The company has made a lot of changes in 2012 with introductions to new products and new designs on old products.  According to a letter sent to shareholders, this will continue as Microsoft now brands itself as a devices and services company.  Here is a look at what you can expect from Microsoft in 2013.

Windows 8 Tablets

While the Surface uses a variant of Windows 8, it is expected that the next generation of tablets will use the full version.  These tablets will be more expensive and possibly bulkier.  If they are too uncomfortable to use, this could be a problem for consumers who want something portable and lightweight.

The Next Xbox

While the Xbox 360 outsold the Wii U in November, it is expected that a new Xbox will be available by the holiday season 2013.  You can look for Microsoft to turn it into more than just the latest game console, but rather concentrate on making it a full entertainment system with movie, music, and cable services.

Skype

Skype is more than just a service; it is a description of the service.  People say they are “Skyping” rather than just using Skype, which proves how ingrained it is into our environment.  Since Microsoft acquired the company, it is increasing that popularity even more.  It will be offered as the replacement of Microsoft’s instant messaging service and included on Windows 8.  You can also expect it to be used with Lync for businesses and possibly even the Xbox.

Office 15

This is by far the biggest anticipation for 2013.  The new installment will be more touch-enabled to work with Windows 8.  Some things you can expect are icons with more distance between them to prevent errors and thumb controls.  The new office will also be more deeply connected to SkyDrive to allow users to access important documents from any device.

Microsoft worked in 2012 to change its image.  2013 will be a continuation of that new image and will show whether the company will succeed as a devices and services company among all of the other players.

 

[Image via techrepublic.com]