Much praise has been heaped on Windows 8 tablets for being a different experience than iOS and Android, but there is still no poster
child tablet to rally up consumers. New speculation suggests that Microsoft could unveil its very own flagship tablet to lead the Windows 8 charge next Monday.
The news comes from TheWrap:
The company has scheduled a secretive event for Monday at 3:30 p.m. June 18 in Los Angeles, where it will make a "major" announcement whose nature has not been disclosed. Even the venue has not yet been announced.
But an individual with knowledge of the company said that Microsoft would introduce a Microsoft-manufactured tablet at the event, marking a foray into a new hardware category that would put the company in direct competition with giant rival Apple.
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Going against the iPad won't be an easy task. If Microsoft's learned anything from pitting its Zune against the iPod, it's that it's too late to take Apple head-on with a copycat product.
Now, what we're seeing with Xbox SmartGlass; that could be something to catch Apple off guard, as Microsoft already commands domination of the living room with the Xbox 360. Even if SmartGlass isn't device-specific — it will use your existing iOS, Android and Windows Phone smartphones and tablets — it has lots of potential. Microsoft could be prepping itself to reveal a living room tablet.
Another possibility according to ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley is that Microsoft could show off a "reader" that'll challenge the Amazon Kindle Fire and not the iPad:
If such a "reader" were more akin to the Kindle Fire than to an iPad, a Los Angeles launch might make sense. Think this through. A Kindle Fire is an entertainment/consumption device. It is great for movie watching and music listening (hello, LA!) It also lets you read books (hello, Barnes & Noble). And remember: The settlement/contract between B&N and Microsoft mentioned Windows Phone. A lot. (In between all the redactions in that document.)
So if there's a Microsoft "reader" coming on Monday -and that's still a big if -- maybe it's meant to to be more of a Fire killer than an iPad competitor In other words, it's going to be a consumption-first device, not a creation one. What if that device is based on Windows Phone. And maybe even made for Microsoft by Nokia and private-labeled by Microsoft?
Or, you know, Microsoft could just announce something that'll totally put us all to sleep, like the fact that it's buying Yammer for $1.2 billion.