on things and i think utlimately to turn things around the users need to speak out and bombard MS with polite but firm requests to re-engage and reignite the mobile platform.   I would like to see Nadella gone because he has provided poor leadership.   Sure the stock is up, but thats all from Cloud business which was gonna be there anyways.  Amazon and Azure are booming.  The real leadership would have been to take a struggling segment of the company i.e. mobile and make it boom, revive it, put some real effort behidn it, replace your marketing team, show some passion, vision, leadership. Instead the lazy coward just shut it down.  SAD! He doesn't know the first thing about courage and just gave in to "we can't do it. bohoooo" Completely, irresponsible, inept, imcapable, disgraceful piece of trash.    
  • Windows Phone does nothing different than Android and iOS. Putting squares around icons and gimped widgets isn't different and is actually easily replicated on Android. There is no advantage to Windows phone so it did not catch on.
  • @bleached You make such definitive statements that they invite challenging (is that why you do it - to create conversations with people who disagree with you?) Ok, simple difference: can IOS or Android automatically detect a car connection with bluetooth, so that incoming text messages are read aloud to you. ie. the whole proces from receiving the message to handling it (replying, ignoring) is hands free? I'm fairly sure that IOS can't do it (unless that car has CarPlay support). I gather Android Auto will notify you of the message then asks you to click (ie. look at the screen and tap while driving...) to read it aloud. Sure, this is a simple example of an advantage of Windows Mobile.  I'm sure you'll come up with some obscure Android app that may or may not be free, that may or may not work, but it's been built into Windows Mobile for some time now.
  • 😆😆😆😆😆
  • Foldable screen is not yet. Many years required after Samsung's experimental devices next year.
  • Still waiting for that "Surface Display" ie. the Surface Studio screen without the computer part attached to it. Or the Microsoft Modern Keyboard with fingerprint ID to be made available worldwide...   But I'm not making any predictions. 'cause, to be honest, I just don't just enough of a f*ck to bother trying to predict anything they might do. I just know they'll continue to ruin the design of Windows 10 but that's not a prediction, it's more a continuation of the terrible work they've been doing ever since they came up with that Fluent crap.
  • I'm done expecting great things anymore. I only wish they finally deliver on their promises and make the (New) Surface Pen work on the 2017 Surface Pro by fixing the jitter issue.
  • There are no jitter issues. What are you talking about. I use the Pen on the Surface Pro to draw every day.
  • Microsoft must focus on huge indian market by collaborating with budget phone makers as android has done. People in India are waiting budget windows phones.
  • I predict once Cortana is disconnected from everything Microsoft will kill it and announce a "great new partnership with Amazon and their assistant".  I predict Microsoft will unveil that idiot folding device, a handful of people will stupidly buy it and a year later Microsoft will kill it, too.  I predict Microsoft will give up on UWP in favor of wrapping Android apps.
  • I loathe your general pessimism and slightly trollish behaviour, but I gotta admit you're probably pretty close with these guesses... I'll likely be one of the "idiots" getting the foldable device though, and I'll enjoy laughing in your face if it turns out to be the next big thing!
  • @Manus Good luck looking like a moron asking Starbucks to lend you a monitor,keyboard and mouse so you can use your new big thing while enjoying a coffee, because you have no mobile apps :))))
  • @mmgn That doesn't make any sense. How is hooking up a monitor, keyboard and mouse going to help run mobile apps? And why would you ask Starbucks for that stuff - they sell coffee not loan computer peripherals.
  • I'd say you nailed it. 
  • So ..."poor Harman Kardon voice assistant" ,starring Cortana.
  • I hope you are right on the alexa partnership!  That would be awesome.   Instant integration with the echo line!!!
  • The ones with X needs to be removed for good (some of them already have UWP counterparts). The rest legacy crap needs to be UWP'd and revamped with Fluent, including all icons in the entire Windows system as UIs, menus, flyouts and icons are found dating back to Windows 95... Also the Run command needs to be removed as the Start Search can do it. I am using Outlook 2013 on FCU and yesterday I noticed, the Delete letters confirmation dialog is show with the recycle bin icon from WINDOWS XP!!!!!!!!!
  • Rt and mobile investor here.
