Windows 11 is due for a full release on October 5, and we'd expect some new hardware to accompany the latest software update. After all, what better way to help show off the operating system in all its rounded, centered splendor?
Microsoft has certainly picked a time and place for such a showcase. It's holding an online event on Wednesday, September 22 at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT to show off "what's next" for the company. Expect a specific focus on Windows 11 and new devices.
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The event is open to everyone who can access a web browser, though if you head over to the event page (opens in new tab) right now, all you can do is set a reminder for yourself to tune in later. We imagine there will be more details as we get closer to Windows 11's big day.
But what could make an appearance on stage Sept. 22? Microsoft has shared little so far, but we can make some pretty good guesses as to what's on the agenda.
Microsoft Sept. 22 Event: Windows 11
Let's start with the obvious item on the agenda — Windows 11. Yes, Microsoft already previewed the operating system update back in June. But with the Oct. 5 release just a few weeks after Microsoft's Sept. 22 event, this seems like a good time for a refresher on what upgraders should expect.
Our Windows 11 guide has a full rundown of the changes we've seen. But highlights include a new Start menu with rounded corners, productivity boosters such as Snap Layouts for running multiple apps, new widgets and Microsoft Teams integration.
Microsoft probably won't spend a lot of time dwelling on Windows 11 features, though it could talk about system requirements for the update. We think the bulk of the Sept. 22 event will focus on new hardware.
Microsoft Sept. 22 Event: Surface Book 4
To that end, Microsoft may have tipped its hand in promoting the Sept. 22 event. The teaser image on the event page bears a striking resemblance to a Surface laptop. That could be a hint that we're finally going to witness the unveiling of the Surface Book 4, which has been tipped for a radical redesign that could include a hinged screen, rather than the detachable display seen on the 2020 Surface Book 3.
If that rumor pans out, the next Surface Book could wind up being an intriguing device for artists and creators who want a 2-in-1 laptop/tablet that can be set up like an easel, a la the Surface Studio 2.
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Microsoft Sept. 22 Event: Surface Duo 2
We're already expecting to see the debut of a Surface Duo 2 later this year, and Microsoft's newly-announced September Surface event seems like a prime time for that to happen. We've already seen photos of this alleged Surface Duo 2 cropping up online that appear to reveal the same dual-screen clamshell design as the original Duo, albeit with an improved triple-camera array.
If everything we've heard proves true, this Duo 2 will also have much better hardware under the hood than the original (underpowered) Duo, including a Snapdragon 888 processor, 5G support, and NFC communication for wireless payments.
Microsoft Sept. 22 Event: Surface Pro 8
All that said, it's worth pointing out that the promotional image Microsoft is using to tease this event (seen at the top of this story) doesn't look quite like either rumored product. Instead, it's a stylized side-on shot of what appears to be a standard Surface Pro tablet, perhaps hinting that the long-expected Surface Pro 8 will finally make an appearance.
We'll just have to wait and see what Microsoft has planned for its September 22 Surface showcase. It could be all of the devices mentioned above, or perhaps we'll see something totally unexpected. Either way, stay tuned for our coverage of all things Microsoft.