Microsoft to lay out plans for future of Windows 10

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Microsoft will lay out its plans for the future of Windows 10 when it holds its annual Build developer conference on Wednesday. 

The technology giant is expected to unveil a new design for the Windows operating system as part of its next update to the PC and tablet software, which is due to be released in September. 

It is believed the firm will also discuss its plans to challenge the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers by creating devices alongside other manufacturers that contain Microsoft's virtual assistant, Cortana.

The first such speaker - called Invoke - which is being made by audio firm Harman Kardon, was unveiled earlier this week. 

The annual conference is traditionally used by Microsoft to give developers an early opportunity to test new products ahead of their release to the public. 

The technology giant has said the event will be the chance to discuss the "latest new technologies and exciting plans on the horizon". 

Reports also suggest the new streamlined version of Windows - Windows 10 S - will be discussed in more detail after it was announced last week.

The software is being targeted at the education sector and is due to be released later this year.

The event will feature a keynote speech from chief executive Satya Nadella, who is also likely to discuss Microsoft's plans for augmented and mixed reality, with a demonstration of the firm's HoloLens headset, which projects virtual images on the real world, expected to be part of the presentation. 

However, reports ahead of the event suggest Microsoft will not use Build to unveil a new Surface Pro device, instead a separate event in China later this month has been marked as the likely time the firm will discuss it's popular laptop-tablet hybrid. 

A new version of the device, with updated Intel processors and better battery life has been heavily rumoured online.