    I predict
    Binning of Cortana altogether
    AR VR success by rivals to mean Microsoft to halt development of AR / VR to focus on the next big thing.
    Tweaks to Win10
    New hardware with glitchy software which will be quickly copied by rivals, developed by rivals then binned by Microsoft.
    Patent receipts to increase.
    Drop of overall OS market share
    Development of Office
    2 less Microsoft OS users (mine and my mother's phone contracts ends in May, my wife has already gone)
  • Will they return my taskbar icons?
  • What's wrong with your Taskbar icons? I'm not missing any, so I don't think this is a universal issue.
  • Very simple: At least one more product killed off: Bing I suspect, more lies and some new layoffs, same mediocre quality OS.
  • What happens with Bing,i use  lot of times this search engine....??
  • Bing is a profit making division. Why would they kill it off?
  • "I also don't think we'll see any new non-pro Surface 4 device in 2018 either." :-( I DO THINK, there is now Windows on ARM, and I hope Microsoft will announce ARM-based surface
  • Satya Nadella will himself be launched as an app for Android and iOS.
  • And that app will kill all devices and consumer focused products it's launched on!
  • :D
  • I predict a rapid *ehem* Rise in porn related microsoft MR software development followed by *errrr* Explosive growth in headset sales. This would all occur in the *ahem* coming months a head  ;)
  • What they really need to do is start  supporting other than US users. Features like Cortana being still not available in most countries (and languages) is embarrassing.
  • So true,
  • I am wondering who doesn’t like cortana integration?  You don’t have to set it up if you don’t want so that statement doesn’t make sense to me.  Any clarifications? 
  • Reynaldo.  Lots of people.  Cortana only works in a handfull of countries and then in those countries,  it only works half assed!   So that statement makes alot of sense when you look at it from a realists point of view.
  • I predict that MS will disappear almost entirely from the consumer market. WM will vanish into oblivion, Invoke will also disappear due to very low sales. Windows 10 will obviously continue its meandering journey of inconsistancy and destructive upgrade cycles - but MS won't care. They'll plod on, making changes that no-one asked for, and adding pointless features. The 'Creators' update didn't make anyone more creative, and a 'Productivity' update won't change anything either. PC's will continue to be eroded by mobile devices, but MS will continue its backdoor invastion of iOS, and more specifically Android. MS will launch a new mobile device. Fans will love it and sites like this will say how great it is, but no one will buy it. Long shot - MS will fork Android and finally realise 'if you can't beat em'.... Cloud services will continue to sneak into our lives, and we'll continue to be told we can't live without them (hint: we can). People will continue to be deceived by cloud sales pitches and gimmicks, but there will be some very high profile security breaches which will make some think twice (or thrice).
  • I don't predict anything, just waiting for windows phone internal to try to port full windows Redstone 4 to Lumia 950.
  • My prediction - Microsoft will make a comeback in mobiles. A new updated Windows OS having C shell and continuum will be launched with support for PC apps also to run on the phone itself. This will be launched in a new phone called as "Surface Phone" which will be launched in 2 variants - Flagship phone & Mid range phone. And it will be launched alongwith the foldable device. The foldable device will have the same features of C shell and continuum and will be called something with the term "surface" being used  Some existing Windows 10 phones like Lumia 950, 650, HP elite X3, Alcatel idol 4s, Wileyfox pro, etc will also get updated to the new OS and some new Windows phones will be announced by Microsoft, HP, Alcatel, etc  
  • Hope for that  but i think that the view of the most mentioned "Surface Phone " in the year 2017 is over I still have my Lumia 950Xl and is a great phone  really don't know how i'm going to leave or change this great phone for Android or Apple.I was very loyal to Blackberry and  i test Apple at the beggining and after that Android but return to Blackeberry  but when windos 8 launch with this beautiful Nokia design the Nokia Lumia 920 i move to windows.
  • Lucky you... I stuck with my Lumia 920 and by the time it was time to change it, the 950s had gone out of stock everywhere. So I'm now stuck with a cheal Android Phone... :(
  • Im still stuck with my 920 (day 0 device), still working fine other than frequent browser crashes. I'll replace it when the foldable is released.
