On Thursday there was confusion and intrigue in the Microsoft blogger camp (yes, there’s such a thing). Several new outlets were invited to an event which nobody knew anything about. The invitation by itself added to the mystery. Here’s how things happened:
- News outlets get cryptic invitation for a Microsoft event in Los Angeles
- Everyone starts speculating…
- Mary jo Foley starts breaking down the invitation like a boss
- Invitation sent from Microsoft’s Windows PR team, not Xbox (yes, they’re separate). This meant something to do with Windows & not Xbox?
- Microsoft to talk more about Xbox Music and Xbox Video? We’re in LA!
- Ina Fried at AllTHingsD writes a decisive post saying the event is about tablets
- A boring parade of all the Windows 8 tablets coming in October/November event? But it’s LA, didn’t add up
- The Wrap says Microsoft is working on its own tablet, New York Times backs The Wrap’s story, Mashable says there’s an iPad-killer coming
- Microsoft enthusiasts get excited. The Courier might finally come back in some form!
- Los Angeles has a Nokia Theater (a possible Nokia tablet being announced at Nokia Theater? If venue was mentioned in the invitation it would’ve been obvious; theory made sense.)
- Nokia shares two equally cryptic images on their US Facebook page with Monday’s date. Adds fuel to the above theory. (I fall for it.)
- Nokia’s image was decoded to be a Pure View 808 for US announcement, some hopeful souls expected an 808 running on Windows Phone (from a tablet we went to a phone)
- Nokia was just trolling. Ina Fried at AllThingsD affirms that Nokia’s stunt has nothing to do with Microsoft’s
- Microsoft enthusiasts start becoming skeptical of Microsoft’s ability to deliver something really “cool”
- A possible media content announcement? Partnership with Hollywood studios or content distributors? After all, it’s in LA
- Mary Jo Foley speculates a Kindle Fire competitor not powered by Windows can be announced. And Barnes & Noble comes into the picture (fyi, Microsoft recently announced a strategic partnership with B&N)
- WinRumors has learnt nothing all this while
- Microsoft enthusiasts start getting pessimistic about Microsoft’s little PR stunt. It will hurt the company if they don’t deliver something really “cool”
- Tom Warren supports Mary Jo’s theory of a Barnes & Noble/Microsoft tablet
- TechCrunch ends all speculation with confirmation from “sources”
- A B&N tablet to compete with the Kindle Fire which will have Xbox LIVE streaming
- We have consensus!
- Business Insider’s Jay Yarow says B&N has nothing to do with the event. His first reason isn’t very compelling but a spokesperson’s confirmation is
- An Xbox tablet called Xbox Surface? Some of my peers think so
- And we’re back to square one with no one knowing anything
- Ina Fried says MSFT is doing their own tablet. She knows Microsoft
Barnes and Noble already has a Kindle Fire competing NOOK Tablet that runs on Android. This new rumored device cannot be running Windows 8 since Windows 8 devices aren’t coming out till October. Windows 8 will go RTM in July/August. So what will this Microsoft NOOK run? It can’t be Android. It can be Windows Embedded.
For what it’s worth, Microsoft has been able to keep everyone in the dark for the second time. The Windows Phone reset with WIndows Phone 7 Series was a tightly kept secret that was revealed only a few minutes before announcement. Tomorrow’s announcement should be equally exciting.