Microsoft’s Mystery Monday Announcement Rundown

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:

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.

Barnes & Noble Orders 1 Million Nook Tablets From Suppliers

Barnes & Noble had a surprise hit on its hands last year, when it launched the Nook Color ebook reader. No one knew it would become as popular as it did. It was probably the most popular tablet of 2010, after the Apple iPad.

Anyway, seeing the success of the Nook Color, and the potential of an inexpensive tablet, Amazon got into the game last month, with the Kindle Fire. It is expected to be the most popular Android tablet this year, in terms of sales.

Barnes & Noble have also announced the Nook Tablet, which is an upgraded version of the Nook Color with much better specifications. Presumably, it should become a hit too, as it is much better than the Nook Color, almost equal to the Kindle Fire, and half the price of the iPad 2.

According to a report by Digitimes, our favorite source for Taiwanese supplier intel, Barnes & Noble has already ordered and taken delivery of more than a million units of the Nook Tablet. While that’s much less than the estimated sales of the Amazon Kindle Fire, it’s still much more than most other tablets out there. B&N had originally ordered 800,000 tablets, but anticipating increased demand, they upped their order by 25%.

Now obviously, these are just orders, not actual sales, but these numbers do help us arrive at a ballpark estimate of what the sales numbers should look like.

Nook Tablet

Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet Announced; Coming Next Week!

Barnes & Noble have just taken the wraps off their newest Nook branded eReader cum tablet, the Nook Tablet. The tablet comes with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor from OMAP, and 1GB of RAM on-board along with 16GB of on-board memory.

The Nook Tablet comes with a  7-inch screen, which provides “HD viewing” experience. Rumors suggest that the display is sourced from LG, and is an IPS LCD, which has a nearly 180 degree viewing angle. The tablet also has the usual connectivity features including Wi-Fi b/g/n, accompanied by a bunch of sensors including an accelerometer. The tablet will also have a microSD card slot.

On the software front, the Nook Tablet will come with Nook Cloud, which will allow users to backup their content on the cloud. The tablet will also come pre-loaded with Netflix and Hulu, which will be deeply integrated with the device.

Barnes & Noble say that the tablet will provide up to 9 hours of battery life, when playing back a 1080p video. The Tablet runs on a custom version of Android.The device will go on sale from next week, for only $249, and it will be available at all popular retailers including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, RadioShack, Staples and others.