The days are quickly counting down to October 11th and with it, a lot of hope and expectations riding on what Microsoft has in store for all of us. There is already some bad news for consumers outside the US in that Zune HD will remain a US only device but instead, MS will focus on the Zune component on WP7 for these countries. This is such a stupid move because not everybody wants a phone and there is still a huge market for iPod Touch/Zune HD like devices. I hope Mr. Ballmer is just saving the best news for the event and will in fact announce a Zune HD2 device instead (keeping my fingers crossed)
Secondly, Microsoft plans to unveil their slate/tablet strategy to combat the rise of the iPad and Android tablets. I really, really hope that it is not a full Windows 7 slate but instead, a WinCE7/Metro UI â€“ WP7 derivative. Microsoft did such a good job keeping WP7 and the Hub and Tile concept under wraps until they unveiled it at Mobile World Congress, so I hope they can repeat the magic with a credible slate.
What I expect
- The date for when some missing features will arrive and perhaps a demo of their copy and paste solution
- New devices that we havenâ€™t seen like the Dell lightning and devices from Acer and Asus
- A demo of the Bing maps real-time turn by turn navigation with voice command and prompts
- More apps from first party developers
What I hope
- New surprising unannounced features for WP7
- A solution for Bing maps navigation when offline (i.e. no data connection) by leveraging their Microsoft Streets and Trips software
- Zune HD2
- A tablet based on WinCE7/WP7
- A family subscription plan that combines Zune pass and Xbox Live gold
- A feature for using WP7 to control the Xbox and WMC devices
So those are my predictions. What are yours?