Greetings from the Big Apple!
I am here in New York City today in anticipation of Microsoft's May Event that is being held in Manhattan tomorrow at Center 415.
When the invites for this event went out a couple of weeks ago, we knew immediately that it was an education related event because they used the #MicrosoftEDU hashtag on the invite we received.
Then of course the speculation began. However, a significant connection to Windows 10 and education was revealed in an interview one day before the invites were sent out for this event. In an interview with Mashable, Joe Belfiore talked about his return to Microsoft after his nine month sabbatical that he took with his family. One specific area he mentioned in that article was that he had been appointed as the Education Advocate on the Windows team at Microsoft.
Then just a day later the May event invites were landing in the email inboxes of tech journalists and bloggers across the country.
I said that day it was just too much of a coincidence to have Belfiore's return at Microsoft, the mention that he was the education advocate for the Windows team, and then this event's announcement all happen within a 36 hour period. By the way, the next day, on 13 April, Belfiore entered Twitter silence mode and stopped tweeting despite just returning to the company publicly. He used to take a similar approach when he was in charge of building Windows Phone hardware prior to a new product launch.
Again - just another coincidence or more than that?
Well turns out Joe took a moment to reply to my tweet commenting on his silence on Twitter:
Although there has been no confirmation or leaks of what we will see for sure at this event beyond the education connection you can piece together a few possibilities.
< speculation mode=on >
A few months ago a rumor floated around about a clamshell style laptop that Microsoft might be building with the Surface branding. Then, as Paul Thurrott noted last week, among the many devices Acer announced last week at their [email protected] event in NYC, they also revealed a $219 device that matches the leaked specs for Windows 10 Cloud.
Could tomorrow's event be a showcase for these and other OEM devices that will support Windows 10 Cloud?
If you have been paying attention over the last couple of years it has been easy to see OneNote's growth into a solid educational tool with the OneNote Class Notebook tools and the flexibility it is providing educators in their classrooms. However, the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) OneNote App does not support Class Notebooks because they are currently only available as a free add-in for OneNote Desktop 2013 or 2016.
Next, a couple of weeks ago test versions of Office apps were spotted in the Windows Store with food related code names. We knew the plans were to get those into the Windows Store using Project Centennial to port those desktop versions into apps that could be installed from the Windows Store and take advantage of other Windows 10 features in the operating system. By the way, one of those test apps would allow you to subscribe to Office 365.
Finally, Windows 10 Cloud is rumored to only support app installs from the Windows Store so in order for education users to gain access to the Office suite, those programs would have to make their way into the Windows Store. Refer to my previous paragraph about the work towards that very goal.
< speculation mode=off >
So I expect after we hear about Windows 10 Cloud, Office 365 coming to the Windows Store (including the ability to subscribe), and a possible update to the OneNote Class Notebook there will be a showcase of new hardware along with demos of all these new products and services.
I will be there covering the event live via Twitter and then here on the SuperSite afterwards so be sure to tune in and get involved in the conversation.