Windows 10 event on Tuesday: It’s time to show us the products

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Microsoft has spent the better part of a year talking about the software flourishes of Windows 10. Now it must get down to talking about hardware.

A number of PCs and tablets already run Windows 10, which was released to the public in late July. On Tuesday, Microsoft will get a chance to show off its own products at an event in New York. The company is expected to release the next Surface Pro tablet, at least one flagship smartphone and a follow-up to its Microsoft Band fitness wearable.

The products will play a critical role in driving the adoption of Windows 10, serving as ambassadors and standard bearers for the latest from Microsoft. Specifically, the smartphones represent Microsoft’s best shot at keeping its Windows 10 software relevant in the mobile arena, which is dominated by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. A new Surface Pro, meanwhile, could undercut Apple’s business ambitions with the iPad Pro.

Windows 10 has drawn favorable reviews since its debut, with CNET’s Nate Ralph calling it the “Goldilocks version of Microsoft’s venerable PC operating system.” It’s gotten plenty of support from Microsoft’s PC and tablet manufacturing partners, but Microsoft could pique more consumer interest by revealing the hardware it’s got up its sleeve.

To get all the details, follow CNET’s live blog of the event. Jessica Dolcourt, Dan Ackerman, Scott Stein and I will be bringing you live updates and info, while Sarah Tew will provide photos. Our colleague from CNET en Español, Juan Garzon, will also be on the scene.

The event starts Tuesday at 7 a.m. PT/10 a.m. ET. Our live blog will kick off a little before the start, so come early and settle in for all the news.

The stakes are especially high on the mobile side. Adoption of smartphones running on Windows software has been anemic, with Windows Phone representing just 2.6 percent of the market. That stands in comparison with the 83 percent share that Android commands, according to IDC.

The Redmond, Washington, company hasn’t unveiled a premium flagship smartphone since it acquired Nokia’s devices business in April 2014, releasing just a handful of budget-friendly devices. Microsoft is due for a mobile product that elicits excitement and gets people talking about the software again. >more

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