  • More wishes then predictions. Surface Studio 22" — so it can be more affordable Surface Monitor 22" and 28" — so you can hook it up to your exisiting PC. I think this would be awesome. Create there own Photoshop and Illustrator type software to bundle with office.
  • With Magic Leap planning to ship a MR headset in 2018 I suspect we might see an updated and refreshed HoloLens around the same time - likely still developer-only. Could be interesting if they get their HPU hardware working with ARM processors which will have an impact on size and power consumption.
  • I Predict That Microsoft will make more consumer related products. I predict it will debut the Surface Mobile 2 Screen Mini Tablet Middle 2018 and it will have a bullt in Cellphone.. The Surface Pro Tablet will get updated to have a C USB connector, A Surface studio Monitor will be debut without any CPU so peoplle can use the Computer they already have. I Predict barring a Big west coast Earth quake and Tidal wave which is a REAL threat out there Microsoft will be in good shape Business wise and make enough money to Survive because the way it makes most of it's Money is still working.  It's strenght in the Mobile world  will be it's Surface Pro Tablet, The Surface Laptop and the Surface Book 2 The addition of the 2 screen Surface Mobile Mini Tablet will help some if it has a bulit in Cellphone. I would buy the Surface Mobile Mini Tablet with a built in cell phone but because of it's size it will sell OK but not be a big hit.
  • Yes...They will release their new phone this year!
  • 1-  the  Fordable device will be call Surface Mini.  2  Surface phone  3   Surface Watch 4 Surface TV  
  • I predict Microsoft will release a foldable/mobile device aimed at the enterprise, with great hoopla, and be completely surprised when no on jumps on the bandwagon.  After being kicked to the curb so many times, I predict enterprise and consumers alike will take a wait and see approach to any next great Microsoft product.
  • I am running some predictions and Windows wishlist 2018 thread on reddit. Please join.
  • As far as an xbox device in 2018, I think that will be a vr headset.
  • A pity they abandon handsets....#thefutureismobile  
  • 2017...    ...and desktop apps coming to the Microsoft Store on a much larger scale...   Where/what did i miss? :-)
  • I don't predict, I expect. More futuristic hw and most importantly, soon and more of it. What Microsoft needs now the most is to get known not as lame OS getting back with one pricy device, but as visionaries of smart living, closer to consumers, growing.
  • Vivio,   Dont expect anything consumer focused from this leadership team.  Sorry to dissapoint. 
  • Surface Connected with build in Softphone and a cloud gateway to cellular networks, on demand data packs and communication services. MS becomes network operator with recurrent revenue. Next version W10 Esim
  • Windows on ARM. Because its LATE. Home hub - also running late. 
  • The start of ending Surface development and support, the red herring being the mobile device will turn out to be just an idea with patents taken just in case. Moar cloud as why put effort in anything if you can sit back and do nothing.
  • Paulheu, You hit the nail on the head.
  • I jokingly predict that Microsoft will switch to using Android as their mobile platform and provide their apps like a Edge, email etc. Basically, they’ll follow Blackberry. :)
  • Considering phones are what most people have on there person and the brilliant Microsoft one experience, shutting down Microsoft phones was a moronic idea. They could have employed some programmers on the app platform and they would have only needed 5 hit applications before the developer community started really engaging in it. So they have Surface Hub for business, where do they thing most of the driving integration will come from now? Microsoft and Mitsubishi have this habit of putting genius out there, and then abandoning it just before it gains traction.
  • Hello. :) I predict very good years ahead. At least for 20 to 30 years. MS had two bad decades and I think 2014 was the end of it. I think until the end of 2019 we will have heavy potentials to see the new Hub, a new surface studio, HoloLens 2, maybe a Mixed reality device apart from HoloLens, I feel a new wind from a game changing device, also heavy cloud and AI enhancements, don't think there would be a new Xbox until 2021. And finally the Andromeda device. Which I feel despite all the good and bad comments, will be a true hammer that can bend solid markets. I've had a great experience with Windows 10 hybrids. I believe it can actually gain very strong mindshare. As 2 in 1s completely turned the page I believing there is another page that's about to turn. Todays Microsoft knows that hanging from already accepted ideas is going to end badly. That's why every idea coming out of MS today is new from top to bottom.