There are some releases that I look forward to from Microsoft more than others in the coming year. If you would have asked me at the end of 2009 which were the MS products I expected in 2010, I would have said Office 2010, Kinect for Xbox and Windows Phone 7. Microsoft’s latest iteration of the Windows mobile platform is also on my list for 2011, although what I’m actually waiting is for the software giant to perfect its release. 2011 for me is about the release to web of Internet Explorer 9, the first Beta of Windows 8 and some Windows Phone 7 updates. The Redmond company already noted that it will work to kick WP7 up a notch following the platform’s launch this year. The first update is expected in early 2011, bringing with it new capabilities such as Copy and Paste functionality. I’m also curios to see just how the software giant will manage to catalyze the evolution of Windows Phone 7 through updates in 2011. “We are working on updates that will take us to the next level. Plus, we have great support from the ecosystem including developers, operators and device manufacturers, which will add to momentum we are already seeing,” Achim Berg, corporate vice president, Mobile Communications Business and Marketing Group stated ahead of Christmas. With 1.5 million WP7 devices already sold, Microsoft already attracted over 18,000 developers to the Windows Phone Marketplace which features over 5,000 apps. Obviously, 2011 will also mean the delivery of the next major iteration of Internet Explorer 9. This particular release is exciting because IE9 is unlike any other release of IE. In fact, Microsoft stressed time and again that IE9 is closer to rivals Firefox and Chrome than to Internet Explorer 8, from multiple points of view, including performance, support and compliance. IE9 is of course, still in development at this point in time, with the Beta and Platform Preview 7 releases available for testers. Early adopters will be able to download IE9 Release Candidate (RC) in early 2011, Microsoft promised, revealing that a new feature will also be unveiled. “We plan to not include any Tracking Protection lists with IE9 in its release candidate. Essentially choosing a Tracking Protection list is a statement around what the consumer wants out of the box, and in some ways that is completely up to the consumer. “And the release candidate will be available early next year,” Dean Hachamovitch, Corporate Vice President, Internet Explorer noted in early December 2010. It has now been well over a year since the commercial launch of Windows 7, and it’s common knowledge that the planning for Windows 8 started ahead of the GA for Windows Vista’s successor, with the development process now in full swing. Microsoft’s silence on Win8 should by no means be mistaken for inactivity, as the company is hard at work building the next iteration of the Windows client and server. Speculation indicates that the first Beta for Windows 8 should drop sometime around mid-2011, but no later than the end of the coming year. Well, speculation, and the timetable that the Redmond company used for Windows 7, which is apparently similar to that for Windows 8. Of course, there are additional Microsoft products planned for launched in 2011, such as Windows Intune, the new version of Windows Home Server, Silverlight 5, etc. What are you expecting to see from the company in the coming year?