Windows 10 is on its way - as soon as June according to some reports, more likely August or September. Its probably the most eagerly awaited launch since Windows 95 arrived. Windows 8 was a disaster for Microsoft, gaining as much bad publicity as Vista did back in the day.
Through a widespread beta programme, Microsoft has given us plenty of Windows 10 to look at. So the software itself is unlikely to bring many surprises.
In the twenty years since Windows 95 was released Microsoft has changed and is now as focused on hardware as its ever been. Which means the a software release as important as Windows 10 must live hand in hand with some impressive new hardware, designed to show it off to its fullest extent. The role that the Surface failed to play when Windows 8 arrived. Microsoft has a phone division now too, and with the merge of its mobile, desktop and tablet platforms into one the expectation is that new mobile hardware will also arrive to dazzle us.
Given that the Surface Pro 3 and Surface are relatively new designs it's unlikely that Microsoft will move far away from their current look. New processors for the Pro are the most likely bump here.
It's the mobile handset that I'm most excited for though. Windows 10 promises to bring Windows Phones bang up to date and make them compete with Android and Apple in a way that WP8 never managed. And to show off the software and build some buzz Microsoft needs an absolute belter of a handset. Something that is technically impressive like the the Lumia 1020, but faster, sleeker and shinier than Apple and Samsung's offerings. The 930 was good, but didn't really create any buzz.
Whatever the new Microsoft flagship phone turns out to be, it needs to get people talking. If it can do that Microsoft have a fair chance of riding Windows 10 back to the top of its game.