Microsoft is planning a series of news events over the coming months that will focus on categories like gaming, cloud, and Windows. The Verge has learned that Microsoft is dedicating time to particular categories at a time when the pandemic has halted in-person events. Microsoft’s first event will take place later this week, focusing on what’s next for work and Microsoft 365.
The company is planning similar events that focus on what’s next for its cloud ambitions, as well as gaming, Windows, and security in the coming months. Microsoft typically discusses a broad range of its products at events like Ignite or Build, and this will continue, but these separate events are designed to highlight what its product changes mean for entire categories.
The Windows event will likely focus on Microsoft’s “sweeping visual rejuvenation” of the operating system, which is currently codenamed “Sun Valley,” and the company’s Windows 10X efforts. Microsoft is putting a larger effort into overhauling the UI of Windows this year, with visual changes planned to improve the consistency of the OS.
Microsoft also has big plans for gaming in general throughout 2021, especially with its Xbox Game Pass and xCloud work. Microsoft’s dedicated gaming event will likely focus on the company’s plans to expand xCloud and its gaming efforts, in a year that will see a “reimagined” E3 take place.
This entire approach to news events from Microsoft is different from previous years. It’s taking place during a year where many people continue to work and even study remotely. The pandemic has reshaped entire industries, and it will likely fuel many of Microsoft’s announcements across 2021. If the events are a success, it could even shape how Microsoft plans its news announcements for years to come.