Microsoft won't be holding its annual hardware launch event this year -- here's what it's doing instead

For the last several years, Microsoft has thrown a splashy New York City event in late October to introduce new Surface computers and other gadgets into the world.

This year, however, Microsoft is breaking the tradition, Business Insider has learned. Rather than hosting one big party, Microsoft will keep things a little quieter this year and spread the news out across October.

And, along those lines, there won’t be a big, huge Microsoft product reveal for the remainder of 2017, we hear.

Microsoft just sent invitations to an event on October 3 (one day before Google holds its own hardware event) in San Francisco, focused on virtual and augmented reality. That event will be keynoted by Alex Kipman, the Microsoft Technical Fellow who invented the HoloLens “holographic” goggles, currently available to developers for $US3,000.

However, we hear the focus of this event will be squarely on the virtual reality features coming to Windows 10 with the Fall Creators Update on October 17. This means no new HoloLens hardware will be announced, so anyone waiting for a cheaper headset will have to keep holding their breath.

Windows Mixed Reality Acer bundleMicrosoftThe $US399 Acer bundle, available this holiday season, will bundle an Acer headset with the new Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality controllers. It’s designed to work with Windows 10.

Finally, much has been made of Microsoft hardware chief Panos Panay’s appearance at the Microsoft Future Decoded event in London on October 31 of this year. We must rain on this parade, too, however, now that we’re hearing that Panay will be there to hype up the Surface, not to launch any new hardware.

The bottom line here is that Microsoft won’t have another major hardware release for the rest of the year. It’s not terribly surprising, as Microsoft has already been very busy in 2017.

Earlier this year, Microsoft launched a refreshed Surface Pro tablet/laptop hybrid, as well as the brand-new Surface Laptop. In mid-October, timed with the Fall Creators Update, Windows will get a line of budget-priced, sub-$US300 virtual reality headsets. And on November 7, Microsoft will launch the Xbox One X, which it promises is the most powerful video game console ever.

Still, it’s disappointing for anybody who was waiting for a cheaper HoloLens, the Surface Phone, or even a major refresh of the two-year-old Surface Book laptop.

Get the latest Microsoft stock price here.

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