Microsoft officials have some fairly specific ideas about what they want their Windows-device-making partners to build in calendar 2017.
On the PC front, Microsoft wants its OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and ODMs (original design manufacturers) to make more Windows 10 detachables, convertibles, and ultraslims. They also are advising their partners to make devices and peripherals that highlight the "hero experiences" of Windows 10 involving Cortana, Windows Hello authentication, and Windows Ink. And another wish-list topper: Microsoft is looking for more Windows 10 PCs that can power mixed-reality peripherals and that are ready for gamers and "media fanatics."
Microsoft officials provided this guidance at the company's WinHEC 2016 conference in December in Shenzhen. Microsoft recently made the video of the "Next Generation of Windows Devices"
session from that event.
Microsoft has more than 140 ODM/OEM partners in Shenzhen, according to officials speaking at WinHEC. (ODMs are companies that design and build new devices, which can be branded and sold by other firms; OEMs are companies that build and usually label and sell their own devices.)
Microsoft officials told these vendors that while there are more than 400 million Windows 10 devices in the market
(as of September 2016), its goal remains to have "one billion people loving Windows 10 every single day." Microsoft acknowledged last year it's behind its own self-imposed goal of reaching 1 billion by mid-2018
, but it's not clear by how much.
The way Microsoft believes it can get to this goal is to encourage partners to make a "few big bets" together with the Redmond company. These bets are familiar ones: The Universal Windows Platform, which enables developers to write apps, drivers, and services that can scale across Microsoft's complete Windows portfolio (PC, tablet, phones, Xbox, embedded devices); a constantly updated version of Windows; and "incredible modern devices" that will replace the more than 600 million Windows devices currently in market that are more than four years old...