Folding Surface computer expected at Microsoft launch

Microsoft is today set to unveil a new Surface computer - a desktop PC that can be folded flat to become a touchscreen.

A new version of the popular Microsoft Paint app that can support 3D drawing could also be announced as part of updates to the company's Windows 10 software.

Also on the cards may be a smart home competitor using Microsoft's voice-based assistant Cortana, designed to rival the newly launched Amazon Echo.

The technology giant is holding a live event in New York, where its augmented reality headset HoloLens may also be discussed.

HoloLens creates a so-called "mixed reality" experience, where users see holograms and app icons they can interact with overlaid on to the real world.

According to reports, the new Surface PC will comprise a large screen display that uses a hinge to fold flat to a desk and then be compatible with styluses and touch gestures, similar to Microsoft's Surface tablet range, as well as use with a connected keyboard to create a laptop setting.

The devices are seen as the greatest competition to Apple's iPad and MacBook lines.

Apple is due to hold its own event on Thursday, where the iPhone maker is expected to announce a new version of its laptop line, including the flagship MacBook Pro.

Microsoft's most recent financial results revealed revenue from the Surface continues to grow despite the US company placing an increasing focus on the software it creates, including Windows 10.

A major update to Windows 10 is expected in early 2017 and some reports suggest Microsoft may use its event to preview some of the planned new features.