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Microsoft BUILD rumor roundup

india Updated: Jun 18, 2013 13:11 IST
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A rundown of the rumors surrounding Microsoft BUILD 2013, the software company’s annual developers’ conference which is scheduled to start on June 26 in San Francisco.

This year’s event comes hot on the heals of the World Wide Developers Conference, Apple’s own equivalent, which came to a close on Saturday and which was full of announcements and reveals that have have got the tech world excited.

Therefore, Microsoft has its work cut out if it is to garner the headlines and draw attention away from discussions surrounding the latest iPhone operating system or the upcoming launch of the Mac Pro professional desktop tower.

One thing that Apple didn’t announce, but that Microsoft is more or less guaranteed to is a new tablet. A new Surface Pro ‘Mini’ with an 8-inch HD display and with Office bundled as standard is expected to be one of the highlights of the company’s keynote address.

Microsoft has also made no secret of the fact that it is revisiting the smartwatch, and a number of tech sites, including Digital Trends, believes an announcement regarding wearable technology is also on the cards.

That’s a maybe, but the other certainty will be a fuller demonstration of the upcoming changes to Windows 8 (which will be released as Windows 8.1 towards the end of 2013). Much has already been reported on the changes, which include a reinstated start button and better synchronization across devices and across physical and cloud storage systems.

The Wall Street Journal believes that Microsoft could also detail a set-top box which would offer many of the features of its next-generation games console, the Xbox One -- such as direct access to files from any device as well as to the Xbox Live platform for streaming videos and downloading music -- but without the ability to actually play video games. However, it would work alongside the Microsoft Kinect motion sensor system for new levels of control and interaction and could cost as little as $99, making it a direct competitor to the Apple TV.